The week-long portion was the full, anticipatory, gear-up. The ‘I don’t care if no one in this house likes spaghetti! My birthday is in four days and we’re gonna have it anyway.’ Or, ‘If I do a crappy job cleaning my room this weekend, no one can do anything about it NEXT weekend when it’s my birthday and I’m exempt from cleaning.’ The power trip is full-on and unabashed. And, lucky me, with a birthday close to a major national holiday, I got to see 25+ relatives mere days after my birthday when lots of people would ask about it, make comments about it, and generally shower me with the attention that I so craved.
Now on my birthday, I usually work, go to a nice dinner, and use it as leverage with co-workers and clients – as in, ‘I have some bad results to share with you but don’t get mad because it’s my birthday.’ Or, ‘I really should fill out this form for HR/Payroll/etc but I’ll just save it for tomorrow because today’s my birthday.’ I don’t wake up on my birthday with that twinge of excitement and, sadly, I’m also prone to forget it’s my birthday at some point during the day – ‘why do I keep getting all these missed phone calls from my sisters? what could they possibly want all on the same day???’
This year, I unintentionally celebrated my birthday in a weeklong protracted celebration. It began when friends offered us last minute tickets to the symphony in Royal Albert Hall. With a shrug and, ‘well, next week IS my birthday’ we took them.