We demand the day of our birth as the “screw you it’s my birthday” annual celebration. Most people are so enamored with the concept that they will grant the birthday rite to anyone, solely, for fear that the denial will be reciprocated. The cause for celebration on birthdays are understandable for certain years. The celebration is not warranted because your birth was anything special but because years on this earth determines when a person is allowed to participate in certain social events. For instance, turning 16 is a big deal. You can get a driver’s licenses. Even if that means only being able to take your parents classic woody station wagon out for a few hours, celebrate.
On your 18th birthday, if you feel the need to purchase lottery tickets, cartons of cigarettes, move out, go to a strip club, gamble, or enlist in the military – celebrate away – life’s opportunities have expanded. On your 21st birthday, go out and get silly hammered. On that occasion, I’ll probably buy you a disgusting shot of some sort. I understand jubilation on days in which social restrictions are lifted. After 21 years of age, just shut up and turn old. Turning 30, who cares? Forty-years old, so what! 50, 60, 70? For normal people, the fact you have managed not to die doesn’t deserve a celebration. There are millions of old people. Save your candles and balloons. Birthdays are the only day when even undeserving jerks get people to go with them places, treat them like nobility, and pay for all of it. “You haven’t died yet, way to go tiger! Here’s an icing laden 10 lb red velvet cake in the shape of a donut.”
I don’t get it.
The last few years I have started sending my mother a ‘birthing gift’ to say thanks for squeezing me out of her lady-parts. I was breached and delivered in a military hospital in 1981, so my mother deserves at least a box of chocolates or something. On the day of my birth, I did nothing except make life more complicated for other people. I don’t understand why the ‘birthee’ gets celebrated for doing nothing. Every person (with the exception of my mother) I have explained my theory of ‘birthing gifts’ in lieu of birthday gifts has only stared at me with disgust or pretended they were deaf.
What if you had to earn the right to a birthday celebration and be deserving of the kindness and special attention? Obviously, there would have to be an International Birthday Police Force (IBPF) to ensure compliance. I imagine a typical IBPF officer’s day to go something like this:
IBPF OFFICER: “Hello. I am from the IBPF and I am here to inform you that your birthday has been canceled”
BIRTHDAY BOY: “But I…”
OFFICER: “Sorry sir, but you accomplished 0% of this year’s goals. You have added little to zero value to the world around you. Now, sir, right now! Hand over all your smiles, smirks, grins; any muscles on the face that make anything go up!
BIRTHDAY BOY: [whimpering] “It’s my birthday, what is going on? Give those baaaccckkkkkkkk!”
OFFICER: “Just doing my job sir. Now up against the wall and spread ‘em!...[BIRTHDAY BOY listens. OFFICER makes a swift kick to the birthday boy’s crutch. Perfectly pirate hooking his scrotum.]…Your birthday has been refused! Good Day, sir!”
Birthdays are weird.