Birthdays: How they are celebrated

Birthdays by Tom NashAn extra long post today, to make up for the recent inactivity. This time, we look at birthdays- cake, presents, attention… What’s not to like, eh?

There’s an uncountable number of ways people can choose to celebrate growing a year older. Some people jet off to warmer climes, some people hit the clubs. Here’s how some of the people you know do it:

The drinker
This is usually someone you’ve known since your schooldays. Since their birthday evolved from pass-the-parcel and jelly, their celebration has been an elongated drinking contest. It started that year in the park with cider and every year since you all turned eighteen, every aspect of every birthday has centred around booze.

One year it was a pub crawl, the next a night in the local, the year after that they hired that social club nearby that does pints for two pound. Maybe they even arranged a weekend away in another city; say Edinburgh, York or some other place that’s rich in history and culture… And you lot spent the whole time in Wetherspoons and Reflex, just like you do every other weekend…

The over-excited
This person is that super-insecure friend of yours that starts counting down the days till their birthday, most often on Facebook but more irritatingly in person, weeks in advance. This is done to ensure that everyone they know is aware, giving them plenty of time to buy cards, presents, free up their diary and/or post a generic birthday greeting on their wall on the actual day.

Through this behaviour, they also run the risk of becoming…

The anticipator
‘This year, my birthday is going to be the greatest, ever! I’ve invited everyone I know with plenty of notice, made enough food to feed them, spent a shit-ton on alcohol and decorated the whole house. It’s going to be the BEST NIGHT EVER!! You see, most people usually forget my birthday because it’s during the summer/around Christmas/no one likes me, but not this year- it’s going to be brilliant, I can feel it!’

Nothing ever goes to plan though, does it? This is reality, not a fucking fairytale. Which means, most of time, this person ends the night as…

The disappointed
Of course the night is a let down- it’s been built up so much in the person’s mind that, unless the whole evening plays out EXACTLY as the birthday boy or girl IMAGINED it would, they’re going to consider the entire exercise an unmitigated disaster. Even if everyone who does attend has a great time until the inevitable ego-stroking of their sulky host is obliged to start.

But if you let yourself get swept up in fantasy that easily, I’m going to hazard a guess that you’re probably not the most rational human being alive anyway.

The secret celebrator
This is that friend that you’ve known for years that reserves so little enthusiasm for the anniversary of their birth that through some form of apathetic osmosis, you completely forget when it is. You may be able to hold on to a rough memory of when it is (sometime in March? The end of March? Or is it early April…?), but unless you spot their better half posting something on Facebook on the actual day- you’ll never remember to wish them many happy returns. They don’t mind though… Or do they?

The theme clinger
That person that longs to recreate the unabashed joy of birthdays celebrated during their time at university by continuing to pick elaborately themed evenings… Well into their thirties. Once, the people invited would embark on costume making or purchasing with gusto, relishing the potential shenanigans that were bound to take place. Now? They have jobs, children and every other responsibility proper adults heap upon themselves… The ‘wacky’ theme the party-thrower thinks shows they are still zany and fun- despite all the relationship break-ups and career problems they’ve experienced recently- has become a chore and a time of the year their friends dread. Costume making is out of the question, as free time is limited and nobody is going to spend their weekend assembling a 70s themed outfit when they can grudgingly pay loads of cash to rent one that smells like balls…

The wallet drainer
Every year they plan some elaborate night out that will end with everyone who attended hundreds of pounds worse off and this stroppy attention-seeker whinging about people leaving early or listing who didn’t buy them a birthday drink, completely disregarding the fact that people are paying ten pounds a pint in some pokey club in a ‘trendy’ part of London where the local kids own more knives than shoes and every minute there brings them closer to being a crime statistic, just because it is what this self-aborbed fucker wanted to do…

Happy birthday!!