Yesterday was my birthday. I turned a quarter of a century old. And I don’t like birthdays. Actually, I don’t like my birthday, I don’t mind celebrating other’s birthdays. Why do I think birthdays suck?
It is not because they make me feel old, the common reason why people don’t like birthdays; I don’t even mind getting old.
I think birthdays suck because:
1. I think the reason why they are celebrated is silly. It’s a bit pointless if you ask me. If you really want to celebrate life, do it in a day-to-day basis by being grateful, being cheerful, and being selfless.
2. I think that somehow the alignment of the moons, and stars and planets or something affects one’s mood on their birthday. I feel silly saying this but somehow, one is be very emotional and moody on their birthday. I’ve felt it with me and seen it with others. For some reason or another, I have often cried during many of my birthdays.
3. They come with a lot of expectation. This is the main reason. I dislike the pressure that on this specific day you are supposed to have a very happy day. The expectations that you are supposed to do something “fun” and be pampered and receive gifts and cake. Why is it that one day a year you have to stop your life and be forced to be happy? Don’t get me wrong; I like happiness, and I like cake, and gifts, and fun but I don’t like that they are forced into a 24-hour span. And makes you feel bad if it doesn’t live up to expectation.
I received many birthday messages yesterday, and it really is nice to hear from people who you don’t normally hear from. But when they say things like: “I hope you are pampered like you deserve” and “I hope you have an amazing day!” it makes me cringe a bit.
People mean well, but I don’t celebrate birthdays and neither does my husband, so when people say things like “enjoy your cake!” and I’m not having cake whether it is because it is my choice not to celebrate or because anyone who would make me cake lives in another country, it makes me feel sad to know that I am supposed to have this awesome, joyful, cakeful day and I’m not. It’s depressing and it shouldn’t be.
What could’ve been just a normal, nice day with no pressure to have a great day, turned into a day of sadness and disappointment because I am not meeting these expectations. I guess it becomes even harder when most of your friends and family live in a different country.
I don’t normally know what day of the month it is, so if it wasn’t for Google’s reminder that my birthday was the next day and a few birthday messages received the night before, I could have totally woken up on a normal, happy with no pressure day on my birthday without knowing it was my birthday.
This is a relatively new contempt I have for birthdays though, as I definitely did not hate them during childhood. It’s hard not to enjoy them when you’ve got a piñata. I’ll leave you with some birthday fun facts.
Birthday Traditions Around The World*
Everyone celebrates their birthday on New Year’s Day in Vietnam, a day they refer to as “tet.” Vietnamese tradition is that the actual day of birth is not to be acknowledged. Rather, people become a year older every year at tet.
On the Atlantic side of Canada, birthday boys and girls are sometimes “ambushed” and their noses are greased, usually with butter, to ward off bad luck. A friend who lives in Pictou told the writer that “The butter got worse as you got older. It was good luck as much as torture as I remember it.”
Mexicans sure know how to have a good time, and it’s no surprise that they have the most fun tradition for children: The birthday piñata filled with candy. Grab a blindfold and a broomstick, and let the celebration begin.
In Ireland the birthday child is lifted upside down and “bumped” on the floor for good luck. The number of bumps given is the age of the child plus one for extra good luck. Breithlá sona duit
In Israel the child who’s birthday it is wears a crown made from leaves or flowers and sits in a chair decorated in streamers. Guests dance around the chair singing. The parents lift the chair while the child sits in it. Yom Huledet Sameakh
Just like that one friend you had in college, Jamaicans think dousing their friends with flour is fun. Regardless of age, tradition calls for the birthday boy or girl to be “antiqued,” or coated with flour, by friends and family, either at an organized party or as part of an ambush.
You may also like my post about when I attended a traditional birthday celebration in Maharashtra, India.
This doesn’t mean people should stop sending me birthday wishes. That would be even more depressing. Women, huh?…. so complicated.Do you agree with any of my reasons not to like birthdays? Do you have any birthday traditions?