Of people who don’t like to celebrate their birthdays


Spare a thought for people who don’t like to celebrate their birthdays. And that’s quite a lot of people, actually.

I’m not talking here about children and teenagers, who get all excited about receiving presents and having friends over. I mean people who don’t like all the attention or to be reminded that they are not getting any younger. There are many of them about, although they often keep it to themselves not to upset others. I actually know some people, who get so depressed on their birthdays that they go into hiding – or get so drunk that they simply pass out.

You won’t believe how these people suffer when their birthdays arrive! They shudder every time the phone rings and some distant relative or a supposed friend who hasn’t called for a year would wish them many happy returns of the day – in a sugary, insincere voice, showering them with praise. And others would call, wishing silly things that they don’t really mean and saying that they actually did buy a present but had had no time to send it over so they would bring it over at some point later. And they never do, of course.

And birthday cards arrive, most of them really bad, especially the ones with the text already typed in or with silly tunes playing when you open them. Or, if the card comes from someone who thinks that he or she has a sense of humour, it would be one of those humorous ones, about farting or getting smashed. It’s remarkable really how many greeting cards these days are made by people who think that the mention of breaking wind or getting plastered lifts the mood and sounds absolutely hilarious. Idiots!

But the worst test of all is when people come over to wish many happy returns in person. That can be really tough. Some old aunt or uncle, who thinks that you are still at school, would be asking stupid questions and drinking his or her tea forever. Why or why, you would think, do you have to suffer so much on your own birthday? Who came up with this stupid idea of having birthdays in the first place?

The most bizarre thing of all is that some people are prepared to go to extremes to congratulate others on their ‘big day’, yet throughout the rest of the year they would show no affection or interest. No sign of life for 364 days and then, suddenly, an outburst of emotion. Why do they feel so obliged to call and wish many happy returns of the day? Or, even worse, to come over in person?

And what torture it is for people, who don’t like to celebrate their birthdays, when they are forced to do it for different reasons beyond their control. Like when their relatives and close friends know the date and would come over anyway, whether invited or not. All that stocking of alcohol and food that would be wiped out in minutes, or sitting in some crappy eatery, watching your guest get drunk and stuff themselves with food, quickly forgetting why they’d gathered there in the first place.

The same thing often happens at weddings and funerals. Actually funerals attract lots of people who often never even met the deceased, but come anyway because of the free food and drinks and no need to bring presents. Some people come to weddings and funerals because they think it’s a great opportunity to meet new people – for friendship and more, as they say.

Anyway, what can you do about your birthdays, if you don’t like to celebrate them? Well, it’s probably a good idea to keep the date secret from as many people as possible, or give confusing information to everyone about the ‘big day’. It would help avoid all that humiliation and suffering. Otherwise, you’ll just have to go through all that torment and hope the day passes quickly.