Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Non-Birthday Birthday?

Birthdays. Some people love them, some people hate them, some people are ambivalent towards them.

Personally, I don't normally like to be the center of attention, so I don't go around telling people when my birthday is, but I somehow expect them to just know and treat me accordingly. I do think that birthdays are fun and a nice way to celebrate someone as a person.

Last fall I took a different approach to my birthday, I took a vacation day! I spent the day at the DMV and then just hanging out by myself at home. It sounds like a lame day, but it was the best birthday I think I ever had because it was me doing what I wanted to do.

But I digress. My mom's birthday is coming up and she has made it abundantly clear that she doesn't want her birthday acknowledged at all. No cards, cakes, or presents. Her theory is that if she doesn't celebrate then she won't get older (although she loves calling me on my day and rubbing in that I'm getting older).

Since she is my mom, I do plan on sending her a non-occasion specific card that will show up in her mailbox conveniently around her birthday. Just a little reminder that she's my mom and I love her. Sneaky, no?

But this brings up an interesting question: what does one do when a close friend of family member protests and says he/she doesn't want a birthday? Does it actually mean to celebrate anyway, do something subtle, or do nothing at all?

Perhaps I'm over thinking the birthday issue, but it begs an interesting debate, so please use the comments section and share some opinions.


Anonymous said...

I think this is really interesting! I go through the same scenario with my mom. What I try to do is make the day as nice as possible for her. If I can sneak up on her with a gift and card, that's cool. It's hard but I try not to make a big deal out of her birthday because she doesn't want me to.