Only Child Birthday Syndrome
Me and my sister are both only children. Weird sentence, right? Well, seeing as how Dad has been married more than a couple of times and we were both raised separately by different mothers who had no other kids, it kind of makes sense. It led to a lot of fun growing up, and even more now since we are both used to getting our way all the time and the concept of “compromise” is pretty much lost on both of us. Why living together was so much fun. Anyway, if there is one thing me and my sister agree on it is birthdays. While some may see their birthday as just sort of the anniversary of their entry into the world, and don’t give them much thought after 21 unless it is a birthday ending in zero, we treat our birthdays like a national goddamn holiday. As a license to so whatever the Hell we want with absolutely no regard for what anyone else wants to do. It is the one day of the year where you can act like Paris Hilton and no one can give you shit.
Am I unbearable on my birthday? No, not really. But I do not compromise or ever ask the question “Well, what do YOU want to do.” What you want to do is unimportant, because it’s not YOUR birthday. So if anyone fucks with me after midnight on Saturday you will incur my full birthday wrath.
People with siblings do not understand this as well as only children do. When we were growing up, our birthdays were meticulously planned and thought out by our parents, since it was a huge day for them too. Our parties could be as big as we wanted, since we didn’t have to worry about trivial things like "other people" and "fairness." Even though we were pretty much used to getting whatever we wanted and acting like spoiled brats anyway, our birthdays were the one day of the year where nobody could say a thing. And nothing has changed. I will never again work on my birthday, nor do anything else I don’t want to do. I always go to the gym, I often get drunk, and if I have a girl I’m dating, copious amounts of sex will be had. Otherwise somebody had better be buying me a hooker.
Only children will reciprocate the favor, though. When it is a friend’s birthday I tell them we are doing whatever they want and do not let them pay for anything. This confuses many of my friends who have siblings, since they really don’t see what the big deal is that they are turning 26. But to me they deserve to be treated like royalty for those 24 hours. My sister, who apparently likes having sex about as much as she likes going to the dentist (and this is NOT the delusions of an older brother, but rather drawn form the complaints of her longtime boyfriend) will even wake up a little early to give her boyfriend birthday sex before going to the gym and her daily glut of Pan-Hellenic meetings. Because, as she says, EVERYONE deserves birthday sex. Even the fat and old.
I started dating this girl a few weeks ago who is also an only child. Her birthday was last Friday and every morning I woke up with her the first thing she said to me was “Guess what? Only __ days until my birthday!!!!” Of course, this ended Friday when it actually was her birthday. She woke up, looked me in the eye, and said “HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO MEEEEE!!” and danced around the room for a few minutes. She was naked, so I was totally fine with this. Then her dad called at precisely 7:29 (apparently dipping out of an important meeting) since this was the hour when she was born. Then she spent the next hour on her cell phone with both her parents talking about her birthday (and you do know how much I love people who talk on their cell phones around me) and then proceeded to repeat the phrase “Happy birthday to Me” at least four dozen times before we left at 10:30. Most guys may have been disgusted and left at this display of utter selfishness, but I am an only child and I understand: It’s her birthday, if she wants to spend the whole day on her cell phone, go ahead and give yourself brain cancer. Because if there is one day I’m not gonna say shit, it’s your birthday.
This year is shaping up to be the best birthday weekend in two years. Friday night is the opening of a Snakes on A Plane, and that alone, friends, would be enough to make this the best birthday since my Bar Mitzvah. But, oh, there is so much more. Saturday there are three different parties to attend from Bloggers to Kickballers to a joint birthday keg party in the grove complete with photo cake, and Sunday will be my Birthday Brunch at Nikki Beach. So if any of you would like to meet me, we’ll be there around 12:30. Bring a present or I will not acknowledge your presence. That is three solid days of birthday festivities. And goddamned right. You only turn 27 once, and I deserve it.