I have always had a complex relationship with my birthday. I am turning twenty-seven in a few days. My mind goes in and out of many languages and accents and I just made the connection that numbers that I can very easily slip in to a conversation are the age I first became more comfortable in a language. Quatorze. Vierundzwanzig. Or in Italian, my birth year, novantacinque.
Nonetheless, I have had a seemingly tumultuous time around my birthday due to expectations. I am in no way a disturber of the peace; I enjoy and thrive in structure both societal and personal. I must’ve been in my early twenties when I finally shared with people around me that I don’t really enjoy cake and I would rather not have any on my birthday. In fact, I’d rather have pho to be completely honest with you.
But birthday cakes are just one of the many things that were marketed to us as hallmarks of any good birthday. A birthday party with gourmet cakes, a seven-course meal for your guests, a room decorated with theme-appropriate colors and more. Don’t even get me started on gifts. Why does “showing you care” have to come at a cost?
As I have said before, I consider marketing a suggestion of what to buy to complement your lifestyle. At some point, the classic experience that is generally marketed to you either fits into your life or it simply doesn’t. And birthdays are no different. Needless to say, I look forward to a calm, sunset dinner with my loved ones amongst the backdrop of a Texas sunset for my birthday this year.