gridlore: One of the "Madagascar" penguins with a checklist: [x] cute [x] cuddly [x] psychotic (Penguin - Checklist)
[personal profile] gridlore
It's my birthday in a couple of days, and I'm going to ask you all to please ignore it. I have a lot of reasons for not particularly like my birthday, which I'll go into in a moment, but I really shouldn't have to do that. I should be able to ask my friends to be cool about it. But that never works.

We'll go backward. Isn't it grand how every social media site trumpets that it is your birthday to hundreds of people you might not know that well? Well, I hate it. I've removed my date of birth from both Facebook and Twitter, but I have little faith in them remembering that setting. As a result, I have in the past received hundreds of birthday wishes from people I've never met and have little clue about. That reduces a birthday wish to a rote machine action. *Ping* Fred has a birthday. Send cake? y/n.

Screw it, let's go all over the place. I was born on Independence Day. Seems cool, right? All those fireworks and parades for you? Except that when I was growing up it meant my friends - the few I had - usually had plans with family around the 4th. Then I got a little sister for my 5th birthday. Yup, we share the day, five years apart.

So now I was not only sharing the day with the country but with a sibling. As you can imagine, this quickly meant having to alternate who got the big day. I'd celebrate my birthday on the 3rd, or the 5th, every other year. And still, trying to get parties together sucked.

To be honest, the only thing I liked about my birthday was a massive taco feast and my favorite cake. Even presents lost their luster as I grew older. I became extremely cynical about the entire 4th of July thing by the time I was 16.

Then I joined the Army. You think the US Army takes Independence Day off? Ha! I spent my 19th birthday marching in a parade in dress greens then manning a table where I explained the M-16A1 to a parade of goobers. Did I mention that this parade was in Columbus, Ga? It was near 100 degrees and the humidity had to be in the low 90s. And I was there in a freaking suit.

Needless to say, I didn't celebrate that much that year, or any year after that. I just endured my birthday. It's just another day, really. I don't see why such a fuss is made over the simple reality of surviving 365 days.

Because when I think of survival, I look at what I've been through. I've come close to dying several times since 1995, and it deeply affected how I look at like. This was where I started actively hating my birthday. I'll freely admit it was based on a rather nihilistic outlook. I'm doomed to die, why are you reminding me that I'm one day closer to that! It sounds silly, but as someone who is keenly aware of personal mortality, I prefer to look ahead and strive for the new, rather than celebrate the meaningless passage of time.

So on Tuesday, I turn 51. I'll be the same person I was the day before and the day after. Since we got the Omaha Steaks order, we'll celebrate with a nice steak dinner, and the next night we go to see Iron Maiden at Oracle Arena with Ghost opening. The weekend brings the new Spider-Man movie. This would be a great week if it were in June or August.

So this is my request to you all. If you know me personally. If we've spoken face to face or worked on a project together, if you are someone I KNOW, feel free to mention the landmark. You don't have to, but if there is some cultural touchstone that compels you to do so, go for it. If the only reason you know my birthday is July 4th is a notification, and you don't really know me, please refrain.

Look, I know this sounds really anti-social. But it's how my brain works. Last year I nearly smashed my computer over this. It's one of the myriad issues I hope to get into when I get a referral for a therapist. Who knows, this time next year I might be demanding a trip to Reno. After All, I'll be 52 and finally be playing with a full deck!

One birthday present I would like, the California Lottery's MegaMillions game is up to $167 million. The draw is Tuesday.

Date: 3 Jul 2017 01:36 (UTC)
netquiddler: (New Jersey)
From: [personal profile] netquiddler
Duly noted. (Any objections to me playing 4-6-7-14-47-51 - I think - for Tuesday's draw?)

Date: 3 Jul 2017 03:05 (UTC)
onyxlynx: The words "Old School" in white on a blue background with three variable-pointed stars in white. (Old School)
From: [personal profile] onyxlynx
You probably need to take it off this site as well -- that's where I get everyone's birthday.

Have fun at the Iron Maiden concert. (We've met a couple of times, but it was years ago.)

Date: 3 Jul 2017 03:27 (UTC)
From: [personal profile] freetrav
Noted, although I should also note that I rarely offer birthday greetings outside my family, as I pretty much ignore my own - to the point where I have to stop and think/do math when someone asks my age (not when they ask my DoB, though; that's an automatic response that I'm not certain actually goes through the brain any more).

Date: 3 Jul 2017 04:35 (UTC)
murphymom: (Default)
From: [personal profile] murphymom
How about if, instead of telling what kind of day to have, I simply note that I am g;ad you were born, glad you became part of this crazy family, and glad you are still with us.

(And I think your sister-in-law may have some grasp of the negatives of a July 4 birthday.)

Date: 3 Jul 2017 06:30 (UTC)
kshandra: figurine of a teddybear seated at an office desk, looking at a computer (ComputerBear)
From: [personal profile] kshandra
Having discussed the matter with him at length before, I feel fairly comfortable saying that there's a difference here. LJ/DW, you still need to make the effort of either making a post in your own journal or going out to your friend's journal and commenting on their own birthday post if one exists. (Or sending a virtual gift back on LJ.) FB does everything but put your fingers on the keyboard. "Hey, it's $SOMERANDOMDUDEYOUMETYEARSAGO'S birthday! Here's an open text box that will post right on their wall!"

Date: 3 Jul 2017 11:03 (UTC)
melchar: raccoon girl at halloween (halloween melchar)
From: [personal profile] melchar
Heh heh - how about I call you a kid and tease you about being a gamer-come-lately? ^_^ [This said 'cause I'm going to be 60 this Hallowe'en.]

Date: 3 Jul 2017 19:57 (UTC)
onyxlynx: Badly-drawn teacup with steam and eyepatch (Pirate Teacup)
From: [personal profile] onyxlynx
Ugh, FB.

(I begin to suspect it is the real Mark of the Beast. I'm probably wrong in at least scope, though.)

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gridlore: Doug looking off camera with a grin (Default)
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