I’m not really a holiday person. I don’t look forward to them, I don’t post statuses about them, and I barely text my friends and family the obligatory seasonal greeting. This isn’t to say I hate them. Like most person with a 9-to-5, I latch onto any excuse to not be at work; if I didn’t have a problem with organized religion, I’d adopt Judaism or Islam to get more days off!
I can appreciate other people’s holiday happiness. For my husband, Halloween is a high holy day. Much like a basic bitch’s approach to Christmas, Lawrence gets in the spirit—ahaha—three months too early. The minute Independence Day is over, he’s ready for skulls, pumpkins, and fallen leaves.
I don’t have a day like that. I like the big three—not to be confused with the Big Three from This Is Us—because I like having a reason to decorate my house and cook a meal for the people I care about. If that were all it took to define my favorite holiday, then I’d probably pick Thanksgiving. But considering I call it Food Appreciation Day because the thankfulness aspect has been outshone by the gluttony, I don’t find myself rushing to cover my home in cornucopia and pilgrim turkeys.
Show of hands: how many of you are thinking about Martin Luther King, Jr. or presidents or veterans on their respective days? That’s what I thought.
This is, of course, selfish and conceited. And that is exactly the damn point! Your birthday is the one day a year when you are allowed to actively demand attention. Plus, you get the good parts of Food Appreciation Day (food) and Christmas (presents) with the joy of knowing that it’s ALL. FOR. YOU. *cue Janet Jackson*
I know for some, birthdays equate to ignored Facebook reminders about how that one guy you knew for five minutes in high school was born some amount of decades ago. I know plenty of people who hate their birthday; one of my closest friends hates it so much that I’ve now forgotten what day it actually is because my subconscious knows to avoid it at all costs. (All I remember is that she was born in June.) And that’s okay.
But to me, my name day—to use A Song of Ice and Fire/Game of Thrones nomenclature—is more than just a date marking when I emerged onto this slimy rock shooting through space. It’s the TRUE New Year’s Day. It’s a time to reflect on how I stack up against who I was on my last birthday. I can see where I’m at, where I’m going, and if any of that needs to change. It’s the most natural time to take stock.
And did I mention that you’re allowed to demand attention? I spend so much of my time thinking about others, catering to their needs, giving them advice when they keep doing the shit I told them to stop doing the week before—I’m the ethnic mom that none of my friends have but desperately need. This makes my birthday the time for this mama to get appreciation for all of that effort.
For the whole month leading up to it, I declare that calories don’t count so I can eat whatever I want in pre-celebration. I take the day off if I can afford it. I bask in the compulsory Facebook posts from people I only talk to when they make said posts. I wager on whether my dad will remember to call or text me, since he forgot about my 21st birthday.
I love it. And you can’t stop me.
Now, remember to mark your calendars: January 30. And if you want to throw in some extra effort to your well wishing, wait till 3:58 P.M.—the official time of my Earthly arrival.