I turned twenty this year. For many reasons, the weeks leading up to my birthday were filled with dread. “But Krystal,” you may say, “How could you have dreaded your birthday? After all, your birthday is theoretically the raddest of rad days! Weren’t you even a little excited?” Well you see, back when I was a naïve and ignorant youth much like yourself, I eagerly anticipated the annual celebration of my first breath of life. But now, being the wise and mature twenty-year-old that I am, I know better. Some scoff at my anti-birthday stance, calling me an attention whore and a negative bitch (actually verbatim). But I have my reasons. This one goes out to all the h8rz.
1. The drama. Oh, the drama!
Planning on spending time with friends? You’d better include literally everyone you’ve ever met, that is, unless you want to spend your entire day saying “Oh that? That was really last-minute and suuuper unorganized, otherwise of course you would have been there!!!!! As if my birthday would be even remotely enjoyable without you!!!” It doesn’t matter what you say. People will be offended.
Or maybe you’re hoping your friends have pooled their resources to get you something special for your big day, like an inflatable house or a jet pack. Nothing too big. Spoiler alert: You will be let down, and you will very likely spend your birthday crying in a bathroom stall. Please, set the bar low. I’m telling you.
2. “So. This is how you spend your birthday. Um, okay, loser.”
The inevitable disappointment that accompanies each birthday has taught me to aim for a mediocre day. The unfortunate side effect is that everyone else makes me feel unexciting and lame. When I get the “So what did you do for your birthday?!!?!?!?!” as I do every year, and when I respond with something along the lines of “Well, ya know, I saw some friends, and, uh … painted my nails, I guess,” I am never fully prepared for the level of nonverbal judging that follows. “Woooooow,” their eyes seem to say. “That’s how she spent her birthday? Well, a huge confidence boost for me, that’s for sure. I wonder if she even has any friends, or if she just made that part up. This is just sooooo sad.”
PLZ STOP I HAVE FRIENDZ U DON’T NO MY LIFE.
3. Wait… Twenty? No!!! I still watch Dragon Tales, for God’s sake! I don’t even know how to order coffee!!!
Laundry? Asparagus? Taxes? Thank-you notes? Hostess gifts?????? And I’m supposed to just do these things without being told? On my own???? I don’t remember asking for this.
4. Let’s count the number of people who couldn’t care less.
Facebook time! Let’s see whose birthday it is today… uh, who? Hmmm. Yeah, so I know it’s your birthday and everything, buttttttt… [Unfriend]
At least other peoples’ birthdays are good for something. Each day, that little red reminder in the upper right corner of my Facebook forces me to ask myself which “friends” I actually know. If it weren’t for birthdays, my list of Facebook friends would be overflowing with randos and 99% of my newsfeed would be completely irrelevant. On my birthday, however, not only do a few people unfriend me (NOOOOOOOOO!!!!), but also, every gesture of indifference is accompanied by an extra twinge of sadness. “The nerve of that driver! Doesn’t he know it’s my birthday?” I ask myself, before realizing, “Of course he doesn’t know. Most people don’t. In the scheme of things, my birthday doesn’t matter. And neither do I.”
NIHILISM. OHHHHH SHIT.
5. The clock is ticking.
But I haven’t been in a Mary-Kate and Ashley movie yet! Or been to Disneyworld!!! AND OH MY GOD I’M NOT EVEN TAGGED IN 1000 PICTURES ON FACEBOOK.
It’s as if I haven’t even begun to live.