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As we get older, more and more birthday slander gets pushed on us. How many times have you heard people say that “they don’t like to make a big deal about their birthdays,” or talked about “birthday divas bring obnoxious?” Just today, I had to read a (entertaining and well-written) column from our very own Katie Callaway about how she hates her birthday and all the celebration that comes with it. It’s time for someone to rise up against that slander, and if I have to be the hero of the voiceless, so be it. I am a 27-year-old man, I’m a birthday diva, and I’m proud of it.
A common theme I’ve noticed over the past several years is people being shamed for wanting to still celebrate every birthday. “Grow up,” they say. “What are you still celebrating? There are no more milestone birthdays.” And, sure, they’re right. At 18, you can vote, shoot, smoke, and scream “you can’t tell me what to do, I’m an adult!” when your dad asks you to take out the trash like you said you would. 21 is the big one, of course. You can now drink…at a bar, which is less fun and more expensive than house parties, but you won’t come to terms with that for several more years. At 25 you can rent a car and learn what a goddamn racket that is, and at 26, you can…pay for your own health insurance and learn what a goddamn racket that is. So maybe the last few milestones aren’t fun, but they’re exciting nonetheless.
But now, at 27, there are no more milestones. Does that mean I shouldn’t get to celebrate, though? Fuck no. Hell, as an adult, you need to take any excuse to celebrate you can. There are no more mixers, formals, or “ragers at Keegan’s parent’s house” to look forward to every weekend. Now, it’s just monotony of the same bars two nights a week. So why not break that up with a party or two? I’ve never understood how people can hate others for celebrating things. My birthday only happens once a year, and I’m going to celebrate it as hard, and as long, as I can.
That’s right, I’m one of those people. I don’t just have a quiet birthday dinner with friends. I have dinner and drinks with my Chicago friends. I fly home for a weekend with my college friends and do a beach trip with my high school friends. I have dinner with my parents. My girlfriend usually has a surprise planned. I will pack as many celebrations into my birthday as I can. This year, I’m going to Iceland. Sure, it’s a few weeks after my birthday, but whatever. It’s still my birthday month. You heard me. I celebrate a birthday month.
I’ve also heard of people who think throwing themselves parties is lame, and once again, I beg to differ. Sure, it would be nice if I had a group of friends that took it upon themselves to throw me a birthday party, but that’s a lot to ask of the crew of degenerates I hang out with. I wouldn’t want to put that responsibility on anyone. I’ll happily plan my own party. I’ll set up the Facebook group, I’ll figure out which dates work for everyone, and I’ll make all the calls and bookings and whatnot. Hell, I’ll even front the money (front being the key word there). All my friends have to do is come out and have a good time.
We all need a reason to celebrate every once in a while. Since my birthday is on Sunday, and this weekend marks the first of my birthday celebrations, I invite all of you to come celebrate it with me. I don’t know exactly what I’ll be doing, but I do know it will involve getting unreasonably rowdy at several Old Town bars, and likely ending the night with the regrettable decision to go to the Hangge Uppe until 5 a.m. My actual birthday will probably be spend in the fetal position on my couch, as is tradition. If you can’t make it to my birthday party, feel free to buy me a drink. No pressure, but it is the polite thing to do. Happy birthday to me..