1. The massive amounts of attention. If you aren’t a big fan of the spotlight (which I’m not), it’s never harder to avoid than on your day of birth. I’d imagine that winning the lottery is somewhat like a birthday, in the sense that folks come out of the woodwork to contact you. In addition, you’ll be repetitively hugging, handshaking and all that jazz throughout the entire day. As a kid I hated when older people would come up and pinch my cheeks or admire my awesome little kid-ness; a birthday is like 24 hours of straight cheek pinching attention. On the other hand, if you enjoy being in the limelight, there’s no better event.
2. It’s in August. Late August actually — which is typically around the time that school begins. Even when I want to go out to celebrate, many have to take it easy because of early classes the next morning. I can recall multiple times throughout my childhood in which the first day of school was literally on my birthday. If that ain’t poor timing, I don’t know what is. Side note: If you were born in December, I’m sorry. You’ve got it much worse. People are on tight budgets for holiday shopping, so they want to give you one cheap gift for both Christmas and your birthday. Also folks are too busy planning for holiday festivities to organize a party for little, old you.
3. Cake is overrated. As far as desserts go, cake is nowhere near my ideal selection. I love the concept of sweets at a celebration, but why not Snickers bars or bags of Skittles? Maybe it’s just me, but cake makes my throat dry and feels like eating a flavored sponge. Not to mention the fact that the icing is the most enjoyable aspect of it. I’d rather have chocolate bars, bags of candy, ice cream, pie, fruit snacks, hell — even muffins or granola bars sound more appetizing than cake.
4. It’s another reminder of my rapidly rising age. Unfortunately I’ve not yet learned to embrace growing up. With every year seems to come more responsibility, higher expectations and less cartoons. Eighteen was a great birthday because we became officially legal. We could smoke cigarettes if we so desired, and get tattoos without parental consent. After that it’s 21, which allows us the right to consume alcoholic beverages (which we had already been doing for years anyway) and throw our money into slot machines at casinos. Now, what’s there to look forward to? The fact is that after a certain point, birthdays are just leaning us closer to kissing our youth goodbye.
5. People will sing Happy Birthday, and I will be awkward and unsure what to do with myself. Am I supposed to smile while everybody sings? Or do I modestly laugh? Do I make eye contact with people individually, or glance by all of them? Would it be corny if I did that little orchestra conductor thing? Yeah, that’d be corny. Is the singing over with yet? No, no it’s not. It’s only just beginning. If somebody out there can provide me with proper etiquette for handling oneself during the singing of Happy Birthday, I’ll give you my entire birthday cake.