Why Hate January 8
Hate is perhaps too strong a word, yet dislike doesn’t quite capture the feeling either, let us go with hate. For the last thirty some odd years, January 8 has continued to be the single most depressing day of the year. It’s the day that demonstrates the past year wasn’t the one, and just maybe, perhaps, next year will be. However, statistical analysis of the previous thirty years demonstrates that is will not be and really, why continue hoping that it will be?
You are wondering what I’m talking about, right? “Will be what?” is on the tips of your lips. Unless, of course, you have been around me enough on January 8 to already know the answer. Which is part and parcel to why I continue to hope that “next year will be different”, and continue to feel “crushed” on the eighth when it isn’t. You see, January 7th is my birthday.
Many people hate their birthdays as they get older, not I. I’m quite excited to be a year older, happy to have survived this long, and looking forward to earning a few more grey hairs! I believe birthdays are special days for celebrating life, fellowshipping with friends and family, eating too much good food, and having an all around good time! My wife and best friends don’t see it this way. From their personal perspective, they would just as soon pretend their birthdays didn’t actually happen, a non-event, and certainly not a reason to celebrate, party, or otherwise eat too much good food. Sometimes I even think they are embarrassed to admit that they even have a birthday, sort of like that embarrassing thing that happened that one time, that we just don’t want to talk about.
This is highly surprising, given that we don’t tend to require a reason to celebrate life, fellowship with each other, and eat too much good food. We do that on a regular basis, almost every weekend and typically through the week! Historically and statistically speaking, it would appear that birthdays are specifically a day for us to not celebrate, fellowship, or yada yada yada.
Since I was eight, I consider my birthdays to have been train wrecks for celebrations. Part of the problem seems to be following a major commercial holiday. People spent the previous month celebrating their tails off, they have just (January 2/3) gotten back home from vacation, travel, etc. – they are broke, and they worn out. Not really in the partying mood. Most family and friends will even merge Christmas and Birthday (oh yay!) and while I’m sure that many Christmas Gifts received where of somewhat higher quality than it would have been due to the fact that it was doubling as a Birthday gift as well, that’s not the point!
What is the point? I want to party with my friends and family and strangers even on my birthday. Knowing me, you know I want something larger than life. I’m not excited to get together for a nice steak dinner with some close friends and family on my birthday – heck, I do that whenever I feel like it. I want a knock down, drag out, cook a hawg, blow the top off party on my birthday. No, I am not interested in a “birthday in July” – or any day other than January 7th for that matter. I am more than capable of throwing a party on any other day myself.
I don’t know why I don’t simply plan and execute my own birthday party. I have some sort of psychological lock that won’t let me, because every year I plan “this year, I’ll do it myself!”, and then around Nov/Dec I begin to talk myself out of it, and finally I don’t do it, and ultimately, it doesn’t happen. Then I wake up on January 8.
I received over 60 electronic (chat/email/forum) “Happy Birthday” Wishes – surprisingly the majority of those were automated from forums I’m a member of, 8 face to face (6 of which were my wife and kids), 3 birthday cards, and 0 phone calls. Then there is the issue of gifts, no one seem to know what I might want – I received three birthday gifts this year (a cousin go me a Techno Clock, mom sent me a $50 check, and the Family got me a 12-gauge shotgun . People constantly complain to me that they don’t know what to get me – I’m too hard to shop for !? I don’t know how to make it any easier. However, all that material stuff aside, the single best gift that anyone could possible get me? Show up on my birthday and celebrate with me! It doesn’t have to be a surprise, tell me on Nov 3rd that you will be at my house on January 7th at 4:50pm to party, I’ll be ready!
One of the highlights of my birthday this year, was having lunch with Tommy and Will. We tried out a new BBQ spot near the house that turned out to be quite tasty, and managed to spend a few minutes together. Tracey made me some snicker-doodles last night (which I was quite happy to have in lieu of a cake) and we had a quite meal at home. I should be satisfied. I have family and friends who love me and obviously care about me. My life is good, I have a successful career, which I’m still employed in. I can pay all my bills, foster three children, and still find time to play a strategy game on a regular basis. By all accounts, January 8 shouldn’t bother me.
Tommy, ever compassionate, will likely leave a comment telling me to get over myself – everyone else will likely ignore the whole deal and in a few more hours, it won’t be January 8 any more and I’ll be mostly over it. For those who feel like they need an invitation, January 7th 2010 I’ll be turning 39, you are invited to celebrate with me, contact me if you need directions to the party.
December 14, 2017
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