How I Erased My Birthday

How I Erased My Birthday

It is common for kids in America to have big, elaborate birthday parties. They invite lots of their classmates to a bowling alley, a rock climbing gym or their house, and they have pizza and ice cream cake and open lots of presents. At least, that is what my friends and I did when I was growing up. That is, until I was about 11 years old and I decided I had had enough.

I told my parents not to give me any presents. I told my friends to stop wishing me a happy birthday. I refused to tell anyone when my birthday was. It was all a little over the top but in my opinion, celebrating, and making other people celebrate, your birthday was the height of arrogance. How can a person celebrate himself or herself? And every year, too!

It had occurred to me that if a birthday were to be celebrated, it should be done by giving presents to one’s mother, expressing gratitude to her and wishing her a happy “giving birth” day. I didn’t do that, of course, because I was a teenager who never expressed gratitude, but I stand by the theory.

As the years passed with no birthdays, it stopped being a big deal for me. Even though I still don’t celebrate (or reveal) my birthday, I think I have more of an appreciation for all the rest of the days of the year. Therefore, my official policy is that pizza and presents are welcome any time.

Emily



Vocabulary

elaborate (adj.) – made or done with great care or with much detail
to have had enough (idiom) – to be tired of a situation and to want no more of it
over the top (adj.) – more than what is normal or necessary
the height of (idiom) – the highest level of (something)
stand by (phr. v) – to continue to support or believe in an idea
a big deal (n phr.) – very important