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.



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