Big Birthdays


My dad and I. Do you see the look of terror disguised as happy-go-lucky in our eyes? It’s because big celebrations frighten us. I’m pretty sure it was because my mom was German.


Just thinking how I’m going to be…older than I am now for my upcoming birthday, and how I never properly celebrated such things. I’ve never been a GO BIG birthday party person, or expected to do TONS OF STUFF on my special day, and I think it’s because I am the daughter of a German. My mom was pretty unimpressed by celebrations (unless they were religious) and didn’t tend to enthuse much about anything (unless it was God and His angels).


I remember my mom’s 50th birthday party, when my aunt gifted her with $100-an-ounce Joy perfume, and my mom was all “Thanks. Smells good. What’s next? Oh my Law! Is that a stuffed St. Francis holding a Happy 50th puffy heart?


So, celebration apathy runs in my genes a little.


I mean, I do like to spend the day with my loved ones. Go to dinner with my husband. See a show. It’s just that the BIG stuff never made it with me, and I find it foreign when people like to really do it up for birthdays. Speaking of which, I felt the same for my bachelorette party. I just wanted to hang out with my pals, maybe dive bar it up, then grab a bite; much to the chagrin of my best friend who suggested Vegas, confetti, and Chippendale’s (We met in the middle. I stayed in San Diego wearing a miniskirt on top of a piano sipping out of plastic penises while everyone sang “Going to the Chapel.”)


I think it’s OK, right? To not need the hullabaloo? And I think it’s OK to want it too. That said…I have to tell you about my friend.


She’s the BIG person. Likes to celebrate her birthday all month, that kind of thing. For instance, Day One of her BIRTHDAY MONTH, we went to a group breakfast. Day Two we met at a restaurant for dinner. Day Three we spent 12 hours at a spa. Day Four we flew to Acapulco. You know. And her birthday was on the 22nd, so you can imagine.


Now, it’s her husband’s birthday month coming up, and we’re (by “we” I mean the “whole neighborhood”) going to Palm Springs for three days of golf, spa, and cheese. Of course, his “real” birthday is in the middle of the month, so after Palm Springs, we’ll probably all head to the Eiffel Tower to blow out his candles.


And I like that. How people see fit to celebrate and DO.


So to the point of this post:


My birthday is in November.


11 Responses to “Big Birthdays”

  1. I am not big on celebrating my birthday either. I love to surprise and celebrate other people, but when it comes to doing the same for me, I tend to ruin the plans. Think it is a control thing. Also, my birthday is very close to Father’s Day, and I tend to be mopey around that time of year. So, yeah, I am with you. Though… I will very happily make a big stink (a deservedly big stink) about yours in November.

  2. The Sweetest says:

    Love that picture! I, too banned all bells and whistles at my bachelorette party, even the penises. Just dinner, drinking, and hanging out with my friends. I always attributed it to the face that I was 30 when I got married- too old for the silly stuff. But really? I think it’s just my personality.

  3. Those grimacing grins look more like my Norwegian mother. (The Lutherans in my family just couldn’t smile.) The Germans on my dad’s side could smile a little better, but maybe that’s because they were really Swiss?

  4. […] read from original news source: San Diego Momma » Blog Archive » Big Birthdays […]

  5. Kizz says:

    I love to do something for my birthday but usually the biggest thing I do is go bowling. I like bowling. It’s expensive. I don’t get to do it a lot. For my 40th, though, I threw a blowout. Maybe I’ll do that again later. Or maybe a trip. Who knows?

  6. Yeah, I fall into your category and can’t even get myself worked up for a gift of religious significance (sorry, St. Francis. And Deb’s mom).

    Especially when it comes to jewelry. I mean, I get that bling is nice, but I feel selfish asking for/desiring anything for myself when there are too many other expenses lying around (household upgrades, groceries, college, wine clubs).

    Of course, the fact that I took a leave of absence from a paycheck to write (and now make absolutely no money) may have something to do with my gift guilt.

    But truthfully, I didn’t want presents even when I WAS hauling in the big bucks as a high school English teacher.

    If only I’d known about plastic penis cups, though…things may have been different for me.

  7. green girl in wisconsin says:

    I’m with you–people make much of events and I’m not inclined to do so. Not for me, not for others. I’d rather just enjoy a fun day. Hence my LAME birthday this year!

  8. San Diego Momma says:

    I would LOVE to celebrate with you in a non-big way!

    Smalltown Mom:
    My dad IS Norwegian. This is explaining a lot.

    I went bowling for my 40th too! True story.

    I promise, the plastic penis cups were not life-changing. Really.

    I bet your b-day was anything but lame. XOXO

  9. Mama Mary says:

    We compliment each other well. I am the “celebrate all month long” kinda girl and you will support me, just as I’ll go bowling with you on your special day.

  10. How am I the first person who is commenting that you are going to Palm Springs for THREE DAYS OF CHEESE?! I want to go to that party.

  11. tinsenpup says:

    I’ve always struggled to know quite what to do with birthdays. I tend to suffer guilt when fuss is made. Ridiculous, I know, so I’ve been working on it. This year I took my babies to the zoo on my birthday, which was one of my best birthdays ever. I might work my way up to something spectacular for my 40th or something.

Leave a Reply