Now I know what you are thinking. You are wondering: how do I get one? And the amazing answer is you can! You just need to know the day you were born, and it is the day that is and always will be your birthday!
Now I know what you are thinking. You think: wait a minute! Doesn’t that make a birthday a silly thing to celebrate, since every living human being has one, regardless of their kindness or accomplishments? For example, Adolf Hitler celebrated his birthday. It was April 20.
So that’s what you think. But you are wrong, because according to my calculations, confirmed by sources as august as Facebook, birthdays are a big deal. When it’s your birthday, all 7,500 of your closest friends are digitally reminded that it’s your birthday, and in a gigantic, generous and coordinated expenditure of four seconds of their time, they wish you a happy birthday. You feel validated.
I hereby apologize to Cecilia, who is a real person and a real puppeteer, and does not obnoxiously observe her birthday in an ostentatious display of self-celebration like most of you do. For the purposes of this column, she is simply a tool, an innocent vessel through which I express absolute disdain for people who regard their birthdays as sacrosanct, worthy of applause, simply (rhyme alert) … because. I recently had the opportunity to confront these people. It was on Twitter. I explained that I thought celebrating birthdays was a ridiculous thing to do, and that I had heard of friendships being destroyed by people who didn’t remember other people’s birthdays, and – I repeat, to emphasize – that everyone has a birthday. Yours, for example, is October 2. I have at least a 1 in 365 chance of doing it right, and you will be very happy.
The results of this Twitter getaway somehow amazed me. People were outraged. One guy accused me of being anti-American and evil, denying people the god-given right to be proud of the day they officially lived through another year. This man was not alone. There were dozens more. I was informed that I was the Grinch, only worse; that I seek to undermine the joy of all humans and discredit each other’s ancestors. I was flattered. I am second to none in my admiration for the Grinch.
Because you are a smart person, you are probably wondering what I think about childhood birthday parties. I’m fine with them. Children are wonderful, innocent creatures who have little reason in their lives to celebrate their accomplishments except for things like successful pooping in the toilet. I don’t blame them for birthday vanity, except that they need to understand that it has to end. I suggest the age of 9. I think every child’s ninth birthday should be declared on the day of birthday repudiation. The child receives a lot of gifts, and they will be big, like a piano or a real spaceship, but that will be it for the rest of his life. This is the day when you understand that your birthday means squat. If you are Jewish, it will be one day more important than your bar or bat mitzvah.
My birthday, by the way, just happens to be October 2, like yours. It’s one of the most common birthdays, because – that’s right – it biologically coincides with people having sex on New Years Eve. So for me it’s a celebration of my parents to which I refuse to think and that I do NOT celebrate.
Email Gene Weingarten at [email protected]. Find chats and updates on wapo.st/magazine.
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