The Evolution of Birthdays

25 Sep

When you’re little birthdays are all about toys, streamers, balloons, party favors, junk food and really amazing cake with fabulous icing; staying up past your bedtime; having your name read over the loudspeaker at school; your favorite dinner cooked by your mom; the thrill of presents from your friends, and themed birthday parties.

When you’re a teenager  (13-17) birthdays are all about wondering if your outfit looks ok at school; how many balloons will your friends buy you and stuff into your locker?; will today be the day the high school football start finally tells you he loves you?; your friends and parents trying to surprise you and surprise you they did with limo rides (13th birthday) and a DJ (16th) birthday; hoping against hope that some boy you liked liked you back; and that you have a decent showing  with no drama at your birthday party which will be supplied with tunes from Cake and the Empire Records lots of junk food and copious amounts of soda.

When you’re a young adult (18-23) your birthdays are about freedom; the ability to vote and drink (legally); celebrating a birthday away from home; planning your own party which often doesn’t sound so fun so you don’t do it; taking so many shots that the entire night is a blur; waking up to find out that you danced on a bar, kissed a stranger and proclaimed your love to every single one of your friends; it’s about going through your digital camera to see what pictures were taken and then daring to check facebook to see what embarassing shots of you may have surfaced; it’s about relishing in the here and now because you’re in your early twenties and this is how you do it!

When you’re in your mid-twenties (24-26) *birthdays are about quiet celebrations; not letting your friends buy you shot after shot because you know too well that hangover feeling; being thankful for everything that you have in your life; not asking for presents because you do have everything; being pleasantly surprised by the presents your friends and family do give you because you really didn’t need/want anything; reflecting on where you are and where you want to be; thankful for the lack of wrinkles on your face; recalling the days of yesteryear and smiling on all memories fondly; resolving to be a better person; reminding yourself to live in the now; ignoring your dad’s comments about how your more than halfway to fifty even if he says it with a smile on his face; indulging in birthday cake; going to sleep at a decent hour because you’re working the next day; hugging all your friends and family at least twice- not because your drunk- but because you love them.

What are your birthdays about?

** I consider mid-twenties to be through 27 or 28 but I’m not there yet, so I’ll let you know how it goes in the next two years! **
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14 Responses to “The Evolution of Birthdays”

  1. kristen September 25, 2009 at 4:24 pm #

    so touching and true!

  2. Erin September 25, 2009 at 4:54 pm #

    To me, birthdays are all about getting presents. :)

    Ok, not really, but I do love me some birthday presents. I currently feel, and have always felt, that you should get to make a big deal out of yourself on your birthday. It’s a day to celebrate you, and I fully take advantage of that by wearing a crown on my birthday. Of course, it helps that my birthday is on Halloween…

  3. Amber from Girl with the Red Hair September 25, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    You are such an awesome writer! I loved this post and it’s SO true. I’m still in the “getting hammered at the bar” stage – as you could tell from MY birthday post earlier this month, but I have a feeling that stage is going to be ending for me fairly quickly! Haha

  4. Jessica September 25, 2009 at 6:47 pm #

    Mine have been really, really low key the last few years… I still enjoy a good party, though

  5. katelin September 25, 2009 at 6:50 pm #

    nowadays i just like to make sure i’m spending my birthday with friends and family. and probably wine :)

  6. Margarita September 25, 2009 at 8:36 pm #

    This is definitely very very true!! Especially the whole not getting shot after shot because you don’t want to get hungover. Classic. LOL Happy Birthday!

  7. Doniree September 25, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    love this post, and you’re absolutely right. my mom christmas shops early every year (hates crowds), and has already started asking my sister and i what we want. i’m over wanting “stuff,” so i was trying to figure out how to answer that. i rattled off a few books and suggested that a Target gift card could be useful. eventually we all agreed that i need a passport and they’ll probably do that, but the point is – you get to a point where it’s not about the balloons and gifts but the people and the hugs.

    i like growing up. i mean, don’t tell anyone, but it’s not so bad :)

  8. oh September 25, 2009 at 11:15 pm #

    hmmmm, how to surprise you with something remarkable? I’m thinking, I’m thinking…how about a donkey?

  9. Lauren From Texas September 25, 2009 at 11:45 pm #

    I am loving this post :)

  10. Andhari September 26, 2009 at 2:15 am #

    So true, since I just turned 22 and you describe our young adult birthday phase so correctly. I don’t know if I’m gonna be bored and not doing this in 2 years but we’ll see :)

  11. mandy September 26, 2009 at 11:57 am #

    I agree, its more about the people and less about the stuff. I still enjoy going out and partying though. =) And every once in a while have a weekend that I only remember by scrolling through pics on the digital camera. =)

  12. lisa from lisa's yarns September 27, 2009 at 7:16 pm #

    You are spot on with year description!! I feel the same way about bdays in my mid to late 20s. They are about being with the ppl you love and I don’t care what I am doing as long as I am with my best friends/family.

    Happy bithday! You have another great year ahead of you!!

  13. Jessica September 27, 2009 at 9:34 pm #

    This is so true. Oh man I remember when birthdays were just amazing celebrations of fun that you didn’t have to pay for, things do change :)

  14. ria September 28, 2009 at 7:51 am #

    birthdays now are definitely lowkey. sometimes i miss the craziness of going out but it’s nice to be surrounded by family and friends that i’m close to on my special day. i hope you had a wonderful birthday this year!

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