Why Birthdays Are So Depressing

People are entitled to a few things on their birthday. They’re allowed to become a self-obsesssed monster (“It’s MY birthday!”), treat themselves to a decadent gift (in my case it was a designer backpack this year and no, I don’t want to talk about it), and lastly, they can end the night by getting too drunk and crying about getting older. I know that all of this might sound cliché but I’ve attended enough birthdays in the past few years to know that they all follow some sort of script.  The birthday girl/boy starts the night dressed to the nines in some amazing outfit making predictable comments about feeling old. We all laugh and commiserate with them because we maybe feel the same way too.  As the night wears on, however, their immaculate appearance begins to crumble as they drink more and more and start to reflect on the state of their life. Every grievance you’ve had over the last year is in HD on your birthday and you’ll start to feel bad about things you know you don’t really care about. It’s like a compulsion and obligation to assess every minute thing in your life. Eventually, the birthday boy/girl will resemble a smashed piece of birthday cake and have to be taken home by someone who will hopefully be giving them Birthday Sex later. Oh, speaking of which, that’s another thing you’re entitled to on your birthday. Someone MUST have sex with you. It’s the ultimate D.I.Y. present.

If you’re lucky enough to avoid this and have an amazing birthday, then you’ll take it as a good omen for the rest of the year. If it’s bad, however, it can send you deep down into a fugue and make you question everything—your job, your friends, your romantic life, and your terrifying future. A birthday sometimes feels like life’s way of tapping you on the shoulder and telling you, “Oh my god, you look amazing tonight!!!! But, hi, what the hell is going on with your life? Can I have some cake?””

I never thought I would become this person. I never thought I would be the type of guy who hated his birthday. Growing up, it was practically my favorite day of the year. For my 21st birthday, I think I had five different celebrations. But somewhere between then and now, birthdays became something I just wanted to forget. It’s not even about age so much as it’s about the pressure. Everyone is contacting you and making sure that you are having THE BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. Friends want you to go out and get crazy. “Come on, it’s your birthday! You have to go out!” Excuse me, why do you have to do anything on your birthday? Why isn’t it socially acceptable to spend it on your couch watching TV?

Another bummer thing about your birthday is the very real possibility of being disappointed. Even though you claim to have no interest, your birthday still has you by the balls. If someone important  forgets to call and wish you a happy birthday, you’re going to feel upset and then you’re going to be annoyed with yourself because you know it actually doesn’t matter. Someone doesn’t love you any less if they forget to call you on your ~~~SPECIAL DAY~~. You know this intellectually but your birthday has turned you into an emotional slightly insane person. “I don’t care about my birthday. I could care less but wait, why hasn’t my crush contacted me? And it’s 6:00PM and my parents haven’t called me yet. Am I seriously having a Sixteen Candles moment? Thank God I don’t care about my birthday because I would be really bummed right now if I did. I’m so happy that I’m immune to societal pressures and don’t care about my age or my future or anything for that mater! So very glad…”

The cherry on top of your droopy gluten-free vegan nightmare of a birthday cake has to be the fact that no one gives each other gifts anymore. Like at all. People attend birthday parties empty handed all of the time. I get that everyone is broke but I also get that I want a gift card to Bank Of America. Why doesn’t anyone else realize this? TC mark

Ryan O'Connell

I'm a brat.

Trace the scars life has left you. It will remind you that at one point, you fought for something. You believed.

“You are the only person who gets to decide if you are happy or not—do not put your happiness into the hands of other people. Do not make it contingent on their acceptance of you or their feelings for you. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if someone dislikes you or if someone doesn’t want to be with you. All that matters is that you are happy with the person you are becoming. All that matters is that you like yourself, that you are proud of what you are putting out into the world. You are in charge of your joy, of your worth. You get to be your own validation. Please don’t ever forget that.” — Bianca Sparacino

Excerpted from The Strength In Our Scars by Bianca Sparacino.

Read Here

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  • Belle

    I hate my birthday too.

  • http://twitter.com/just_franklin Jay Frank

    Time out. How many blogs are you going to write about your 25th birthday?

  • Natalie

    I tend to not give any fucks and stay home with a bucket of coffee ice cream and my tinychat friends. It’s my day, I’ll do what I want.

  • http://twitter.com/yanyun92 Lim Yan Yun

    the birthday song is too damn long. #curse of the awkward birthday introvert.

  • http://twitter.com/yanyun92 Lim Yan Yun

    the birthday song is too damn long. #curse of the awkward birthday introvert.

  • Anonymous

    Although I can’t vouch for my first few birthdays (I’ll check with my mom), I’m pretty sure all twenty two of them have been shit. 

  • Anonymous

    Although I can’t vouch for my first few birthdays (I’ll check with my mom), I’m pretty sure all twenty two of them have been shit. 

  • padface

    DON’T YOU DARE REGRET THAT MARC JACOBS BACKPACK RYAN. If you feel bad about it then how am I going to feel when I buy some Marc swag this payday (and a week before my own bday)??

    Seriously though I just use my birthday as an excuse to guilt all my friends into doing karaoke with me. Though this year I might change things up and get som laser quest up in dis bitch.

  • Melissa

    I heart you Ryan. My 30th birthday is in 2 days and this is totally how I feel. I am forcing myself to go with friends but all I really want to do is watch repeat episodes of The Office, swoon over Jim and order a cheese pizza all to myself. Perhaps we are just people who prefer to be on our own?

  • Guest

    nowadays birthdays just remember me that i’m getting old and i’m living exactly the same life i lived with 14 but with some friends loosed in the way, that usuaually make me feel sad, then I think in all the people I know of my age that are wasting their lifes with responsability and the thigns we are supposed to do (marriage, children, … ), then I feel happy of continue living like a 14 years old. xDD

    Note: just for laughts: In my last birthday i was phoned by 12 relatives (i count them, big family xD) and absolutly all of them ask me about why i dont have a serious girlfriend yet. Thank you for making me feel so happy!!

  • Redtwistedrose

    “Excuse me, why do you have to do anything on your birthday? Why isn’t it socially acceptable to spend it on your couch watching TV?”

    Exactly how I feel about birthdays.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1363230138 Michael Koh

    i’m sorry

  • Michael

    wait! you’re not usually a self-obsessed monster?

  • M+M

    thank god ur still with us. i thought u died.

  • chris

    “Another bummer thing about your birthday is the very real possibility of
    being disappointed. Even though you claim to have no interest, your
    birthday still has you by the balls.”

    Perfect. I actually dread my birthday for this reason.

  • http://twitter.com/catedeleon Cate de Leon

    Second to the last paragraph.  I’m actually relieved the moment my birthday is over.  Means I can stop expecting things to be special and just move on with life.

  • http://www.nosexcity.com NoSexCity

    Spent my last birthday hiding out at home in protest of everything above.

    … Still hated it. Can’t win.

  • Pauli

    And suddenly there’s more people that feel the same thing I do about birthdays ! :)

  • Sex Mahoney

    This warmed my bitter heart.

  • 25innyc2

    Oo, so what did you actually end up doing for your birthday in the city!?

  • sorrypetpeeve

    *couldn’t care less

  • sorrypetpeeve

    *couldn’t care less

    • Star

      Thank you. I think twice as many people get that wrong than the their/there/they’re mix up.

  • Pierrick

    hello !! it’s my birthday today & i laughed SO HARD reading you… Hilarious & very true !!!

    xo from France !

  • alax

    Greeks don’t celebrate birthdays. They celebrate name days, and everyone seems happier. 

  • alax

    Greeks don’t celebrate birthdays. They celebrate name days, and everyone seems happier. 

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