Sunday, March 8, 2015

Well Uh…This Is Awkward...


Birthdays suck. Unless someone else is celebrating one then everything is fine. But when you're blowing out your own candles, a birthday is about as awkward as prom in West Virginia

For full effect, download "Cigarette Daydreams" by Cage The Elephant and play at maximum volume throughout the duration of this post. 

I've been on this Earth a hair over three decades now. Some of those years were beautiful, some of them ugly, but needless to say 30 years have come and gone and I am sitting here yet again plugging away a blogpost on a freeway just after midnight thinking deep thoughts about the direction of my life. Yep, this ain't my first rodeo. 

I'm not a fan of birthdays, but then again who really is? When you're at a party for someone else everything is cake (pun intended). But when it's your birthday, you almost feel like you've got a venereal disease everyone is forced to celebrate. I want to go on record that singing Happy Birthday to someone is without question the most uncomfortable 16 seconds anyone has to endure. It's more painful than childbirth or being the big spoon while cuddling, neither of which are appealing. 

"Happy Birthday To You!" 

Oh boy, here they go… 

"Happy Birthday To You!"  

Who do I look at? I don't want to make eye contact with anyone as they're singing this, I'll look like some kind of geriatric pervert if I look at them for longer than half second intervals. Please stop this madness! 

"Happy Birthday Dear Bro-ock!"

Wait, they're singing this song to me? For a minute there I thought we were playing a drinking game.  

"Happy Birthday To You!" 

Right now I kind of wish I died some type of horrific death at any point in the last year. 

That's a birthday in a nutshell. Uncomfortable songs around a flaming cake and forced text messages from people offering their congratulations on the best accomplishment any of our Mothers have ever done. 

Old Maid also known as my Grandmother: "What are you doing to celebrate on your 30 day?" 

Me: "Oh you know, just spend time with friends and text my Grandma, the usual. #smileyface" 

Old Maid: "How fun! It will be more fun at 5....30!" 

Me: "Part of me wonders if you've been drinking…" 

Old Maid: "Really! This proves to you I don't have to drink to be stupid." 

Text messages from my Grandma hinting at the idea that she could be a member of Alcoholics Anonymous escaped from her Psych ward, could have been the best birthday text exchange I have had the privilege of enjoying. 

Despite all of that nonsense, I will say that changing decades makes you think. About where you are now, about where you are going, about all of the dumb things that happened since 2005. One of the most common forms of personal self-reflection on our birthdays is recalling all the moments that we wish had never happened, that we regret. The moments we wish we could take back. Lessons we hoped to have learned before many of our infamous debacles ever occurred. If I could go back and talk  some sense to 20-year old Swamp Thing, there are a few pieces of advice I would offer that might make his ten-year journey a little bit easier. 

1. Never eat sushi from a conveyer belt in Portland.

2. Do not drive Lacey Fawson's Nissan after your family Christmas party in 2006. Your seizures haven't been fixed just yet. 

3. When you travel 300 miles to break up with a girl, make sure you don't accidentally send a text to her which was meant for your friend that says you guys just broke up, even before she gets home. You need to deliver this message in person. 

4. Crossfit is kind of a cult, minus the grape Kool-Aid. A good cult in some ways, but you really don't have to buy into their brainwashing. 

5. Start writing your blog immediately. Don't wait until 2010. You have a dumpload of stories that need to be told on this website. 

So yeah, that's where I am at this point. Close to 2 am sitting in a cold driveway listening to a band from Kentucky serenade me their wonder about the mysteries of life. Birthdays kind of suck kids, they really do. I've never been a fan and I don't think I really ever will. They are celebrations about absolutely nothing, a holiday inspired by Seinfeld. For the longest time I've always had a half-empty feeling associated with March 6th. A day full of my least favorite dessert and mandatory "Happy Birthday" voicemails from people you don't have saved in your phone. All these festivities seem like a wash I tell you. 

But then sometimes things change, and you play pick up basketball with some of the best men alive and you all gorge yourself silly on Austrailian cuisine. And then you eat your Mom's homemade Jell-O that's is your personal version of what Birthday cake should be. And then you take pretty girls up to the mountain and face plant on the slopes all day long. And when those things happen, and your Facebook is going through seizures trying to keep track of all of the friends who took 15 seconds out of their day to connect with you, that's when you realize that birthdays, well maybe they really are some of the best days of your life. 

Even if you're 30. 

What do you think?

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