Today is my mom and brother’s birthday! Mom is turning 75 years young, and my brother is still younger than me, so we’ll leave his age alone! Haha
Or whatever – he’s 41 today, I’ll be 44 in September. So there.
Anyway. Growing up, I was always pretty jealous of their joint birthday celebrations. This was especially true when my grandfather was around, as it was also his birthday, so there’d always be a big deal made for the whole thing. I thought for many years how cool it’d be to share a birthday with someone in my family. How nice it wuld be to celebrate together. I mean, celebrations are usually more fun with others, anyway, so I always believed it’d be essentially double the fun, if there were two of us being celebrated.
Add to that the fact that I was never in school for my birthday – that it instead fell at the end of summer so not only had I not seen my friends for months, but most of them were not around to celebrate with me, and then by the time school started up again, my special day was already old news. In contrast to the triple treat that was my brother, mother and grandfather’s birthday, my own often felt like kind of a lonely affair.
Or rather, I often felt kind of lonely, and that just added to the sensation.
When I got older, it obviously became less important, and by the time I was in my 20’s, the school year was no longer a factor. I’d party with my work friends and whoever else was around. Sometimes my birthday falls on the last long weekend of summer, which is great in a way, but also crappy because my now-adult friends are often out of town. But still, I have much better luck finding someone to go for a drink with me now than I ever had available to come to a party then.
For my 30th, I was away at a softball tournament, but didn’t get to play at all on my actual birthday. Just rode the bench the whole time. Kinda depressing. For 35, I remember being at my go-to bar and many of my friends were there, anyway, so it was pretty awesome. I posted 35 pictures from my 35th birthday on Facebook, if I recall. Good times. And there was one spectacular year wherein I attended my very first Jays game. My friend and, at the time, roomie, Guy had incredible seats right behind home plate, and when he found out it was not only my birthday but also my very first big league game, he went all out to give me the perfect ballpark experience. Hot dogs, peanuts in the shell, giant beer that gets warm too fast – it was perfection. I’ve been hooked on that ever since, too! #LetsGoBlueJays
I kind of stopped celebrating not long after that, though. At least, I stopped trying to plan anything for myself. It’s not like I need an occasion to go for a drink, after all. When 40 rolled around, I wanted to do something a little special, so I went to the zoo and then headed to Jungle Cat World the following day so I could pet an Arctic Wolf, feed blueberries to ring-tailed lemurs, and snuggle a baby skunk. My goal had been to pet a tiger, but I’d wait another few years for that mind-blowing experience! Still, of all the people who’d initially planned to be a part of either day with me, only one actually showed up. Which was good, because you need at least two in order to do the behind-the-scenes experience at JCW. I would have been gutted if I’d had to cancel due to lack of attendance.
That’s partly why I don’t really plan anything anymore, I think. It’s depressing when no one shows up, and as I get older, I prefer one-on-one time or small groups to big loud fiasco’s. So if the one doesn’t show up to the one-on-one, then it’s just me, anyway. And it’s both cheaper as well as less humiliating to drink at home with the cats and dog, you know? Haha
Besides, when I can’t spend it with the particular souls I most want to spend it with, it feels less like a celebration to me. It makes me more sad, usually, because the thing I want most from those few individuals is time. Good, quality time, just being ourselves. And when it can’t happen, part of me feels like I’m just not worth it, not the way they are to me. Or when it happens but not with the people I want – the rare people who like me for me, regardless of who that is at the time – I feel emptier inside. All of which is are silly little things, but they contribute to the sadness, regardless.
It really is much easier to focus on doing the things I want to do, and if those people can make it, too, great. But if not, I’m still just doing my thing. For me – lately, at least – that’s what celebrating my birth is all about.
Right now, I wouldn’t have it any other way.
Note: How narcissistic does one have to be to make a blog post about someone else’s birthday all about themselves, instead?