As of a few days ago, I have successfully traveled around the sun once more.
It’s a big deal, apparently.
Don’t get me wrong, I am pretty psyched that I was born, and that despite my talents for tripping on nothing and locking myself out of my apartment, I’ve managed to survive one more year. Also, I am a HUGE fan of other peoples’ birthdays, just, yeah…not so much my own.
This is a major issue, because I am one of those lucky individuals who has people in their life that like them, and therefore get excited about their birthdays. Fun fact: when you hide your birthday from these kind of people, they get mad. REALLY mad.
There’s something about the spotlight that I’ve just never been a fan of. Actually, there are a lot of things about the spotlight I’m rather uncomfortable with. Scratch that, I HATE spotlights.
That escalated quickly…
Spotlights are a million times worse on birthdays because they are expected and therefore justified. It’s unavoidable. We show love to other people on their birthdays by shining our spotlights on them or increasing the wattage of their spotlight’s bulb, or simply pushing them into every, single, freaking spotlight we can find.
Then there’s the dreaded, the inevitable, the actuallyprettycreepyifyouthinkaboutit: happy birthday song.
My friends and family are wonderful, and for some reason they all seem to like me, so naturally, on my birthday I am graced with various and increasingly unique renditions of this song.
I am grateful for this, because I am grateful for the people who perform it, but it never ceases to amaze me that a 15-20 second song can feel like an eternity.
Most recently, a good friend of mine decided to start singing to me at a public event, in a field full of people who then, you guessed it, also started singing.
Granted, having a field full of strangers sing to you is both humbling and heartwarming. You’ve got me there. My ever-depleting faith in humanity was restored just a tad. And yet, for those infinite 15-20 seconds, I was socially paralyzed.
It could be, perhaps, that my shoes were too tight. Or, it could be, perhaps that my head wasn’t screwed on just right. But most likely, it was because when this little ordeal happened it wasn’t actually my birthday anymore. It was only a few days later, sure, but even so. There was this nonsensical and overwhelming feeling of guilt.
You’re singing for me? Strangers are singing for me? This is madness. I don’t deserve this onslaught of positive attention, take it back.
It’s as if that momentary birthday spotlight was actually a communication stun gun. I didn’t know what to say, what to do, who to look at, what face to make…I was useless. Touched, truly, and embarrassed, naturally, but useless all the same.
There’s got to be a solution to this right? Someone, somewhere must know what to do with themselves while everyone in the room sings at them in unison about the fact that they were born once, right? I, like so many others, simply haven’t mastered the hidden art of gracefully moving through the Happy Birthday song. I can’t really be the only one who feels this way. Right? Right?
If the answer isn’t yes than lie to me, people. It’s my birthday. Kind of. Also, to all of you who did wish me a happy birthday in whatever way, thank you. My aversion to birthdays and extra attention and unexpected human interaction aside, you all make my life amazing.
See? I’m not an ungrateful gook, just and awkward one.
A very happy birthday/unbirthday to you all!
All of you aforementioned wonderful people can soooooo expect retaliation in the spotlightiest of ways when your birthdays come around.