The Birthday Dilemma

The-birthday-dilemma

Why do some people love birthdays and others just aren't that into them?

Sometimes I feel like I'm the only person I know who isn't crazy about birthdays. While it's partially that I'm not jazzed about turning 27 yesterday, it's not just about feeling old.

And it's not that I don't like attention. I'm a talker and a words of encouragement person; I obviously like some attention. I also really appreciate when people tell me happy birthday or text me on my birthday. It does make me feel really loved.

So then what is it?

I think that birthdays make me uncomfortable in the same way that bridal showers and baby showers make me uncomfortable -- and that's when I'm on both sides of those things. I don't like the social obligation factor, I think. When you're throwing a birthday party or a shower, people feel obligated to come, whether they're actually up for it or not.

Adult birthdays are slightly better because there isn't the awkward opening gifts in front of everyone factor. Gosh, that makes me so uncomfortable, again, both as the giver and the receiver. I don't like the innate feeling of comparison when gifts are opened in front of everyone. And the forced smiles when people go off the registry or buy something weird. 

This is all probably making me feel kind of Scrooge-y, but it's not that I hate babies or birthdays or marriages. I love celebrating all those things. I just don't like the social obligation factor or the comparison factor. What ends up happening for me (and what I did last night) is plan something super last minute so that people can just come if they're free and then be able to say that they have other plans if they're not up for it. Last night, I baked myself a cake but didn't want to eat all of it, so I had an impromptu tiny forks cake party at a local bar (The Rayback). I think tiny utensils are almost as cute as puppies, and these little ones made me super happy.

I hope that people didn't feel obligated to stay out later than they wanted to or come if they didn't have time. 

I just want it to feel more like a regular hang out that happens to be on my birthday than for it to feel like this big, important thing. I like simple. 

And maybe in overthinking all of this, I'm actually inconveniencing people more by doing something last minute. Maybe people prefer a good heads up. I'm not sure. What are your thoughts? Leave me a comment below.