Well, they don’t actually say it’s your birthday, they say it’s mine, on this Spring Solstice Day. Loathe as I am to claim the number that goes with it, I admit the word “birthday” still gives me a thrill. It’s that childish mystique; parties, cake, presents, the birthday song…
Some might call it shtick.
Not everyone does birthdays like modern Americans. My German grandmother always told me her family was too poor for birthdays. Years came and went; who even knew how old anyone was?
My relatives in Prague say they don’t care much about birthdays, either. There the big deal is “name day.” Everyone named Marie celebrates one day, all the Miloslavs party the next. That’s why most Czechs have traditional names…how mean would a parent have to be to name their child something too weird for an official day?
In Norway, they fish for ice cream bars. In some African countries, they ignore birthdays altogether and instead stage group initiations that involve things like decorating themselves with white paint.
Come to think of it, Starbuck dreamed she did that in Season Three of Battlestar Galactica, and it looked like fun, even if it did involve kissing a Cylon named Leoben.
My point, if there is a point hidden under all this icing, is that birthdays are really what we make them. And these days I don’t feel like making them too much.
Let me just wake up and realize that hey, I’m still around, and that purple crocuses are in bloom out there. I’ll take a crocus over a candle any day. I’d much rather wish everyone Happy First Day of Spring! Guaranteed shtick-free.