Saturday, 27 November 2010

Timing can be everything when it comes to birthdays

The first thing I have to make clear is that I don’t mind getting old. Yes, I’m a woman; yes, I’ve reached my thirties, but it still doesn’t bother me. Not all stereotypes are true, you know! I can’t see the problem with growing older; I like the idea of automatically gaining wisdom (at least being seen that way) and demanding respect (because I apparently earned it). I fully intend to grow old disgracefully, making use of all the perks (hmm, bus pass?) and making up for the sober years of my youth ... What are you laughing at?

Anyway, the passing of time is not the problem because, much like taxes (for some of us), it cannot be avoided. Besides, I can’t think of anything worse than living longer than necessary. It makes me picture some type of horrible Death Becomes Her nightmare with endless maintenance being necessary after bits start falling off. No, my issue lies with the manner in which the annual event is marked. Or, more specifically and selfishly, my annual event.

I’m convinced that things would be so different if I had been born in the middle of summer or even with the arrival of spring – doesn’t everything look better when trees are blooming and daffodils sprout? I can’t enjoy this benefit – I was born in the dead of winter. Those who know me will be aware that I hate winter. The sun and I are great friends. What use do I have for cold, wind, rain and snow? What delight can be found in leaving home in the darkness and coming home in the darkness? Apart from the benefits to muggers, burglars and similar members of the criminal fraternity, that is.

This is the backdrop to my birthday, the deepest darkest depths of winter when frigid misery is the order of the day – everyday – until the clocks change again. No one wants to celebrate in these conditions. Not only is the most basic journey a hassle, you certainly don’t want to go somewhere that makes you queue outside to get in.

Not only does the season make for a hateful birthday, but it is also right after New Year and, hence, very close to Christmas. This creates the phenomenon that many December- and January-born people will be aware of: the two-in-one present. What is that? We get the privilege of buying them separate gifts while they get to buy just one? This aint Nike; don’t do it! I know everyone’s broke after Christmas and New Year and, yet, I don’t care. I have to make the effort, so should everyone else.

I have a reason to be extra grumpy because I share my birthday with a sibling. No, not a twin, but exactly six years apart. My mum, bless her, always made an effort when we were children, even after all the hassle of Christmas and New Year, which included a cake that comprised half blue and half pink icing. I suspect that has something to do with my hatred of pink. I had only six years of being special, now I only get half the amount of birthday greetings.

Positive spin is an effort; right after the festive season, shared with my brother, a wondrous winter wonderland *sigh*. Yes, it's all so special. Gimme my two presents, dammit! And a whole cake. Read more by Shermaine.