Why Are Birthdays So Rough On Some Of Us & Happy-Go-Lucky For Others?
I’ve never understood this, and maybe I never will. My birthday blues have hit me early this year, and they’ve hit hard. I’m days ahead of the actual day, and all I can think is “What’s the point? I might as well just stay in bed all weekend.” It’s a terrible attitude to have when a month or so ago, I was excitedly anticipating SOMETHING. ANYTHING. Lets face it, birthdays aren’t always happy.
I can’t remember the last time a birthday was truly joyous for me. I know it was under the age of 13, but couldn’t tell you for sure the who, what, when, or why of it all. I’m probably blocking it out for some reason (Most of my childhood should be blocked out for reasons I have yet to discuss here.). Generally, I remember everything on the long-term spectrum, I can tell you things about coming home from the hospital as a newborn (Crazy, right?), but as often as I’ve tried looking back on birthday stuff, I am a complete blank at the moment.
Was 18 a great one? No. It was the last one celebrated with my Grandmother before cancer fully took over, eventually taking her life a few years later. 21 was celebrated multiple times, because everyone was trying to top each other on the celebration and the gifts, but apart from coming out of the actual day with a new piercing, the day itself was nothing to write home about. Unless you’ve actually lived 21 years and have never touched a single drop of alcohol, it’s a ridiculous birthday to make such a big deal out of. I’ve never been a big drinker. I was given whiskey somewhere around age two by my Great-Uncle. Apparently that was much more satisfying to me as a toddler than my 21st birthday was because not only did I drink it, but with my discerning palette, I smiled and asked “More.” I was given more, until three appalled Jewish women lectured him on “giving whiskey to the baby”. It was cute and utterly hilarious while it was happening, and it’s still a funny story when properly told. The only time I drink it now is when I have strep throat, or a really horrific sore throat, and need to get rid of it fast. I can’t tell you the last time I’ve needed it for either, but I can tell you that it works. I have no idea why it speeds up the healing process, it just does. On occasion, I will have a drink or two. Hell, I might even have four, but it’s nothing to celebrate. I might just be pissed off on a Tuesday.
There are plenty of birthdays where it’s nice to spend time with friends and family, share a meal, and end the day with a cupcake. For the past six years or so, cupcakes have sort of become my staple. There is ONE company that makes the absolute best Triple Chocolate and Lemon Ice cupcakes. If you’re nice, I’ll even tell you who makes them and where to look for them. They’re amazing, everything else falls short, including the fanciest ones from a bakery. They come out about this time every year and you can find them until maybe March, after that, you don’t see them again until early Fall. There’s a flavor for everyone, but I’m addicted to the Lemon. I am going to look for both before “the big day”, in case I’m really blue and need sugar to help cope with my misery. 😦
I’m not an envious person, but even on the birthdays where I’ve intentionally gone away in order to be able to enjoy it, I’ve ended up waking up the morning of my birthday, growling in any direction, and going back to sleep. Or I end up sick and I never get to celebrate at all, which sucks.
In 2011, this happened while I was on vacation. I did end up going out with a family member later that day, in seriously cold New England weather with intermittent rain. I was an absolute unpleasant bitch, and it makes me cringe knowing how I behaved. After nearly a week of hitting up so many different places and great restaurants, we ended up someplace I would not have chosen off the top of my head, but had an amazingly delicious meal and great service. When we got home, there was Chocolate Raspberry Truffle cheesecake and Coconut Cream Pie cheesecake waiting. Too sweet to eat more than a few spoonfuls in one shot, but 100% worth it.
In 2012, I got sick and spent my birthday in bed. The next day, despite still being sick, I pushed myself out to celebrate. Two hours later, I was in a gun shop in the middle of nowhere. I’d been told it was a 20 minute trip, so by the time we reached the destination, I was pissed and in desperate need of stretching my legs. The shop owner told me to “just stand there and look pretty”. He’s lucky he was behind a counter, or he’d be missing a favorite body part to this day. Afterwards, I did end up having a great birthday meal and then spent some time at the mother-ship (Sephora). If ever you just want to get on my good side, throw Sephora gift cards or nail polish at me. No, I’m not kidding.
Last year, I forced myself to attempt a celebration. After a manicure and an errand, I was completely done for the day. I was exhausted, fine to be home early to enjoy seriously awesome Italian food as my reward for being born. Like most years, it came, it saw, it fizzled out before 8 PM.
Why is it so much easier for some people to go out, celebrate, and be thrilled on their birthdays? It can’t possibly be about material things or the people they’re sharing it with, can it? Is it all about gifts, alcohol, food you may, or may not, really want to be eating, and people you may, or may not, even like? Is it quantity over quality? Is it extroverts over introverts? If you know the answer to this, please step forward and spit it out!
My discussion this morning went something like this: “Mexican sounds SO good to me right now, do you want to go to…?” It’s a tiny little place, but the food is authentic and if you get there at the right time, the service is good too. “I’d rather stay local.” Mind you, the place I’m talking about is less than 10 minutes away, 15 if you hit traffic. “How about…?” Blank stare. And then I had a moment where all I could think was “It’s MY fucking birthday, douche bag! We’ll go where I say we’re going, and you’ll fucking deal with it.” Another suggestion was presented, probably because the look on my face showed that at any given moment, someone might need to sleep with both eyes open. Sadly, I’m just not feeling it.
Is it wrong for you to want certain days to have a special feel to them? I’m not saying you need a fortune spent on you, or that you need to spend a fortune, but on a special day, it shouldn’t just be “the same old shit”.
In the end, I’m leaving it all up to Fate. What’s meant to be, will be. If I wake up and I don’t feel it, then that’s okay. I’m sure someone will be more than happy to deliver.
copyright © 2014 by Lisa Marino & Blackbird Serenity LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.