Shell Shocked: Is it worth celebrating birthdays?
My birthday took place recently and it came and went like a mid-western tornado.
You wait all year for that one-day milestone and poof, before you get a chance to really sink into it it’s already the next day. For months, you look forward to all the love and affection the human race is capable of bestowing on you the day of your birthday and in the blink of an eye it’s just another memory.
My question to mankind is this. Why did you make birthdays one day only? Why not three days so that we could really dive into it and have more time to enjoy it?
During my recent birthday I received many emails and social media messages commemorating my birthday from people I don’t even know. I even got a form message from President Putin wishing me a happy birthday, reinforcing the notion that he’s hacking into U.S. emails. Believe me, I have no insider information to give him other than the price of Russian vodka seems to be going up.
How can you feel singled out if you get a birthday greeting from Amazon, Jet Blue, the Maharajah of Trisfecteran and the entire New York Yankees team? Do they even know who I am? Everyone’s birthday is in some computer or other I guess. That’s why I was happy to receive real birthday cards in the mail. But when I opened one it was from my local pharmacy. Friends, Romans, family, where are you when I need you? It’s clear that I crave more personal attention.
There was one human touch I appreciated though. I was taken to dinner by my brother, his wife and two daughters. But they took me to a restaurant that had a decibel level of okay, I’ll talk the landing will be on Omaha Beach, now turn that sound down before my ear drums find their way down my esophagus.
Why would they choose a restaurant where we couldn’t hear each other talk? It was an opportunity to catch up but all I caught was an ear ache. I got a neat present though. It was an Echo Dot. If you’re not familiar with this incredible 23rd century device it answers all your questions, carries out commands such as beating up your neighbors and tells you what time it is in Tokyo, information we need daily to fulfill our life’s pursuits.
But I must come back to how quickly a birthday comes and goes. And each year that passes intensifies the fleeting few hours that make up a birthday. Honestly, this year my birthday seemed to last all of one hour. I blinked twice and it was the next day.
But before I start feeling sorry for myself just imagine someone whose birthday is Feb. 29 someone born during a leap year. When I think of that person waiting four years to celebrate a birthday I feel much better about my own plight.
But I’d like you to sign a petition mandating that birthdays last for three full days. If the Labor Day and Memorial Day weekends last all of three days why can’t birthdays?
-Art Stevens is a long-time columnist for The Islander. His tongue-in-cheek humor is always offered with a smile.