5 Reasons I Hate My Birthday

If I’m fortunate enough to be alive on the 23rd day of August 2012, I’ll turn 24 years old. While I’m infinitely thankful for the time I have here on earth, I’ve never been a huge fan of birthdays – specifically, my own. Normally when I make this statement, I’m glared at as if I just said that I don’t find teacup pigs and dwarf bunnies cute, or I hate sunny days at the beach. It’s not that ludicrous of a declaration though, and perhaps my reasoning will help others understand it.

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. TC Mark

image – Andrea Slatter


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  • http://twitter.com/mbp817 Marc Phillips (@mbp817)

    I turn 22 today. I completely feel you. Especially the lack of friends being around aspect.

    • Olga

      : ) Happy Birthday

  • http://gravatar.com/thiboroo thiboroo

    I hate birthdays too. Mine is October 30th, so it’s always mandatory that (if I have a party) that it be a Halloween themed or a Halloween barhopping pregame… and then everyone is out anyway celebrating the holiday anyway. Nothing special. And why do I always have to dress up in a costume! NO. Why can’t I just have any regular old day and go out to dinner with all my friends instead?

    • #longhastags

      Thiboroo–I totally understand where you are coming from! Mine is on Halloween, but when I celebrated my 22nd birthday last year, it was completely different than my other ones. I had about 15 friends come to dinner on a Monday night, then a couple went out for drinks downtown. It was actually one of my favorite birthdays, because of the low key feel. It was fun in college to go to halloween parties and such to celebrate, but that gets old…very quickly.

      No birthday will be perfect, but it should be a good excuse to get your friends to celebrate and make some enjoyable memories. :)

    • justacomment

      My Birthday is on October 30th too! I feel your pain.

    • Sarah

      Totally feel the pain. I always tell people this and they are like, “Why woudn’t you want a Halloween party?” Wanna know why? Cause I want a freaking birthday party. Yes I’m selfish, I’d love a day to be about me.

  • http://twitter.com/ashley_anita Ashley Anita (@ashley_anita)

    Mine is over shadowed by Valentine’s Day/President’s Day weekend. People are always out of town or spending all their money on a significant other

  • http://ataraxiphilia.wordpress.com ataraxiphile

    Wow. Just. Wow.

  • erin

    i hear you on the late summer/early fall bday thing. mine is at the beginning of september and it has been on the first of school by far too many times to count, which for that very reason everyone would always forget. and as i got older it was around the time when all my friends would move away to go to school. dang. oh well though.

  • kevin

    3. Cake is overrated.
    Shut your whorish mouth.

    • ashes

      Hahahaha. I think I love you. Well said, sir.

    • Aly

      Hahaha! Win.

  • rachel

    feel glad that people sing for you and be touched. how about that. i felt that way a week ago :D
    just simply, enjoy it and appreciate it and feel appreciated.

  • Despair

    I’m an au pair, I’ll turn 21 on Monday.
    I live with happy-hippie-hypocrite creeps.
    Please, do feel sorry for myself.

  • Kami

    Thank you for acknowledging that my December 21 birthday absolutely sucks. No one else does. And although I’ve never noticed how awkward the singing is, you are absolutely right. I will make sure to take note next time and similarly have no clue how to react.

    • Casye

      Christmas Eve, here. It sucks majorly. I feel you, bro.

  • ash

    proud to have a birthday of december 23rd. bring on the holiday cheer.

  • checkyoself

    why I hate MY birthday

    #1) I don’t like the spotlight. – someone who just wrote a column all about himself for the most navel-gazey website in existence

    #2-5) More of MY opinions.

    • Shhhh

      Did you expect them to be your opinions? He’s not a mind reader.

      • checkyoself

        No I expected conceptual congruence on whether or not he likes the spotlight. Did you even read my comment?

      • SHHHH

        I sure did. Why did you expect that? We know from his last article that he’s a “guarded person”.

  • Ellipsis

    Born in summer? Expect your birthday to be forgotten!

    • Emma

      exactly! before facebook I think everyone forgot I even had a birthday.

      • Willemijn

        August 8th – everyone’s away on trips, including myself. And yeah, only your close friends remember. Oh well, saves us from the overload of attention.

    • beccablez

      Yup! I’m 24 today and no one who doesn’t use Facebook constantly knows it, plus I’m living in a new city. Also, I love cake, but I have no one to buy it for me.

  • Alyse

    My birthday is on St. Patrick’s Day, which was kind of cool as a kid, now that I’m legal to drink, I can never find anyone that doesn’t already have plans to get wasted somewhere else. This year I attempted a celebration at my regular pub- Willie McBride’s. FAIL FAIL FAIL.

  • Ella

    In 23 years, I haven’t had one single enjoyable or memorable birthday. Not even my 18th or 21st. I guess it’s because of the opposite of your reason #1 though, no-one has ever made a fuss or given me a lot of attention on my birthday, even as a child. Maybe after one year of this I would’ve had enough. Grass is always greener eh?

  • http://gravatar.com/yukiseki Emily

    I hear you on #2. My birthday is August 25, and I got lucky that this year it’s the first Saturday of the school year. Usually doesn’t pan out like that though ^^;

  • http://traveler6791.wordpress.com KelseySaysHi

    #4 has been on my mind since my past birthday last week. Turned 21, and it was more of a freak out than a celebration. The thought of “OH God, I’m getting OLD.” has been lurking over my head.

  • laura

    I read all your articles and I thought I loved you but then you said you didn’t like cake so my obsession is over

  • Amanda

    My birthday is August 25th, I’m turning 23 this year. My friends are all out of state and I’m scheduled to work. It’s the fucking worst.

  • guest

    We’re like, the same person except I’m a female and a couple years older than you. We should date. Or not.

  • lorne

    I’d have to say christmas is the worst birthday. I have a cousin born on dec 25th and I remember one year when I was younger I was like, ‘oh it’s your birthday?! I didn’t realize!’ He was like, ‘yeah, no one does.’
    yikes. sucks for you bro. happy with my completely stand alone april 30th.

  • Chelsea

    we share a birthday. you’re right, august 23 SUCKED cause it was always the first day of school. SUCKED. i feel your pain, bro.

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