Scallywag

The policy of being too cautious is the greatest risk of all.

~ Jawaharlal Nehru ~

Happy Birthday Today

September 4th, 2012 ~ Est. reading time: 2 mins, 20 secs

Come on! You deserve a slice of birthday cake.

Happy birthday today, happy birthday today… happy birthday, happy birthday, happy birthday today!!! There, if it actually is your birthday today, congratulations! If it’s not, then I’m getting in early…

I’m being whimsical about it but this birthday stuff is, of course, big business, isn’t it? Retailers rely on us to expect a considerable amount of fuss being made over us, come birthday time. They hope people will be obliged to buy cakes or at least ingredients, shell out for streamers, balloons, and what not, and of course, lots and lots of expensive presents!

As most men know, it’s not wise to skip birthday celebrations, let alone birthday greetings. It’s right up there with forgetting wedding anniversaries. Big mistake!

Women, and I admit I’m generalizing, are born with a better grasp of these social nuances. So they know that making a fuss for the sake of someone having a birthday is not only accepted, it’s expected.

So go on and party! When your birthday finally arrives, don’t do what I do and be surprised because you’ve forgotten… again! Declare it as a special day to celebrate. Even if it’s a workday, that’s okay. Just keep reminding everyone every 15 minutes, by asking them, “Hey, did you know it’s my birthday?” This is guaranteed to not only keep them in the birthday loop but drive them loopy too. But what are birthdays for if not for a bit of crazy mania?

Don’t have someone close by to buy you a present? Get yourself one! Haven’t got a cake? Choose your own! Nobody to celebrate with? Tell a few dozen people what’s going on and sound the celebratory horn. I mean, why not?

Yes, it’s silly. Yes, it attracts undue attention to your chronological age. Yes, it could be misconstrued as selfish. But if you do it well it could definitely be a humdinger of a birthday experience. That is, if you take precautions.

What do I mean by that? Well, many folk think having a birthday is just about themselves. But it isn’t! It’s about sharing a reason to celebrate, which really means your birthday is merely a suitable excuse. So, plan for it and make a fuss. But steer the event towards your friends. Forget yourself for a bit and generate some fun for everyone you care about. Decorate, lay out some cake, and generally create a happy atmosphere. If others are allowed, they’ll be enjoying the fact it’s your birthday, which is rather a nice association. While it won’t translate into many presents, consider this: you turning over another digit on the clock is no longer so much about you but a reason to share some annual pleasure.

Surrender your expectations. Release your “I must have a lavish occasion to honor my birthday” beliefs. Consider becoming a birthday giver.

Then, pat yourself on the back. If you create something pleasing for others, you’ve genuinely done well. But, if it doesn’t go exactly to plan, don’t worry. You can have another crack at celebrating your special day again next year. But as I’m likely to miss it, let me get in today and wish you a splendidly happy birthday!

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Feegs

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