I love birthdays. I am 28 (almost 29) years old, and I, an adult woman, unironically like birthdays. I am like Michael Scott in The Office. (And seriously, if you forget mine, you WON'T be getting a birthday donut. So there, he was right.) But I hate birthdays. I hate having to worry about planning a thing and arranging this and arranging that and trying to figure out what I want to do, and I just want every August 29 to be reserved as a "oh, a plane descends from the sky and everyone I want to be there, joins me in like, some cool place, where we all have money for a day." And no one has to pay for anything and we can all just chill the fuck out.
NOW. This is not how the world works because this is not the goddamn Sims. Instead, people have lives, and careers, and other friends, and long weekends. "Not everyone can go to everyone's birthday — that would be insane," my friend told me when I was worried about having to miss somebody's we knew. And now, this year, my birthday falls on the Friday of the Labour Day weekend, and the amount of people who don't have plans is negative six. And why shouldn't they have plans? Do you know how bummed out I'd be if I'd booked a thing for the LAST LONG WEEKEND OF SUMMER and then somebody said, "Well . . . it's actually my birthday . . ." thus guilting me into sticking around? WE ARE GROWN UPS I would think. I PAY TAXES. WHY CAN'T I JUST TAKE YOU OUT FOR DINNER NEXT WEEK. WHAT DID YOU DO DURING SCHOOL WHEN EVERYONE WAS AWAY/AWAY?
Exactly. But still, there's this pressure. This birthday pressure comes from the fact that not only do I have to do something (which now is "going to the CNE with my best friend because she's never been and I want to eat junk food and re-enact the "XO" video"), but then I have to make sure it's something everybody else likes because who wants to be that GROWN-ASS WOMAN really excited to do a thing that everyone else is condemning? (WE ARE ADULTS.)
"They won't mind, though!" pals say (including me, to other friends freaking out about the same thing). "It's your birthday, who cares what they think!"
I do because LOOK. Time is precious, people. We are busy, motherfucking bosses. A free night? A free FRIDAY night? Whatever it is, this shit better be good. We better LAUGH, goddamn it. Most of my friends and I have stopped going out for dinner because sure, dinner is fun, but do you know what's more fun? Most other things that cost the price of dinner. ACTIVITIES are more fun, actually. Finding cool shit to do. The mall? Walking around, absolutely. And you go to a birthday, and you sit at a table, you shell out $40, and people are shouting across said table, and it is NOT the magical event we all hope for in our hearts JK JK JK I would rather just rent out a diner and eat a shit-ton of all-day breakfast. BUT, that is 30.
That's the other thing about 29th on the 29th: it's my "champagne birthday" which, sure! Great. Cool. But I don't really care? Maybe if I drank champagne, I would be stoked. But I don't, and also, I turn 30 next year. Can you imagine TWO "MY BIRTHDAY!!!!!" events, back-to-back? CAN YOU? No. No because we are friends and we like each other and you don't want to say out loud the things you are thinking, and I don't want to hear them. WHERE IS THE PLANE THAT WILL PICK US ALL UP AND TAKE US TO A CELEBRITY'S HOUSE.
That's all I want.
So yes: my birthday scares the shit out of me. Not because I'm afraid of getting older. Not because I'm afraid no one will show up. Not because of any other reason other than, can't we all just be cool? Like, if you're around, cool! If you're not, let's hang out because ABSOLUTELY I will milk the anniversary of my birth to hang out with people I like. I mean, why wouldn't I? Why wouldn't you? Why wouldn't all of us? All I know is that the last thing I want is to sit at a table for $40 while shouting about what we're all up to. Unless that's what you hear I'm doing next year, and in that case: man, I'm psyched!