Bummed-out Birthday *

By Brian Figurski

Just recently I celebrated a birthday, and besides the normal melancholy ghost that follows me each year my hairline recedes, it got me wondering, what’s the point of celebrating?

Birthdays are supposedly that one day of the year that’s yours by default. It’s the day you are reminded of all the people who care about you enough to take five seconds out of their day and type a generic “happy birthday!!!!!” obligatory statement on your Facebook wall.

If it doesn’t have several exclamation points, it doesn’t count, either.

Your birthday is also the day your exes will send you a message and pretend your existence means a damn to them, when in reality if you were involved in a hit and run by an airplane the next day and died, they’d be dancing at your funeral.

The spoon-fed fairy tales of our childhood were a complete sham when real life sneaks upon us. Showered in gifts, parties and delectable cakes, we were led to believe this one day was a magical, special moment.

On the night of your 18th birthday, you woke up to your belongings on your parents lawn, along with a big fat grin voicelessly shouting, “welcome to the real world! Blow out your candles. Oh, that’s just your pile of black band shirts. Grow up and cut your hair.”

Just me on that one? I had a goth phase, my bad. It was really bad.

I’m well past 18 now, and the 21st birthday is a distant blur of shame and remorse, which is what is expected from you on your birthday – excessive amounts of alcohol, probably to drown your birthday blues with.

After you’re allowed into bars, it’s just what people come to think you’ll end up doing. Last Tuesday, all I heard was, “Happy birthday, bro! Let’s party it up tonight! Get drunk!”

Well, it’s a bleeping Tuesday. Life doesn’t stop. You don’t get the day off of work to nurse a hang over. It’s a poor excuse to skip class.

I propose the entire birthday celebration be undone with once and for all. I feel everyone would much rather be disappointed earlier in life than come your ‘special day’ expecting fireworks.

I feel great pity for those who expect royal treatment on their birthday, especially the snobs I am not even acquainted with.

If you are looking for hand-outs and cookies on your birthday from a complete stranger, I will go out of my way to ruin your day, most likely with a well-timed lethal protein fart.

Next year, I vow to remove my posted date of birth from all social networking sites. I don’t talk to 80 percent of the people on the Internet within those 365 days separating age milestones.

I really don’t need my Smartphone vibrating to the point of perpetual self-induced pleasure throughout the entire day.

Anyone whom I talk to can say happy birthday on their own free will without a little reminder, making a sweet little pick-me-up a simple two-button tap of the mouse.

So I bid you a good day and every day, with no day being any exponential amount wishfully better than any other. When it’s your birthday, I will be prompt to not acknowledge it.

If you get real upset about that, I guess we can go get you stupid drunk.