I’ve made it as a blogger for four years without ever devoting a post to my birthday. In fact, I’m pretty sure I only started referencing the day (April 25th) two years ago, when I posted some photos from my childhood, and last year, when I wrote a clever introductory paragraph that borrowed from an episode of Aqua Teen Hunger Force. This year I only have an hour between waking up and spending 8 hours at work and going to a dual-birthday party, so I need to think fast. I guess I can exploit the fact that its my birthday tomorrow and use it to write a blog post today.
I don’t particularly enjoy birthdays. It seems like the absolute least exciting reason to have fun on a given day. You’re a year older. It’s not like you got a raise, or your vacation starts tomorrow, or you just won the Mario Kart Wii championship (like Nate did last night). You’re just…older. Something about it has always frustrated me. And somehow, throughout my life, my friends have always found a way to make me the center of attention on that day. Whether it’s surprising me with a cake or a party or even a simple Wendy’s gift certificate (ah, high school), people love to make a big deal about how I’m getting older. That’s why I came up with this handy list of ten thoughts to get me — or anyone, really — through my birthday.
The Top Ten Thoughts To Get You Through Your Birthday
10. You Aren’t Dead – Let’s face it, things could be worse. You could have not woken up this morning. I imagine having a birthday party to look forward to is much nicer than being told, “You have three months to live.” So no matter how many people want to give you a hug or a kiss or small gift, try to grin and smile and say “Thank you,” because at least they’re not leaving little tokens for you inside your coffin. Try to think of gifts as people encouraging you to survive for 365 more days. That’s how I get by.
09. There’s Booze Involved – It’s an excuse to drink. What’s better is when your birthday falls on a Friday or a Saturday. I never understood that growing up because I didn’t have a thirst for craft beers and whiskey, but now that I’m an old piece of shit (26 years old, can you fucking believe it? what exactly have I accomplished?) I like the fact that I don’t have to go into work tomorrow and I can get properly loaded tonight. Of course, I already have big important plans tomorrow that don’t include continuing the celebration for another 24 hours, but I can at least get through my hangover at my own pace instead of having to rush the process as I prepare to leave for work.
08. I Don’t Have To Bring My Wallet – As long as you keep some good friends close by, they’ll make sure you never have an empty glass in your hand. Is that what inspires so many to drink themselves to death on their birthday (I don’t have any stats to back up that statement)? Are they so happy to be drinking for free that they overdo it and die? It’s a damn shame I’m helping pay for booze for this party, because I won’t be able to coach myself through tonight with this handy quote.
07. Some Of These People Don’t Hate You – It’s nice to know that some people will show up to a gathering and not do so just because its an excuse to get drunk. There are probably two, maybe three people there who genuinely want to support you and see that you have a good time. Hell, if you can find even one person like that at a birthday celebration held in your honor, it should provide you with a glimmer of hope bright enough to barely get you through this evening without adding Fentanyl lozenges into your birthday evening’s drinking regimen.
06. You Could Get Raped – This works better if you’re a girl, but since you’re the center of attention and you’re expected to drink the most out of anyone at the party, there’s a chance you could get laid tonight. Maybe it’ll be against your will, and that way you won’t have to admit to your friends that you slept with that guy who was giving everyone douche chills all night. You can blame it on the booze and everyone will laugh about it while silently pitying you, or you can just say he raped you and he’ll probably go to jail for a while, which could actually benefit him socially as he won’t be giving anyone else douche chills for a while.
05. I Feel Better Than The New York Mets Right Now – It pains me to say it, but even when it’s my goddamned fucking birthday, I probably feel better than the New York Mets do. They always seem to have a losing record this time of year, and the 2009 baseball season has been a painful one for my favorite team thus far. So tonight when I’m hearing about how old I am and how much closer to death I am, I can turn inward and appreciate the fact that my name is neither Daniel Murphy nor Oliver Perez. Thank fucking God!
04. My Parents Aren’t Here – Because if you’re like my, your parents are Baby Boomers, and throughout your life birthday parties haven’t been about you, they have been about them. For Baby Boomer parents, a child’s birthday is just another attempt to steal the spotlight and show off what a wonderful job of parenting they have done, and how everyone should be happy for them that they’ve raised a child that isn’t a complete fuck up. Children of Baby Boomers know all too well how their parents love taking credit for their children’s accomplishments (see: “My Child Is An Honor Student” bumper stickers), and birthdays are no different. I am thankful that they raised me well and are pretty good people, but I’m happy that they’re 3,000 miles away. Also, because they’re divorced and they’d probably start a loud argument and attract everybody’s attention and make things really uncomfortable. Fucking Baby Boomers.
03. You Don’t Have To Impress These Chicks – Because you already know them all. And anyway, none of them want to sleep with you. If you’re out at a bar this is completely different, but if you’re having a small get together with some friends on neutral turf, this should definitely cross your mind. Guys always worry about trying to get laid on their birthday, but if you’re only amongst friends it’s not going to happen. You can relax and be yourself. Maybe try to squeeze in a few backhands before the party begins so you’re feeling extra loose and cool. It’s your night to shine, and you don’t have to fucking impress anybody at the party.
02. It’s A Good Time To Be Alive – If this were the 1950s, you’d be sitting at the hop drinking milkshakes and dancing. If this were the 1920s you’d probably be sitting at home listening to grandpappy’s stories about horseless carriages and how back in his youth he put hot peppers in Orville Wright’s jock strap! Unless of course, you were one of the cool kids in the ’20s and knew where the speakeasies were and had ready access to coke and heroin…that’d be pretty cool. Seriously, it’s a great time to be alive. Recession or wars be damned, I like being alive right now and experiencing all these things. If it means it’s gonna make us as hard and salty as the “Greatest Generation,” I’m all for it. Tonight when everyone is acting superficially happy for me, I’m going to be dreaming about the days when I can be a vulgar old man and people won’t stop and say, “Gosh that fellow is uncouth.” Instead they’ll say, “Yeah, but can you imagine living through what he went through?” And then I’ll turn to them, stick a long wiry finger in their faces and say, “What’s worse, I was raised Jewish.” Then those stupid kids will shit themselves and pass out from humbleness.
01. It Could Be Worse – Trust me, I’ve spent many birthdays alone and they’re usually not as fun as when at least one other person is around. In fact, the birthday I was most looking forward to (21), because I was going to lock myself in my dorm room and enjoy the peace and quiet, turned out to be the worst. I bought myself a huge chocolate cake and a bottle of Maker’s Mark and for a while my thoughts turned very dark and before I knew it I was vomiting cake and Maker’s. If you don’t already know, vomit is one of my biggest fears. Vomit and bees. If a swarm of bees had been aroused by the smell of Kentucky Straight Bourbon and chocolate cake, that would have been, unequivocally, the worst moment of my life. Instead, it was just the worst birthday of my life. The next 24+ hours should be better.