At least for me, please no one celebrate the second one
Birthdays are uncomfortable. The kind, considerate people in your life go out of their way to ensure you have a great day, which results in 24 hours of awkwardly polite conversations. Thus begins the pressure of everyone deciding it is "your day," even though you don't know how to spend it. Luckily, Mother Nature has given me the best birthday present of all. This year, November 25 is not just my 20th birthday - it is also Thanksgiving.
This has happened only twice before, and both freshly three and nine-year-old Katie did not approve. I've been told I had a lot of personality as a child, a kind way of describing my somewhat commanding attitude. I just remember being confused as to why I had to eat gross green beans instead of the pizza I'd been hoping for. Even my dessert was affected, as my beautiful birthday cakes were paired with fruit pies. Fruit is not dessert.
Now, I am eternally grateful for the calendar's alignment. Birthdays have become stressful. The day requires me to choose activities, food, and celebration that I simply do not want to decide upon as a highly indecisive person. How are you supposed to ensure everyone likes the meal, the cake, the activities? Thank you so much to whoever runs the celestial clock – I appreciate Thursday birthdays more than you know.
This year, I don't have to pick a special birthday dinner. I will get to enjoy turkey and mashed potatoes and the freedom of knowing everyone is happy with what they are eating. As I've grown up, my palate has undoubtedly matured, and I now look forward to the dinner rolls, vegetables and stuffing. And a day entirely full of eating sounds like a fantastic way to spend my birthday.
This year, too, I get to relax in the knowledge that no one went out of their way to spend time with me. On a regular birthday, especially one that always falls on the week of a holiday, I am all too aware that it can be difficult to coordinate seeing my loved ones to celebrate. When I turn 20, however, it will be in the full comfort that everyone in my family would have made time for this either way.
Most of all, I am grateful to have something to celebrate in tandem. Nothing is more awkward or uncomfortable than the seemingly endless barrage of a group of people singing "Happy Birthday" to you. Everyone stares intensely as you are uninvited to sing along. What do you do with your hands? Where do you look? This year, I can hope to be spared the awkward smile as I sit there, trying not to make intensely direct eye contact with any specific serenader. This time, I can simply say what I am grateful for at dinner and hope no one thinks to sing.
Finally, I am gifted a year where my birthday will be comfortable. My birthday will be less about corny celebrations and more about cornbread this year, and I am certainly thankful.