I am not a big birthday person. I remember childhood parties at home, Chuck E Cheese, McDonalds, Chuck E Cheese, Pizza Hut, Chuck E Cheese again, and cookouts at our house with oxygen blown balloons, plastic tablecloths, grocery store cake, cone shaped paper hats and cheap party favors and blow horns that would last about as long as the “happy birthday” song. My birthday was six days after my grandmother’s, so as I got older I had birthday parties by proxy when my extended family would gather to celebrate my grandmother—and by extension “all the September babies.” As a child, parties were opportunities for positive attention—which is why I probably relished in the revelry and self-indulgence. Back then I was even excited about my sister’s birthday, which meant a consolation gift for the non-birthday girl (usually a coloring book and crayons) and leftover cake for days.
Happy birthday, Dr. Boylorn. Love you so much- Bisola-Mariam
"...I crave affirmation, but attention makes me uncomfortable." This sentence could not have resonated with me more. I am glad you are doing the hard work of reflection and therapy - and celebrating too! Happy belated birthday to you. Beautiful essay!
HB!! I loved your essay. Thank you for sharing so many emotions that you felt, across multiple situations. Birthdays ARE complicated and I wish more people were sensitive about them. I could relate to wanting attention and not wanting attention, and also the disappointment felt when no one makes an effort. I am that person who always makes the effort, so it was deeply hurtful when no one returns the favor. We are all expected to give and not expect anything in return, however I am rethinking that adage because I don’t usually give expecting anything, but as a human, I’d really like people to also be thinking of me once in a while! And I have never found two Virgos that are alike, but yes they are…. ♍️ 😆
happy birthday to you, robin! signing with my name and sending joy to you—megha