Birthdays. The perpetual anniversary of the day you popped out of your mother's womb, slimy and caked in fluid, wrinkled and crying. People rejoiced at the confirmed existence of an innocent, still ignorant to the ways of the world. Anti-abortionists can argue the point all they want, but you really aren't alive until you're born into that white room with the antiseptic walls, the forceps and the rubber gloves. The doctors snap the ambilical cord, wrap you in a blanket and proclaim another human being. Success! We have a girl, or a boy, or a future college dropout. A lawyer. A scientist. Today, we have a new life waiting to be wasted or fulfilled. And so we take once a year to celebrate.
The spectrum of celebration is a wide range, anything from gross inebriation to extravagant gifts and vacations on private islands. These blessed events, getting older but not always wiser, nearing death, feeling the desperate anxiety from a fear of running out of time. They are trivial in the greater scope, and have become nothing more than a clever excuse to buy greeting cards with witty punchlines. It makes me wonder about the origin of holidays in the first place. On birthdays you should have cake.
You should receive presents and people should sing. Personally, I enjoy cake on just about any occasion so it just makes me question why most celebrations neccesitate cake. It's delicious, but not expensive by any means, and it isn't hard to come by. You will never hear of anyone going out of their way to procure a yellow cake with vanilla frosting. This fact alone, in my opinion, is really counter-produtive to a "special occasion." A memorable experience. One night I want to turn to a friend and say "Hey, it's Thursday. Let's have some cake." Or maybe I'll say "Happy birthday, here's a can of sardines."
My birthday this year has come and gone. I feel as though after you surpass your teenage years, birthdays are just anti-climactic. Chances are you aren't having a Spiderman theme party, going bowling, or playing pin-the-tail-on-the donkey. Frankly, you're just getting old. Somehow we've managed to commericalize everything.
Don't get me wrong, I still believe in the hope that is offered by these mindless celebrations, a valid reason to overeat and drink too much hard liquor. You wake up on a Wednesday morning with a migraine and tell people "It was my birthday." It makes us human, real and flawed. Absolutely sub-par insane, it makes us normal for wanting to be belligerent throughout the 24-hour span of a birthday. The day when people call at 12:01am and feel special, like some bizarre pecking order where they are moving ahead for promptness. Let's skip the facade. It's another day, another year, another party with cake, feigned enjoyment and helium-filled balloons.
Birthdays. All for the love of wax candles and wrapping paper.