It was my friend’s birthday yesterday. As usual, I didn’t realize it until he came up to me with a stretched out hand and said, “Today is my birthday. Wish me.” This rarely happens with me. My friends very well know I don’t care about birthdays and hence don’t bother to remember dates. My good friends don’t expect any wish from me and they move on as if nothing happened. My other category of friends (politically correct word for ‘bad’) know that I don’t remember their birthdays, and don’t remind me about it, but they still expect me to wish them, as if I will remember it all of a sudden.
Why is there an inherent assumption that you are good friends only if you remember each other’s important dates? I have never wished my best friend on her birthday. Does that mean I am not her friend? Knowing me, she doesn’t care – she just ignores this tiny incident (or the absence of it). Why is it so difficult for people to get this? If it is your birthday, you have all the right to celebrate your feat of burdening this world and its inhabitants with your existence. I might not appreciate it enough to participate in your celebrations. Okay? Good.
Why is it that every birthday comes attached with this custom of giving gifts? I hate it when someone gives me a gift. I am obligated to reciprocate and buy something equally aweful (if I can’t find something more awful) for them. Why not do away with this ritual? For all those who know me, if you give me a gift, don’t expect the same from me. I might not even remember about your gift the next day, forget remembering it till your birthday!
Another annoying thing is ‘treat’. ‘Treat me because it’s your birthday’. Either that or get loads of sweets so that your friends can gorge on it. This is being on the other side of the fence. Why do you assume I am celebrating this day and even if I am celebrating, what makes you think I want to include you in that?
Something which I was not aware of until recently: face painting. For ignorant people like me, face painting refers to that vulgar act of smearing the birthday boy’s (or girl’s) face with cream taken off the cake. This is the silliest of the lot. First off, it’s cream – it’s edible, don’t waste it. Think of all those people who don’t have a square meal in months and here you squander because you want to have fun. Secondly, these things shouldn’t be done in your workplace. Heard of the word professionalism? Bet you haven’t. Third point, of course, is to follow this ritual for every soul in your team. Ask the poor guy if he wants to celebrate his birthday at all?
Sun signs. They are side-effects of birthdays, right? What on earth can you find out about a person by knowing his/her sun sign? Oh you are a Taurian? oh good… we will get along well. You are a scorpion? I better stay away from you. This is more prevalent among the fair skinned species. I mean, give me a break! You choose friends depending on their sun signs?
With all these qualms I have, I cringe whenever someone asks me about my birthday. I have decided I am going to say ‘February 29’. Yeah, I thought of February 30th, but some people are actually smart enough to see through this trick. February 29th it is. That way, I have to endure only one fourth of this torture.