Where Does All The Birthday Glory Go?

Most people seem to not like their birthday because they don’t want to be reminded of how they’re getting older. Maybe, it also has something to do with how not that many people care it’s your birthday when you’re older. Remember when you were little and you would get birthday parties with presents and balloons and cake? How come most of us don’t get that when we’re older?

Well, I’m here to say, today is my birthday! I’m not bothered by getting older (okay, in ten years that sentiment may be different) and I thoroughly enjoy every second of my birthday. I do wonder why we, as adults, don’t get more recognition for our birthdays.

It seems to me all the major birthday recognition and parties happen before the age of five. Seriously? At one, you have no clue what is going on. You don’t even realize what people are celebrating, let alone that they’re there for just you. You don’t particularly care about the presents. You might care about the cake, just so you can stick your hands in it. What a waste! The next few years are pretty similar. You may be more coherent when the party is going on, and take more pleasure in opening the packages, but let’s face it, you’re probably going to play with the boxes or the discarded wrapping paper more than the actual gifts. The fifth birthday is probably the most logical one to have a party for, you’re more aware and know the presents you’re getting. You will probably actually retain memories of the party and your guests, as well.

Here is the spread for my 2nd birthday. Looks pretty great, doesn’t it?

 Okay, here I am placed in that spread. See the vacant look on my face? I have no idea what is going on. I could fall over any moment and not be phased at all. (Unfortunately, this may not be a “two year old thing,” but may just be specific to me.) The way I look, I could be sitting on this table surrounded by presents, as easily as I could, let’s say, be sitting on one of those quarter rides outside the grocery store, or sitting on the couch. What a waste!

 Here I am turning four. This is a bit better, I’m actually able to interact. I can blow the candles out and I probably opened my own gifts. But again, I’m pretty sure all this was some what wasted on my four year old self. Though I have to say that Care Bears and Smurfs wrapping paper is pretty sweet. I’d definitely take presents today wrapped in that. And there is my aunt, her birthday was yesterday. (Happy birthday, Aunt Lynette!) Honestly, I probably still didn’t really know what was going on.

 I don’t remember either of the above birthdays. And yes, these were about the only photos I could find of my birthdays, with the exception of when I was about twelve when I was allowed to have two people over. I’m the youngest and the third child, so by the time I came around my parents didn’t feel film needed to be used to document my milestones and accomplishments. Seriously, there are a ton of photos of my sister, then you can see the dwindled amount with my brother, and then the pretty much non-existent ones of me. Most of the photos of me when I was young, are “group shots.” The youngest gets the shaft in so many ways, but I digress.

Birthday parties and presents are so wasted on screaming, runny nosed, and vacuous faced children. What have they done to deserve such treatment? Nothing! They are taken care of, they barely do anything on their own, and usually don’t even appreciate the effort or time people put into the birthdays. As we get older and the more we endure through life, that is when we deserve the celebration! (Disclaimer: Please keep reading, I’m mostly just joking. Thank you.)

I have made it this far through life, quite a bit of it on my own. I’m still alive. I still have all of my appendages. I’m (mostly) a productive member of society. I’m pretty fabulous. So how come barely anyone really celebrates me on my birthday? Why are there no presents? No balloons? Party hats? A giant cake? (Okay, so that one I have to retract, because my Daddy always gets me a birthday cake every year. Thanks, Daddy.) So as not to sound ungrateful, I do have an aunt who always sends me a birthday card (and everyone else on their birthday, anniversary, etc, she is remarkable) and calls me on my birthday. (Thanks, Aunt Arlene!) My sister usually does something to recognize my birthday. (Thanks, sister!) However, I’m talking about the real celebrating, where everyone comes out for it, the presents are stacked high, the balloons are inflated, and everyone says, “You! Today is for you!”

My niece is always excited about my birthday. December 2009

There is not one other time in my year, at this point in my life, where people make a big deal over me. My birthday should be that one time during the year. And I shouldn’t be shamed into wanting that, or feeling happy when someone does take notice. I love my birthday, and it is the one day where I have no problems with, and actually welcome, being the center of attention. Most of the time, I am quite selfless and humble in my life, but darn it, my birthday is my day.

I’m half joking in this post. I really believe that as adults we do get overlooked. Everyone needs some encouragement, acknowledgement, and recognition, no matter what age and no matter how strong or independent we are. Perhaps the lack of birthday celebrating is self-induced by those who claim to loathe their birthdays and just want to forget about it but I’m sure there are plenty of adults who would relish the true celebration and presents that were common place as a child. And of course, children should have their birthdays celebrated. The runny-nosed little people deserve a little something too.

*Package photo by Michelle Meiklejohn at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

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12 thoughts on “Where Does All The Birthday Glory Go?

  1. Happy Birthday! We adults have to stick together and promote our birthdays accordingly…indeed, few care…except for the good folks at AARP standing by to process applications when you’ve accumulated enough birthdays.

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  2. Happy Birthday!! We had so many kids in our family, that it seems like only one of us would have a real birthday party each year, with the other birthdays being much less extravagant. We knew for sure that there was no way, we could even think about having a birthday party two years in a row with five of us kids. So by age fifteen I had already had a grand total of three first class birthday parties.

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  3. Happy Birthday! Hope you had a great day. Does being so soon after Xmas change peoples attitude? Does it get forgotten amidst the xmas celebrations? Mine is in 3 weeks and everyone is always dieting, exercising or out of cash as they spent it all over the holiday.

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    • My parents have always been really good about keeping Christmas separate from my birthday, so I’ve been fortunate that way. Happy early birthday! Any birthday around this time of the year seems to be “in the way” of other plans.

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