My Scorpio sister called a couple of weeks ago, lamenting her lack of a birthday bash. “You’re lucky,” she said. “You never go without a party for your birthday.” Yes! I’ve been saying this for decades.
I was due to enter this world on Christmas Day but, as with my homework and my taxes, I procrastinated with my birth until New Year’s Eve 1974, the same day Lindsey Buckingham and Stevie Nicks joined Fleetwood Mac. Every person who ever checks my ID says, “Oh, man, sucks to have to have your b-day during the holidays.” They assume that, as a kid, you must have netted fewer toys as punishment for having your birthday in the same pay period as Jesus’s. Every present you receive must come with a caveat: “This is for your birthday and from Santa.”
First, this is a shitty assumption about the parents, figuring them to be cheap and/or thoughtless bastards, as if your life were doomed to a cycle of perennial Sixteen Candles. Second, that’s really looking at the short game here. Sure, that Zartan action figure with the thermal-sensitive armor I got in 1984 was cool and all, but for the life of me I can’t remember what happened to it after I set it on fire as a bored teenager.
At some point, other “gifts” become more important, like accessibility to alcoholic eggnog and free kisses at midnight. But mostly the near certain guarantee that you will never be alone or, worse, typing in a cubicle on the day that reminds you of your approaching death. Let me repeat that: If you are born on a holiday, and work in a traditional office environment, YOU NEVER HAVE TO WORK ON YOUR BIRTHDAY. On the contrary, each and every birthday, I am guaranteed to be surrounded by Champagne, explosions in the sky, friends, novelty glasses, bowl games, my mom’s clam chowder, twinkling LED lights, cookies and optimism.
That sure beats being some sucker born on some uneventful day like, say, May 18. Sorry, Tina Fey and Pope John Paul II.