I’m not really fond of birthdays – my own birthday to be specific. It only reminds me that I’m getting old and the chances to look wrinkled, grainy and ugly are increasing. I don’t really celebrate during my birthday – I do most of the time because people around me are expecting and asking me to. That son-of-a-bitch who didn’t give me a single present and still bombarding me to spend a penny for a cheeseburger!
Maybe, kind of different when I was little – which I vaguely remember what had happened during those years. Only those faded pictures of myself and some Arab visitors with their traditional Shemagh reminded me that once, my birthday became an excuse for gathering old people around me.
When I was about to turn 7 or 8, my parents threw a party to celebrate, but not my birthday. It so happened that my younger brother’s birthdate is a day after mine. So, with the practical mindset of parents who decided to keep 4 kids, “Why not celebrate two birthdays in one? It would be double the fun?” It made sense that time, since it’s only 24 hours gap – but not to me. It’s not my actual birthday – it’s his. And worse, he’s receiving more gifts, more greetings and still 2 years younger than me!
I can’t remember any celebrations that happened after that. I think, we tried to be more practical and celebrated New Year’s Eve, my birthday, my brother’s birthday, Chinese New Year and Valentine’s Day — all at the same time. We got confused on which one we are actually celebrating. Possibly, it can be our neighbor’s party who we still keep on asking why they celebrate birthdays each month.
The next major event of the upcoming years would be the most awaited 18th birthday. It’s like a certain stage wherein you’ll be transforming from being an ugly duckling to a beautiful swan, from going after men than boys, from a living hell to heaven. Its kinda the other way around on my experience – I still looked like a duckling, went from boys to nothing and my life became one-hell-of-a-hell. The only advantage I got, I can now watch R-18 movies without putting all those cheap Everbilena make-up we bought from Landmark before buying the ticket, which after a long conversation with the ticketing guy, it will certainly end on showing my School Identification Card and gotcha! I’m legally called, a “minor.”
I love gifts though. To me, it symbolizes the must-cared gratitude of other people to pay back my sincerity to be their friend or loved one. I’m an egomaniacally materialistic bitch, thanks for reminding! But, I never understood that this should be a mutual understanding as well, that I need to throw a party and spend pennies so I can get gifts in return. But, there’s no rule that this will be a 1:1 ratio. It will always be a fraction, which simply means that you’ll never get even not until you wait their birthdays’ turn.
I don’t dare to greet anyone I know who shared the same date of my birthday. It’s like a narcissistic behavior to get more greetings and they will receive less, like hearing a buzzer in the ‘Wheel of Fortune’ when you pressed a wrong letter. But, I would say a different thing if I have a twin sister. I always have this desire to share my identity to my twin. We’re going to share the same sentiments, same judgments and same fate, and the hassle will only come about if one wants to be better than the other. I certainly believe that the world today will be grateful to have two persona of myself.
So, today’s my birthday, then what! Getting old is better considered than the alternatives. I’ve been celebrating my 18th birthday for 10 years now. I feel I’m like Edward Cullen who’s been 17 years old for many hundred years. Throughout those lovely 10 years, I never spent a grand party but I always feel additional year equate to a new episode to move on, to make dreams, to plan ahead and be grateful – at least I’m still alive and kicking!
Until I loss counting the number of years, I cannot really treat this as a special day. It always happens every year though. Although, however, I want everyone believe that it is really special so they will at least take a day-off to piss me off! I would like to think that once I get out of the house, I will be wearing a sign board, with a written note, “It’s my birthday today.” Then, I will be given the privilege t to take the priority seat in the MRT even if I’m not pregnant or handicapped. If I will go to hawker centers, they will give me free meals — Hokkien Mee and Roti Prata in the House babe! I will end my special day in Universal Studios Singapore, with a ride-all-you-can ticket at The Mummy virtual roller-coaster. It feels like the whole island is fully aware and I’m liking it. Well, anyway I experienced that all but in span of three years that I’ve been here. Time is crucial to suck everything in to happen in one whole day!
I should be fortunate that networking site like Facebook is created — no more fuss feeling and dismay when I never get any attention on my birthday. It’s more than splendid to receive wishes from friends I endear. No more crazy alibis of inability to reach me through a phone call or SMS. Anxiety-free day has been awarded for convincing myself that everyone should remember it — ‘coz they don’t! They need an Outlook reminder that snoozes until you dismiss. Maybe I do love my own birthday, I just keep on denying it.
It’s almost half-day of my day, and I already felt fulfilled to know that few people cared.
It’s my birthday! You should be thankful!