General Question

poofandmook's avatar

Inspired by Mr. Melted Crayon... why is there so much pressure on the person having a birthday to do something special?

Asked by poofandmook (17277points) August 24th, 2008

What I mean is, why is it so hard to believe that someone would just like a quiet day to him/herself? Why is it that nobody ever buys that and feels like they’re just fishing for someone to surprise them with something huge?

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21 Answers

augustlan's avatar

I don’t think it’s just about birthdays. Most people can’t believe I’d rather spend any day at home, reading or watching movies (or lateley, Fluthering) than being out in the world, doing things, and “enjoying” myself. The fact of the matter is, I am enjoying myself immensely. They act as if something’s wrong with me. When I go on vacation, I like to do NOTHING. Many people find that incredibly boring. So maybe it’s just an extension of that mindset, only more so because it’s your birthday.

aisyna's avatar

its not a big deal if your a Jehovah witness

delirium's avatar

That is exactly why most of my friends don’t even know my birthday.
I honestly think that my last birthday ‘party’ was when I was about 10. It was sometime after that when I came to the realization that I didn’t like celebrations. A few years later and I found that my birthday was best spent with my parents and my boyfriend, having a quiet special dinner and talk about what i’ve gone through, and who i’ve become. Before that, though, I usually spend my day curled up in bed reading, relaxing, and just absorbing the fact that i’m one year older.

trumi's avatar

I like birthdays an awful lot. The celebration of just that one person, the one day where everyone shows their appreciation… I think it is a great tradition. Also, I love gathering people. I’m an obsessive host so I don’t usually have parties, but I do love them. For the past half dozen years my birthday tradition has been a guys weekend away (which is great fun), so I haven’t had an actual party in a long time.

I would really love a surprise party some day. Not to sound dramatic and self-righteous, but I’m the type of person that gives a few dozen Christmas gifts and receives just a few. I try to buy or make a birthday gift for all of my good friends and family, but I usually just get a text message or a phone call when my birthday rolls around. It never discourages me from giving, though, because I just love to do it. Still, some day it would be really nice to have a party thrown for me. :)

Anyway, while I understand just wanting to take your birthday slow, I personally love the big event thing. Just my two cents.

augustlan's avatar

@trumi: Surprise! Happy Birthday (whenever it is)...I’d come to your party and bring you a present.

trumi's avatar

Awww, thanks :D

JackAdams's avatar

Many kids are reared, as was I, with the attitude that one’s birthday is a truly special time, where all of your friends are invited over to your place for a celebration, so everyone can eat too many products loaded with sugar (cake, ice cream), and give you gifts (in the hopes that you wil give them a gift, when their own birthday occurs).

And, these birthday anniversary celebrations are welcomed by the honoree, only until such time as his/her age becomes a “negative factor,” such as at age 30 or older. Then, all of a sudden, birthday anniversaries aren’t “celebrations,” but rather “reminders” that the person having one is “growing OLDER.”

Some folks, myself included, avoid birthday mentions at all costs, going so far as to not telling their friends when their bithday anniversary is, and, if pressed, responding with, “I forget,” or, “I stopped having birthday anniversaries, 30 years ago.”

I am an over-50 “old fart,” and a birthday anniversary now serves as a reminder that I am one year CLOSER to dying.

Not exactly an exciting prospect, dying…

August 25, 2008, 5:28 AM EDT

cyndyh's avatar

I don’t think it’s that no one buys it. I think it’s that celebrations are supposed to be happy and if you don’t want to celebrate some folks think that means you’re sad and they want to make it better. I think some of them are trying to figure out what would make it a fun day for you. They want to show you they’re happy about your day.

My preference is shared pretty early each year. Some years I know I’ll want a quiet day and others I know I’ll want a bash. My birthday is in a few weeks and my fella has already been checking in. First, I get his homemade buttermilk pancakes. yum The rest? As long as my kids can make it to a special meal with me sometime that week it’ll all be good.

MacBean's avatar

I’ve never ever liked birthdays. I just don’t get it. So you were born once. It happens to everybody; you’re not special for it. And most people do make it through another year most of the time. Why make a big fuss? Sure, the idea that people are glad you were born and made it through another year is nice. But shouldn’t they let you know that every day? Or at least more frequently than one day a year? (My opinion of holidays like [parent] Day and Valentine’s Day are the same. If you need to set aside a special day to let people know you love and appreciate them, you’re doing it wrong.)

When I was a little kid I used to cry when people sang Happy Birthday to me. Getting me to stay there while people sang was always a fiasco. They had to either seriously bribe me or get physical about it. Several times I had to be chased all around the house until someone could grab me, force me into a chair and hold me there. And now when we go out to dinner for my birthday everybody knows they better not get the freaking waitstaff of the place to sing to me. The last time they did it, I got up and walked out. My mother claims this “ruins everybody’s fun” but… it’s my birthday. Shouldn’t my fun be the top priority if you’re going to make me celebrate at all? Or if not my fun, then at least my non-humiliation? Don’t tell me you’re doing this for me and then make me miserable.

End rant.

Skyrail's avatar

I agree and have complete sympathy with you MacBean.

I personally hate parties, of any kind, I dislike being the centre of attention, I like a little bit here and there but not at parties or on birthdays. I have two rather ‘big’ birthdays to come yet, 18 and 21. I find birthdays to be just another day in my life.

I can’t top or expand on what others have written, plus I’m lazy, but I have to say what has been written so far is awesome.

cyndyh's avatar

@MacBean: We don’t do the wait staff singing thing unless the birthday person suggests it for a free dessert or something. We call the Happy Birthday and whatever singing thing from strangers “wearing the Sombrero of Shame”.

ninjaxmarc's avatar

because everyone wants to party and celebrate your birthday with you because the care and love you.

wildflower's avatar

I find that people generally don’t remember my birthday unless I bring it up, which I don’t. To me, the best celebration is a complete and utter “me-day”. It could be taking the day off work and work on a painting, go for a drive out of the city to go take pictures, go shopping – and perhaps finish it off with a few drinks with my friends, but only if I feel like it!

Most of the time I get away with that. The only ones that always remember and call are my close relatives, but they live in different countries, so that’s ok.

tedibear's avatar

I’m with you poofandmook. It’s your day and you should get to pick what you want to do. And if that’s nothing, then nothing should be what you do.

El_Cadejo's avatar

I just got the letter in the mail, i have jury duty on my birthday :( thats something special

augustlan's avatar

@uber: I think I’m the only person I know who would be thrilled to get jury duty. In my 41 years, it has never happened. I want your birthday present!

El_Cadejo's avatar

@augustlan you can have it. I mean ive been out of work for two weeks now due to this accident and now i get jury duty on my fucking birthday. Such wonderful luck i have…- _ -

all i wanted to do on my birthday was relax all day, and then take my mom out for a nice dinner. Fuck you NJ Judicial system, Fuck you.

augustlan's avatar

How soon is this coming up? If it’s very soon, maybe you can get out of it, due to your accident. Also, taking your mom out for dinner on your birthday is such a sweet idea!

El_Cadejo's avatar

Jury duty/birthday is october 6th so it may be worth a shot.

Yea my mom helps me out a lot, so i thought this would be a good way to repay her, especially since its the day she gave me life ^_^

poofandmook's avatar

@uberbatman: The NJ Judicial system sucks, but definitely not because of jury duty. I’ve gotten jury duty once and they sent it for Passaic county, and I lived in Morris at the time.

El_Cadejo's avatar

@poofanmook about two months ago i got one for burlington county, i live in atlantic. I guess they are really following me :(

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