Monday, June 25, 2012

C.O.M. Complains About: Birthdays

In high school my friends nick-named me C.O.M.  That stands for "Crotchety Old Man".  I know.  Clever.  But it was apt because every once in a while I get really crotchety.  The following is a crotchety post I wrote about birthdays:

I've been thinking a lot about birthdays and first birthday parties in particular.  Mostly because I was recently invited to one and I couldn't stop asking "Why would I go to a kid's first birthday party?"  Sometimes to another person, sometimes just to the wisdom of the universe.

It seems some people are willing to spend upwards of $5000 on a birthday party for an infant who can't walk or speak, never mind be able to remember how spoiled they were.  And even those who think $5000 is a bit much agree that you should still throw a birthday party of some kind for a one-year-old.

But it seems so silly!  Maybe because the child has no friends at that point, so it's not really a party for the kid but for the parents - so why not at least have a barbeque with meat and booze?  I think it's rude to force your adult friends to ooh and ahh over a baby and play Pin-The-Tail-On-The-Donkey and pretend to be super interested in dinosaurs or princesses or rainbows or whatever.  What they really want to be doing is eating a hot dog.

And like I mentioned earlier - it's not like the kid will remember it so it seems like kind of a waste.  I can attest to not remembering a SINGLE birthday celebration of mine until a few years ago.  Actually, that's a lie.  I do remember one birthday party as a kid when I ate too much fluorescent green and pink ice cream and threw up all over myself.

And that's the number one reason why I think birthdays in general are stupid.  Having a whole day where you focus on one person gives that person a big head - makes them think they can and should eat all the ice cream they want because "It's my birthday!"  Not to mention, getting all worked up and celebrating something that requires no more effort than simply not dying for a year is ridiculous and celebrates mediocrity.

If you're looking for an excuse for a party - just invite some people over.  Don't wait until the one day where your friends feel obligated to celebrate YOU.  Make it about friendship and fun instead, not passively growing older.

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