Some of you who are embarrassed and unfortunate enough to know me, know today is my birthday. Yes. I hate my birthday with a great passion. This dates back to very early on staring out of the window in my bedroom, bored, with nothing to do, wearing an aaran jumper. I really hated wearing aaran jumpers as a child and I couldn’t believe my mum had made me wear one, on today of all days (not today, literally, My mum no longer chooses my clothes)
I always felt because of the time of year, other people had much more fun birthdays than I, and in that sense, I always had a feeling of ‘missing out’. In the summer I’d jealously regard my brother’s barbeque in the back garden, when he and his long-haired friends (women) would frolic on mum and dad’s garden furniture drinking cans of Skol. Everyone looked like they were having so much fun. Contrast this with the pitying apologetic looks I would get when I asked people to come out for my birthday (when I was older, not as a child):
me: you coming out for my birthday we’re (insert amazing suggestion here to tempt people to come)?
them: “but it’s so close to Xmas and New Year”
me: “Admittedly yes. I can’t dispute that. It is still, however, my birthday and that I can’t change. I wish I could”
Them: “Oh I’m sorry I can’t come. I’m skint”
me (crestfallen): “Totally understandable”
…which it is. It is totally understandable. This, however, has led me to associate feelings of disappointment with my birthday. Like one of Pavlov’s dogs, I’ve been classically conditioned to feel a sense of doom and disappointment at the whole despicable day. I hate my birthday as it’s the one day of the year where I think I should feel special and the day should be full of aceness where people want to demonstrate how important I am to them, and every year I realise how untrue that is. Every year I get disappointed that only a select few reply to the ‘who’s coming out for my birthday?’ message, or say “I’m sorry I can’t” and don’t even say why (In my head I fantasise that they can’t bring themselves to say why as the only reason is they can’t be arsed) and when no cards reassuringly plop onto my poundstretcher mat.
I wonder whether other people feel this phenomenon? Or people don’t expect anything so they are never disappointed? Or only a handful of people go out for their birthday? I have to say, that if I know it’s someone’s birthday night out, I won’t miss it at all, as I know how much birthdays mean to people. I’ve had an e-mail just this moment saying that other people at one point have felt this, and then they gave up having expectations and just saw it as ‘another day’ and then the ‘birthday depression phenomenon’ was much less/ameliorated. This is a GOOD IDEA. Drop expectations on your birthday. It only really matters to YOU. Make it so it no longer matters to even you.
No I’m sorry Angel, I can’t come out for your birthday tonight. I’ve got some bells to drool at. Look, things are just so hectic around here, I’m just chocca with work stuff and I’m really skint after Xmas and new year. You know how it is. I told Pavlov we’d save up to go away at Easter. Yeah, we’re going to the Isle of Dogs or Labrador.
Let me share a text with you that I received from my ex boyfriend today
“Now then Dr (yes, he really does call me Dr!)I felt really depressed going back to work today after 2 weeks off and I remembered it was your birthday(I like the way ‘feeling depressed’ remind him of me). You must have your birthday on the most depressing day of the year (pretty much) and I won’t even mention the age! Anyway, have a great day (yes, I will, sitting and rocking with a bottle of vodka, and chaining marlboro reds, my body racking with sobs of anguish. Ta.Thanks for cheering me up)
Angel’s Birthday Status
Cards hand delivered: 3, one from The Cow, one from el parents and one from my secretary.
cards through post: 0
presents: 1 from my secretary. A key ring. I’m weeping as I write this, it’s so depressing. Sweet viscose tears. (I’m not really, so don’t get concerned. I was merely using hyperbole for comic effect. I’m such a naughty birthday scamp!)
Facebook messages: 11…hmm, not too bad. Ooh, now it’s 13. It’s like ‘Going Live!’ here.
Texts: 7, again, not too shabby (and I bet you’re thinking, “7? I get 800 on my birthday because I’m so attractive and populaire” well, stop showing off and pretending to be French. Jesus)
Trips to Imax cinema to see Avatar: 1. More than once in one day would be a bit much. Financially and time wise. I might start thinking I can talk to the trees and can hear my ancestors through the electrical wiring in the meter cupboard.
Minutes missed of film due to trains being cancelled: 10. This is why we take our cars everywhere, because we have a rubbish infrastructure that were daren’t rely on. (Is that a real word? It sounds old school. Like Jane Austen may have said it. “He was so handsome, I daren’t tear my eyes from his crotch”. Yeah, she would have said that)
Parking fees due to shit train system: £5.80. For fuck’s sake. This is why we try to take the shitty unreliable trains.
Anyway, it’s not all doom and gloom, before you go and run that bath and get the electric heater ready to throw in it. No, for yesterday I had a special birthday podcast made in my honour by Hans Klaussner, a friend of Sherby57, who also does the Gravyboat Podcast (please take a listen to it and follow them on twitter and Facebook, it’s very very good). To be honest, the podcast is a bit pervy, as is Hans’ way. However, how many people can boast special birthday podcasts? Not many! So here for your delight, is a special birthday podcast devoted to yours truly, which is very, very funny. In this podcast, Hans speculates about where I come from and what I am made of, as well as my parentage and he performs his impromptu rendition of ‘Das Naughty Kitty’ that you might have seen me mention on here or on twitter. Anyway, relax, fart into a glass, put your magnet on your laptop and enjoy.
Before I sign off, spare a thought for the poor bastards who have their birthday early January. They didn’t choose to be born then, and you have the power to make their day.