Tuesday, August 23, 2005
Why I Hate Birthdays

By never updating this here 'blog (and when I do, updating it with inane prattle about clipping my toenails and suchlike) I have pretty much guaranteed a readership of precisely zero. Which affords me a great deal of freedom to go on about my toenails at rapturous length without fear of boring a damn soul. It also lets me spew forth maudlin, self-indulgent autotherapy such as the following. Go somewhere else if you're not in the mood for sickening amounts of self-pity.

The promised entry about what various other folks are up to will wait a bit. Then maybe an entry about what I've been reading lately.

As mentioned previously, I've been pushing 30 for so long that 30 is starting to push back. September 19th, less than a month. I've been trying to figure out what this means to me, and tonight I finally realized that all the anxiety I've been experiencing has nothing to do with the fact that I will soon BE 30 (with which fact I've long since made peace, actually... I think I was 25 when I realized that 30 was really no big deal) but rather with the fact that I will soon be TURNING 30. I'm no big fan of birthdays, see. It has nothing to do with the fact of turning one year older, which fact certainly beats the alternative, and everything to do with the artificial selection of one day on which I MUST have fun and be happy and joyful and merry and gather all my friends around me etc. etc.

Major passages in life, gaudeamus igitur (or rather, necessa est gaudere), are never that great for me. High School graduation, College graduation, 16th, 18th, 21st and 25th birthdays... all have ranged from disappointing to downright depressing. I can recall only one actual birthday on which I was actually happy, that being my 23rd, and even that was more overall contentment than joy or ebullience.

My last two birthdays were spent at work. Both times I'd left the boss a note to the effect that my birthday was coming up, both times the notes were misplaced, not seen, ignored, or whatever else. My 28th was a Saturday night, and by the time I got off it was actually the next day. But I headed over to Visions (RIP) and had a few drinks with a few friends. My 29th was a Sunday, so I got off relatively early and went over to Saint-Ex, where nobody showed up.

(Remember that warning about morbid levels of self pity? It's not too late!)

The use of nobody there is no hyperbole. I don't mean that only two people showed (that would be my 26th birthday). I mean that I went in, sat at the bar, looked around, and saw nobody there I knew. So after a while I just went home and to bed. And spent the next two months or so in a severe state of anhedonia, avoiding as much human contact as possible, feeling loathed and despised.

And that's why I'm dreading 30. Not the entry into my fourth decade on this planet so much as the opportunity it affords to remind me that I'm socially retarded and may as well move to a mountainside crag and live off bitter roots, goat's milk, psychedelic berries and water from melted snow.
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