I fully recognize that some people hate birthdays. Maybe they don’t like the attention, they might hate cake, or they don’t like being reminded about getting older.
I am not one of those people.
I love celebrating birthdays, whether it is mine or someone else’s. I love the promise of a new year, the reflection of what has been learned over the last year (we really do become wiser with each passing year), and let’s be real – I like cake and free meals at restaurants.
Last week I asked my husband, “Do you know what tomorrow is?”
He paused a little too long and replied, “Yes. It’s Wednesday.”
“True – but what else?” I pressed.
Terry appeared to be thinking long and hard, dramatically racking his brain to figure out what the next day could possibly be, and frustrating me in the process.
“Well,” he said slowly. “It’s garbage day.”
“Arggghghgh,” was the only reply I was able to utter. Then he laughed, completely pleased with the way he answered a line of very intentional questioning. The next day was my birthday, but he wouldn’t give me the satisfaction of giving me the answer I wanted.
I spent the day working of course, but also making plans for the actual day of my birth. Boy, this would be fun…coffee with friends, a cupcake or two, a free meal, and even a few birthday wishes via Facebook.
Last year a few days after my birthday I told grandpa that I was continuing to celebrate. He didn’t seem to think that was strange, apparently he grew up with that kind of celebrating.
“You should celebrate all week,” he said. “That’s what my dad used to do.”
As times change, everything gets bigger and more ridiculous. I have friends who celebrate their birthdays for a month and I think they are rubbing off on me. I heard myself making comments about lengthening the one-day celebration, even telling someone that I spent the day before my birthday polishing my tiara. I talk big, but really, I was most looking forward my actual birth date.
On Birthday Eve I fell in to a deep sleep with visions of what type of cupcake I would get the next day and whether or not it would have sprinkles on it.
Hours later, as the night sky still held the color of a lump of coal, I heard a whispering in my ear.
“Happy Garage Day,” said a raspy voice laced with the sound of a smirk.
I met the greeting with an annoyed grunt – one: because it was too early for most humans to be awake, and two: because my husband thought he was smart.
His laughter bellowed through the room and then he said, “Happy Birthday,” before he headed to work.
I relayed this story to anyone who would listen and at the end of it I said, “He thinks he’s so funny.”
To which a friend replied, “They all do.”