I Hate Birthdays

Continuing with the theme of weird things about me that could possibly point to some psychological conditions – I hate birthdays. Rest assured that it’s not my birthday. I wanted to write this on my birthday, but instead I waited some amount of time so that no one would know when it is.

Yeah, that’s right. I don’t tell people when my birthday is. My family knows, since they were intimately involved in the event we’re supposed to celebrate, but very few of my friends know. Kristen bribed me by making me a really cool clay rock for my fish tank, so I told her. The only two friends who called were Nicole and Nick, both of which I would have thought would never call. I’ve seen Nicole once in the past two years, and Nick has been in Pennsylvania for quite some time.

I don’t know exactly what it is about birthdays. I just don’t like people making a big deal out of it. I hate getting birthday presents (along with Christmas presents), and I hate it when people wish me a happy birthday. All these family members and Nick and Nicole called, and I ignored all of their calls. I didn’t call them back either.

What’s really peculiar is that I think that making a big deal out of me is a fantastic idea. If anyone wants to call me up today and tell me how glad they are that I’m alive, I fully support that. I would love to have that conversation with you. But if you call on my birthday I will probably ignore the call.

Part of it is the presents. The thought that somebody went out and bought me something out of obligation really kills me. I hate buying presents like that. If someone sees something that is great for me and buys it and gives it to me randomly, I am overjoyed. JLaix gave me a cool lighter from Spain and that made me happy. Acually, my friends and I give each other things pretty often and it’s a good thing. I just hate that obligation. I also never get people presents on their birthday because I feel like the whole transaction is insulting to everyone.

I’ve finally convinced everyone not to get me Christmas presents, so it’s now my favorite holiday. I love going to Boston and visiting my whole family and spending time with them. I even like the Yankee swap because it’s a game. But back when they used to get me presents I would sometimes sneak away to go upstairs and cry. I just felt awful that people bought me things.

Even this most recent birthday, I was depressed. I never get depressed. I moped around the house and didn’t do anything. At night I took a long walk around my neighborhood because that usually cheers me up. I couldn’t wait to go to sleep and have a new day.

It’s not that I don’t want to get older either. I’m 25 now, which means that I get to rent cars at a reasonable price. I don’t know how exciting that is or isn’t to everyone else, but I’m very excited about the whole thing.

Anyway, that’s enough of this rant. Hayden heard it all on the phone and suggested I write about it, which I thought was a good idea. The point is that if you know my birthday, then please act like you don’t when it comes around. If you don’t know, don’t try to find out. If you want to buy me a present, go for it, but don’t give me a birthday present. If you throw me a surprise party within two weeks of my birthday I will wrassle your livestock.

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32 comments

  1. I’m right there with you on the presents thing. I’m not exactly without means, you know? If there’s something I want, I’ll go buy it myself. Therefore, anything you give me will either be something I already have, or something I don’t even want. I don’t particularly care for things I can’t use, so if it’s a gift that will just take up space, keep it to yourself.

    That’s not the worst part. The worst part is trying to fake excitement in a present I really don’t care for. When I was a teenager, I wanted a keyboard really bad. I was specific, though: I don’t want this crappy keyboard with 496 crappy tones. I’d rather have a nice one with 8 nice instruments. Guess which one I got?

    I’d rather get nothing than a bad present. I’m such a bad liar, everyone can tell when I don’t like it. And then the giver is resentful, like it’s *my* fault that they have crappy taste.

    My mother is getting pretty good though. She’ll find things I don’t know I want. One year she gave me a really nice desk chair, when I had been using a cheap CostCo chair. It didn’t occur to me that a nice chair would matter all that much to me.

    Even then, though, I’d prefer not to get it on a special occasion. You want to get me a present? Fine, but don’t wait for Christmas or my birthday or whatever. What message does waiting send? “I like you enough to get you this, but the holiday is more important.” The whole thing is ridiculous.

  2. I agree with both of you. In fact, I make a concious effort to not remember anyone’s birthday.

    I don’t know when my parents were born, but I still call them so they don’t act upset. Of course, someone has to remind me.

    I don’t get excited about Christmas or New Year’s or my own birthday. It’s just another day as far as I’m concerned. It seems so arbitrary based on the orbit of the earth and some dude who died 2000 years ago.

    I think someone needs to throw Tynan an anti-surprise party. Get him all worked up on his birthday and drop hints that there’s going to be a party… Then let it all fizzle out when nothing happens 🙂

  3. My B way was last week, like you I ignore it and I teached my friends to act the same. So when I found out they had installed a 300 wat audio sistem in my car I was floored, great gift and totall suprise. What was awesome i sthat everyone contributed, and everyone cooperated to get my car 2 days before, to collect the money (they dont hawe much) and to install it. Best B day in my life cos I found out that they all card enough to cooperate and invest 2 days in it to make it work.

  4. I was born Dec 23rd so my birthday is basically on Christmas. I hate birthdays because they are awkward. People sitting around all staring at me makes me feel weird. I finally got it so my birthday only lasts about 15 minutes.

    As for people buying gifts… If they didnt want to buy something they wouldnt. Well If I dont want to buy something I dont. It isnt nice to be rude and ignore calls when they are trying to be nice and wish you a happy birthday.

    Anyways, Happy Birthday Tynan… Whenever it was 😉

  5. I love birthdays, mine and other peoples.

    I bet the only reason you hate birthdays is because you saw the episode of Blossom where she’s in a really bad mood but you don’t know why until the end and then you find out it’s her birthday and she hates getting older.

    Or maybe you are Blossom. I used to have the biggest crush on her. Every so often I google Mayim Bialik and find out how she’s getting on.

    My birthday is 29 October, in case you want to call me up. This puts it early in the university term (semester) here and in my first year lots of people came to my birthday who I didn’t know. In fact, my whole group of friends was different by the end of the year so I organised another birthday in April. I nearly got away with it, especially since there was another Magnus in our year group… but I was rumbled at the last minute.

    I like to make my birthday last a good week. Because I have about fifty different groups of friends, it’s easy. So when I was working a 9-5 I’d have a Friday lunch with my colleagues, and I’ll have a sunday lunch with my family, a Friday night out with my community friends and a couple of nights out in the week with other groups of friends.

    Maybe I’ll start celebrating half years too. My friend had a 10,000th day party recently.

  6. I don’t advertise the birthdate, but neither am I upset if people want to celebrate it. I just downplay the importance by pointing out the arbitrariness of it. Last month I sarcastically told my friend, ‘Congratulations on your 23rd successful rotation around the sun! Woohoo!’

    I usually buy books for birthdays. They’re inexpensive yet always make good gifts because of their remarkable shelf life.

    Tynan, if you’re opposed to unchosen obligations, do you tip at restaurants? I tip because I’m a baller, but my grandfather was against it for similar reasons as your position against birthdays. Just curious.

  7. I have amazing powers! One of which, happens to be the power to make your lips ooze truth! ie… dates and such.

    Ew. I hate the word ooze. However, I love the word uzi. Which is what I threatened you with when demanding to know the date of your birth! *shooting noises*

    Hey, what are we doing this weekend? I think we should go to the student directed Act One plays in the black box theater on Friday night! I guess I should call you later about it though, I just figured this way neither of us could forget.

  8. Satanists regard one’s birthday as the most holy day of the year. Shemhemforash! Hail Satan!

    -jlaix

  9. I use my birthday as an excuse to gather up all my friends, get drunk, and cause havoc somewhere more upmarket than we usually do.

    Something kooky to do, too, is put restrictions on what people are to give you for a birthday so people get creative. Last year I announced that all presents to be given to me -had- to be made and not bought, and I got some awesome random stuff. This years £1 present rule was okay too.

  10. I am glad I am not the only one who hates birthdays! Its my eighteenth next month, and my family and friends can’t seem to understand why on earth I wouldn’t want to celebrate it, the idea seems foreign to them.
    I refuse to give out my exact birthdate, rather saying, ” sometime in novemember”. I am not trying to appear mysterious in this at all, I just would like the day to pass. I don’t want any fuss, like others have said, where you have to smile warmily and lie through your teeth about how green spotty socks is Exactly what you wanted. I would rather people donate the money they would spend on me to a charity or some other good cause. I hadn’t thought of the idea of obligation reagarding birthdays before, but now I think of it, I agree.
    My family has press-ganged me into a family diner somewhere this year, god help me.They ignored my request that its forgotten sadly. Luckily none of my friends can remember the date! Here’s to a quiet day!
    Oh and Joesep, your comment on ” cpngratulations on your 23rd succesful rotation around the sun. WooHoo!” Made me laugh, I really need to remember that one! Lol.

  11. Well, my birthday today. 47. Who cares? I gave up having a “Happy Birthday” when I was around 10. Ever since i tell everyone to leave me alone, don’t buy me anything and for some reason they just don’t get it. Same with christmas….. So here it is today, they ask why I look pissed or mad. Gee, dunno. Could be everyone going out of their way to wish me the happy birthday. I have said again and again, if you want me to have a happy birthday, then just leave me alone! I never get that gift.

    So I have to deal with crap that I don’t want.

  12. I agree. I hate birthdays. Its my birthday today, I’m 22. I googled ‘i get disappointed on my birthday’ to see what came up, because once again my mum and dad have successfully managed to make me feel completely miserable on my birthday.
    Quite simply with presents! I hate presents! Very rarely do you receive a present that you actually like. I’d rather do with out! This sounds terribly ungrateful, but I’d honestly rather have the cash or nothing at all then be disappointed year after year. Its gut wrenching and heart breaking knowing that I’m either gonna have to accept shit presents and never use them or I’m gonna have to seem like an ungrateful prick and ask to exchange them! This year I got a push bike (i’d purposely made a point of saying i didn’t want them to buy me a bike because i would never use it), an oversized tshirt (year after year my mum seems to like to buy L when all I need is M) and a shitty little mug that reads something about ‘another day, another disaster’ ironic really as its pretty much what the mug has made my day.. a disaster. Oh great.. another mug.
    Its always the same, year after year, since I was little. They would either get me something i didnt want at all, or something close to what i actually did want. I hate birthdays and cannot wait for this one to be over!

  13. At last someone who agrees with me. I don’t hate other peoples birthdays, I’ll wish them happy birthday send a card or something or is a close friend/ family get them something. I even quite enjoy doing that. But mine… I’d rather it went unnoticed. It’s not getting older. I feel ancient anyway. it’s the fuss. I don’t like the attention. Unfortunately my mother is one of those people who like to make a fuss of these things, and even after all these years I can’t escape it.

  14. Nice article.. i agree with u with most of it bt then birthdays r special.. No wonder people make a big deal out of it.. And i would also love a random present or somethng lyk dat than a birthday present.. Truee.. :))

  15. I agree that I hate birthdays as well. I never want them celebrated or acknowledge. My birthday was a few weeks ago and my boss sent an email to everyone . Let’s just say. I was furious I took my crap and found an empty workstation on another floor, shut off my email, and basically spent the day all pissed off. I also received several cards which will sit unopened in a drawer. Honestly, just write happy birthday on a five dollar bill instead of spending it on a stupid card

  16. Guys, I hate birthdays too. Today is my birthday and I’m ignoring everyone. What makes it worse is when people or friends who never call you to hang out or to see how your doing call you to say happy birthday. It’s such bullshit! The worse thing about this year is that my father went on a trip out of the country. Before he left he basically let me know that all the effort I’ve been putting into a business venture would be for nothing and that he believed I would fail. I was very upset and told him not to speak to me and since then I haven’t spoken to him until last night when he called me to say guess what… “Happy Birthday! I’m proud of you!” Which to me is bullshit because he has told me explicitly that he is not proud of me in the past. I know for a fact he’s calling because a) He feels obligated to do so… and b) He thinks that saying he’s proud of me on my birthday will make up for all the times he’s said otherwise. Disgusting! Don’t get me wrong, I love my father very much, but I find it very sad that people will treat you differently on your birthday than the way they would treat you on any other day. You want to show someone your happy they are alive for another year? Let them know a handfull of the other 364 days of the year and it might actually mean something!

  17. So I’ve been dating this guy almost a yr now…he’s kind of a hippie…so his way of thinking is diff. Than most.
    And I love that about him.
    But. While we were away for his bff bday trip last wkend he really gets it across that he doesn’t want me to do anything for his “birthdy”. So I asked if I cld just make him dinner one day…totally he says.
    So today I text him. Just being playful.
    When I fnd out he didn’t want any bday celebrations. Fine. We cld stay in and hang out all wkend. But I made some flirty jokes. Being a good gf. And thought we cld take that route…nope. he wasn’t having any of it. Which is fine….but a cpl wks ago I bought him some new jeans and a belt. I had planned on not wrapping it up already. Just kind of leaving it out casually. If it can be……….but now that its so close..and he’s gotten more serious about my not doing anything for him.
    I’m worried he might even be offended no matter how I get it to him.
    Maybe I cld lv them in his laundry basket at the end of the wkend. B4 I lv…then its not his bday……I just don’t know.. I wanna respect his wishes…but he really needs new jeans..and there must be a way to give them without offending….especially cause it seems like he’s been hurt. Not just that he doesn’t believe….HELP!! Please.

  18. I agree with everyone! Christmas birthdays suck. Maybe thats why I hate christmas so much. Everyone is so focused on christmas,they don,t give qa hoot about me. Too make matters just as bad ;my poor daughters birthday is on New Years Day!I hate christmas!!!!

  19. I still don’t really know why someone would not appreciate the Happy Birthday…if someone says it ..It is because they care enough to think of you..If you never had a birthday you would not exsist.. I told a guy once and his response was…that sucks. wow. I made him feel like he was older or something and he made me feel like I was horrible for doing it!

  20. Birthday is in four days. Everyone knows that I don’t like my birthday celebrated because Feb (to me) is like a death month. Two people I loved very much died in this month years ago. One on valentine’s day and the other 3 days later. The memories and scars out-shadow the celebratory mood a birthday is supposed to bring.
    But morons at work insist that they know what’s right for me and keep wanting to give me stuff and wish me a happy birthday. I’ve told them why I don’t like my birthday celebrated but it’s like they don’t listen. I’ve told them over and over to just treat it like any other day and leave me alone. It’s like talking to a fucking wall. This year I’m 50. A “milestone” that should be celebrated otherwise, I’m not “normal”. Having grown up in NYC, I don’t really give a shit what people think about me or their warped views on being “normal”. People should respect others viewpoints and not try to judge, change or force their opinions on someone else. There are reasons why people react in certain ways. Life experiences have molded them that way. If you really care for someone or are a real friend, then you’re sensitive to the other person’s needs and respect them. Just because you have happy birthday’s doesn’t mean everyone should follow your views or moods. Enjoy yours but respect mine and leave me the fuck alone.

  21. heyy,,hieee,,read ur blog n u knw i couldn’t agree more, dnt knw y d heck ppl mke bid deal out f birthdys,,evn i dnt like it,,ol dat “makin u feel special” nonsense as if dats d only day 1 z supposed 2 feel special,,wtf.
    i feel rather embarrased n awkward kinda wen ppl wish me “happy b’day”,,sayin ol dat thnku’s smilin wdout a rzn,,god its soo fake. n moreovr ppl who like havn’t seen u or talked 2 u in years will call u up n wish,,i mean y y y,,y dis sudden vibe f frnliness,,jst cz its b’day,,huhh!! 

  22. Rather self entered approach to “gift giving” – special gifts on special days are no better nor worse that random gifts on random days – rather gifts are quite neutral! The people who give them are not, and their reasons are as varied as your arguments for hating your birthday. Who made you “king” to decide certain days are not worthy of gift giving, and even worse that gifts on birthdays must have been given obligatorily! This truly reflects who YOU ARE not who the gift giver is. It reflects YOUR inner false motives for being generous, kind, thoughtful, concerned…. the litany can go on. Look in the mirror next time such negative subversive ideas emanate from your thinking and you’ll certainly see the reflection of yourself and your motivations in life, not of those around you..

  23. I despise brithdays so BAD. I also hate that people try to act all nice and that they care and whatnot.. Whenever i blow those candles with tears almost ready to drop from my eyelids, they only thing that passes through my mind is ”one more year, one step closer to death”. I bet it has to do with all this hateful emotions i have going on against my own psyche and the fact that i wish i was forever young…..weird really.

  24. i could’nt agree more with you..and i really hate it when people around me act all enthusiastic..it really pisses me off..i dont get it..i wish i could just make everyone forget my birhtday once and for all…that would be the greatest gift ever!! ;D

  25. How do you convince people that you really ‘REALLY’ don’t want presents for your Birthday & Christmas. This year when I got the usual question from my Mom “what do you want for your birthday” I answered “toilet paper, at least I will use it” & on my birthday I got toilet paper……& wet wipes, heat pads, cold packs, q tips, cough medicine, toothpaste, shower gel, shaving cream etc etc etc…….I reckon the whole ‘present’ was worth $100.

    It is as if my parents feel that they must spend a certain amount of money to show they love me.

  26. I don’t like my birthday either, probably cause I don’t have friends that care, that has affected me the most. But I don’t really like to stay home all day so I worked last year on my birthday, I would even want to work the whole day and come home sleep and go to the next day. I don’t need anything from anyone, the only thing I’d like is just that they act like normal, not special out of nowhere cause it’s my birthday.
    I just don’t want a birthday anymore, I want my birthday to be just another regular day.

  27. Good to see that I’m not the only one. Every year, when my birthday come i disappear for a couple of days, I’ve already told everyone that it would be nice if they don’t make a big deal out of it but they do no matter what…. I think I’ll never get the birthday fever…

  28. Its my birthday in a few days, and i really don’t feel like celebrating.. i had this feeling last year too.. i just don’t want that unnecessary attention.. relatives calling up.. and wishing u.. and then horrible silence on the phone, nothing else to talk..unnecessary surprise parties.. unnecessary people in surprise parties !! 😀 and i hate it when people gift u show-pieces! wat do I do wid dat! arrgggh!

    All I cud do was hide my birth date on facebook.. dats not really going to help.. but still.. then therez watsapp! ugghh…

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