On Birthdays: Because We Deserve to Feel Special (At Least Once Every Year)

I can’t be the only person on earth who thinks that it’s weird how each of us is too much familiar with a single date, right? If you’re around 20 years old, my closest estimate is that you have put that day-month-year sequence at least a hundred times—on your university applications, visa sheets, identity card form, phone card registration, magazine subscription, online orders, bookstore membership, bank account requests, and the endless list goes on.

Many people indeed use their birthdates as passwords, door sign decorations, or pretentiously engraved on their classic iPods. It appears very natural that we feel so connected with that set of numbers that people don’t really put into account that it is an interesting issue how it’s almost as if there’s an automated machine in our head that tells our hands to write a certain date (in my case it’s January 25th, 1992) everytime we see the word ‘birthdate’ on a sheet of paper.
Frankly speaking, when I actually arrived on that day of the year—four days ago, to be exact—to actually live and experience January 25th, is something funny enough for me to think about on a yearly basis.

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This imagined association with the date eventually grows into something bigger—horoscope-based personalities and lucky shios, for instance. I’m a fan of neither but sometimes I find it charming how such patterns do exist around us (and can actually be justified if you can just close your ears tightly against counterarguments).

By the way, those paragraphs are in fact just an irrelevant prelude to my actual points (which are just as useless) on the functions of a birthday (at least according to a majority of pretentious girls—yours truly included). LOL. Enjoy.

1. It’s a Free of Charge, All-Day Pass to “The Land of
Being Romantic without Looking Silly”

And by ‘you’ I don’t only refer to the birthday boy/girl, but also the people around them. Their partners, bestfriends, sisters, brothers, each family member—they are now allowed to display their affection even in the grandest gesture without judgmental stares upon such action. I mean, we wouldn’t normally cook them breakfast (not to mention the room-delivery service stunt) or buy them flowers or hide nice messages under their pillow but hey it is perfectly legal and socially acceptable to do so on their birthdays. Oh and that cute crush of yours might actually be glad to be treated overly-well on their special day.

2. It Scans and Categorizes People Into Boxes of Friends
(Who Actually Care/Not about You)

Less emotional minds would probably disagree and say something like, “Come on, birthdays aren’t the only opportunity to show how much we care about someone,” but I’m one of those reasonably sentimental females who believe that people who don’t bother using their free pass (refer to #1) and actually make efforts to appreciate your special day will never do so in any other day.

Unless, of course, he/she is a natural-born romantic who demonstrates fondness every now and then. Although, logically speaking, a natural-born romantic naturally does not miss annual free passes.

3. It Reminds You about How Much Mark Zuckerberg Has
Changed the Way We Send Birthday Cards

These days, people stay up late on the night of their birthday or one of the days after to reply a long list of one-liner ‘happy birthday’s on Facebook and Twitter. Oh wait this one is hardly significant; let’s just go on to the next point.

4. It Allows You to Make Use of That Exciting
Drama Course You Took in Highschool

Let’s be honest: there are times when we know that our friends are to give us a surprise, but we chivalrously pretend that we didn’t know and make that surprised face anyway. Or oftentimes, when we’re not really in the mood for celebrations, we have to still look thrilled—or at least grateful—that there are people who still care about our happiness. Birthdays remind you to be an adult (and thus wiser)
in such a practical way.

5. It’s a Human-made Marker of Life’s Uncertainty

On a more serious note, of all the things that people can relate to birthdays, I think they simply are nice, honest time-markers that remind us of how far we have gone on the track of life whose end nobody knows. Some people can see it as a victory to pass another year without meeting death, some others become more spiritual as they understand things they previously don’t, but I am quite sure that it shall mean something to reach a particular age.

I’m not sure about how far my life-line is, but two decades is surely a long, long time. This year I commemorate being 21 by having lunch with a nice professor, cooking a super-moderate dinner for (and with) close friends at the hall’s pantry, blowing candles on a surprise cake from two girls who spend hours just to get to my campus, and watching over this sweet video my nice friends made me.

Well. We do deserve to feel special—at least once every year. It’s not about being special—each of us already is, but about feeling so. If any of your friends is having one in the near future, my advice would be this: use your free pass and make him/her happy. It’s a free pass, you got nothing to lose! Oh and happy upcoming birthday, fellow Aquarians. Good night.

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