…and an Inch to Grow On

May 21st, 2015 | By | Category: Columns

Birthdays serve as a celebration of your birth (thanks Captain Obvious). As a child, it was second Christmas, as a teenager, it meant guilt-free money, and as an adult, it means rationalizing why it’s okay to wolf down an entire ice cream cake for dinner chased by half a bottle of peppermint schnapps. The fact that people even get a warm and fuzzy feeling on their birthday shows how selfish people are.

For our entire lives, birthdays have been dedicated to our own happiness and fulfillment. We’re being celebrated for an act we had no part in and are rewarded for simply falling out of a vagina–or, if you wanted to make a bad first impression, had to be surgically removed like an overgrown tumor. Your one job during childbirth is to come out the way all mammals have done for millions upon millions of years, and your first instinct is “Nah, fuck that.” Still, the minimal amount of work we put in at the onset of life pales in comparison to those who were also there:

  • The nurses waiting hand and foot on your poor mother, making sure she was pumped full of enough painkillers to down a raging bull elephant.
  • The doctor who has to sit there and pull you from your mother, all the while having to pretend that the miracle of childbirth isn’t the most grotesque event to witness. (I’d be willing to bet that at least 37% of obstetricians are so traumatized by the event that they develop a mild case of PTSD, having flashbacks whenever somebody chewing gum starts to blow a bubble. While the devotion to their craft is admirable and a tad bit questionable, nobody gave, nor did more, than your mother.)

As far as celebrating your birth, we’ve already established that you were merely a parasite who needed to be removed, the person who should be lavished with gifts and praise should be your weary mother for having to deal with you from conception until she was finally able to get you out of the house. Pregnancy does not look fun. At all. Some of the rules you need to follow to ensure your child is born healthy: having to cut out vices, adhere to fashion that only the richest kings of Nairobi would wear, these are just two examples that help contribute to a decrease in quality of life for a pregnant woman.

Take sleep, for example: we all have those nights where we just can’t find the right position to fall asleep in, and, if we managed to fall asleep on those nights, it sets in twenty minutes before the alarm is set to go off. Yeah, that’s pregnancy. Only, replace “bedtime” with “all the time” and “sleep” with “lol, fuck you!” Oh, and on top of being unable to simply be comfortable or well-rested, there’s the constant urge to urinate as your fetal head is using your mom’s bladder as a pillow and/or punching bag. There’s a distinct possibility that you caused your mother to wet the bed, so, good job on breaking that streak of consistent toilet usage.

Speaking of using the facilities, the strain of your birth is so great, that every muscle in her lower extremities is going to convulse and strain, and there’s about a 95% chance that she voided her bowels onto the delivery room floor. Once again, you’ve caused her undeserved embarrassment. You come out of the womb, looking like a meatloaf slathered in ketchup, you’re cleaned up, dried off, and handed to your exhausted mother. Now, any mother who looks down at this squirming bag of dry meat and choses to love it unconditionally rather than give it up for a large pizza is already a mother-of-the-year in my book. Your mother looked down at your splotchy, wrinkled face and made a vow to love you more than life itself, until the very light of the stars is consumed by darkness and the universe collapses into a quiet stillness, and you think you’re entitled to a Power Rangers action set and a chocolate cake because you were a burden for yet another year. This is where the middle finger goes.

Birthdays really don’t serve a purpose for those who are being (unjustly) celebrated. Life, unfortunately, is not like the Sims, you don’t magically go through the four stages of life with a quick spin on your heel when you meet the specified age. You notice the changes taking place in you every day, every inch of height and wrinkle you gain is something that occurs gradually. There’s no predetermined age where, once you reach it, you know everything there is to know about life and are then free to pass that knowledge down to younger generations.

In fact, I’d argue that the older you get, the better you have to be at faking being an adult because everyone expects you to know how to itemize a tax return, or that Pop-Tarts aren’t an acceptable dinner (they are). All birthdays are is a constant reminder that the top half of your hour glass is gradually, and consistently, losing sand, and that with each passing second you’re closer to death than you’ve ever been. Birthdays aren’t a celebration of life, it’s a reminder that it ends. The gifts, the cake, the love from friends and family, it all serves to help push that thought to the back of your mind for a little while. Or, it’s a show of love by the people who care for you who are grateful that your existence makes their lives happier.


You know, whichever.


!Feliz cumpleaños!

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