On my 16th birthday I made a point to note to my dad that I was getting older, and I hadn’t asked for anything for my birthday, strangely I didn’t want anything this time. And when I told him that I was now 16 he said, “What’s so great about that? It’s just a reminder that you’re one year closer to your grave.”
The rest of the year I’d wish people the way my teacher did after I freaked out my classmates by saying “Don’t wish me happy birthday, it reminds me that I’m one year closer to my grave.”
She walked up to me with her hand outstretched to shake mine and said “Congratulations on getting one year closer to your grave.”
Since then I’ve been wishing everyone that way.
But seriously, what is so great about acknowledging someone’s birthday?
To me, wishing someone on their birthday let’s them know that even with everything that’s been going on in your life you still have room in your mind to assign a date & year to a name & face. That their existence means something to you, it makes a difference, as tiny as it may be. Difference enough for them, on that one day, to call you up, ask you how your days been, what you’ve been up to, questions of health etc. all this on that one day, for one day you are of some importance to them.
For that one day even something as simple as a “Happy Birthday” coming from someone you hadn’t met in a while, or someone you thought had forgotten you, can bring a smile to your face and lighten up your day. For just one day of the year.
It’s my father’s birthday today, my mother hasn’t wished him since they got married, the last time he can remember was when she bought him a shirt before they got married. To make sure he married her. So everyone’s calling him up and wishing him, and she’s getting all jealous, it’s fun to watch them fight like this. (:
I haven’t wished him either, not for the same reason as her, whatever her reason is. I will not wish him this time, when all my efforts to make him happy have failed and have been regarded as futile. To make him smile by uttering two pointless words from my mouth seems like cheating. Lying to myself, and him to himself, what is it to him but a way of knowing that I am still dependent on his presence in my life?
In that case, I will not wish him this year, or the next…
I’m sorry father, I don’t need you.