Five reasons why birthdays stink

I hate birthdays.

Reason number one. You get older. That was fun when you were 15 going on 16 and got your driver’s license, but it’s not fun anymore. I’m 36 and what does that get you? Nothing.

I’m high risk for pregnancy now. I need routine blood work now and tests for diseases. I’m too old for staying out late but too young for a senior discount. Stuff is starting to hurt– stuff like staying awake all day long.

Reason number two (or sub point to reason number one). Women like men who are confident, but men like women who are beautiful. Too bad for us, but it’s true. Do you know why Lois Lane liked Superman but not Clark Kent? Obviously, it wasn’t his appearance, though the red cape is sort of suave. No, really. Come on, they were the same guy! They had the same looks, but Superman had swagger.

Men are lucky because they can just change their personality if it’s not working and complement their woman a whole bunch. It doesn’t matter if men are ugly. They just need to smell okay and get a job. But women? We have to dye our hair, shave, starve, pierce, shop, pluck, wax, maintain healthy pregnancies, and moisturize. It’s painful to be beautiful, especially if you want good eyebrows. And getting older makes this a whole lot harder. The upkeep is uphill.

As an aside, do young people say “suave”? No. Suave is a generic shampoo not a personality trait in a young man. More proof that I’m getting old.

Reason number three. Special days should be these days: St. Patrick’s Day, the day you beat a hard level on a video game, and the Fourth of July. Why? Because there are no expectations. We can all have a good time celebrating and nobody has to bring a present. Just fun, fun, fun. I like fireworks and food and music and talking about politics, theology, and the economy. That’s what we do at a Fourth of July picnic. So let’s do more of those.

When everyone forgets your birthday (which can happen if you’re not on Facebook), it can be a drag. But nobody forgets to bring the sparklers on the Fourth of the July or to wear green on March 17th, and most people aren’t in a bad mood on that day.

Have you ever noticed that young girls sing Taylor Swift songs about expectations of being rescued by a prince? That’s because life hasn’t ruined their hope and squashed all their expectations. Good for them. I read today that we are Easter people living in a Good Friday world. Young people are Easter people about to wake up in a Good Friday world.

Getting older means that time is almost up, and I’ve not had a chance to become an optimist. So now I’m mad about that, too.

Reason number four. Time’s almost up. Who knows how long we have left? But it’s shorter today than it was yesterday, and birthdays put a punctuation mark on that fact. What if I die and I’m still a jerk? What if I die and never capitalize on turning my bad qualities into assets? What if people say, “Good. Finally!” on my Facebook page after I’m gone? What if I have to leave the game with money on the table when I was just getting to the good part, the part where all this was strategically leading and going to come together perfectly? What if I die before I learn how to make good paragraph breaks? What if God brings me home before I’m finished? Are people with good theology allowed to say that or do I have to pretend that I don’t worry about it because worrying is a sin?

Reason number five. Pressure. What if your car breaks down on your birthday? That can ruin everything. The pressure for stuff to go well today is too high!

My kid has the stomach flu today, and I’m feeling like it’s about to hit me too. I feel awful. That’s why I decided to lay down today instead of throwing hay to the cattle, horses, and the lone sheep (that is for sale) this morning.

So now everything is worse, especially if nobody from the internet buys my sheep at a special low price in three E-Z payments. It’s pouring outside, and the hay is now wet. That’ll fix me. I should’ve done it earlier. Wet hay bales are heavy, and I’m a wimp. A slacker! My son has a 103 temp, and so that leaves me to do the dirty deed even if I have a headache and have to throw up. And now I’m pathetic too!

Three people texted me about having a great day today. Well, that’s a lot of pressure when you’re having a day like this. Should I tell them? Would it obligate them to send another text saying they’re sorry?

What if the gift is this: that there are people who care that you have a good day in the first place rather than the fact that the stomach flu is about to descend upon your house and give you about 24 hours wishing for death some other way?

People on Facebook want me to have a great day. My ten-year-old gave me a hug. I got two cards in the mail, not counting the one from our auto insurance company. But what I really want is for the cows to stop bellowing. Really. Can’t they see it’s my birthday?

So happy March 8th to you. I bet it was good and you weren’t even expecting it. Those are the best kind of days.

Charles turned six last week. He still leads a charmed life. I try not to rub off on the kids.

42 Responses to “Five reasons why birthdays stink”

  1. 1
    Beth

    My March 8 was made happier by the fact that you are blogging again. Hope you have at least a little fun on your birthday! You deserve it

  2. 2

    Call a neighbor or friend who lives near. Tell them it’s your birthday and that you don’t feel good and your animals need fed. Being your birthday will throw more guilt for them to come and do the deed for you. :) Hope you all feel better soon!!!

  3. 3
    Cathy

    aww, hope you don’t get as sick as you think you will!!! Actually, I really enjoy my birthdays, now that I”m past 50, they are just fun!!! I have six kids, well, adults, now, and 4 littles, and just makes the day great! And, I’d just send my oldest kids out there to do the work….on our dairy farm, everybody knew how to milk and feed, so when the elders got sick, they pitched in…..great to see you writing again, too!

  4. 4

    Your posts always make me chuckle, if that’s any consolation… I hope your birthday improves and you’re feeling better soon…. Tolerable birthday to you. :o)

  5. 5

    Well, if misery truly does love company (and does it, truly?), then know that except for the stomach bug part I totally commiserate! You may not be having a fun, easy day (is that even possible?), but at least you haven’t lost your mind yet. Your thinking is very clear (and, as usual, also hilarious).

    And who cares if Facebook people remember your birthday? “I baked you a SuperCake” or whatever. Hummph.

    Maybe the best part of a birthday, besides the landmarks of being able to drive, being able to drink, being able to rent a car, and being able to be President, is that people say, “I’m so glad you were born.”

    And I, for one, am so glad you were born!!

    Many happy non-returns of this particular day.

  6. 6

    I feel like you just dared me to tell you happy birthday. I’ve never been smart enough to back away from a dare, so I’m just going to say it: Happy, happy birthday!

  7. 7
    Stephanie

    Is Greg in the doghouse or something? …….or worse yet, away on your birthday with high temps and stomach flu and wet hay abounding?

    Happy Birthday, Amy! Just get through this day and postpone the celebrating for a brighter day, one with sunshine and sold sheep and no puke!

  8. 8

    Oh, you make me laugh. Have a bad day, already! See, you can achieve that. :) It’s all in the expectations.

    Hoping that this black cloud has a silver lining. ;)

  9. 9
    Stacey McLeod

    We love ya Amy. Let the cows eat grass today…they’ll live.

    I cannot believe C is so big already….I still see him in his little overalls when you moved to the farm….

    And if St. Patrick’s day is a good holiday, what do we do now with Katie’s birthday on the 17th? Green cupcakes again? Every year? She will be 3. Terrible 3….bracing myself…
    Stacey

  10. 10

    Does the talk about pregnancies equate a subliminal announcement? Or just observations about turning 36?

    Sorry if it’s not an announcement and this is just an annoying question. I know people always seem to be anticipating that I might be pregnant, and sometimes I just want to be able to say “guess what” without everyone in the room at once saying, “YOU’RE PREGNANT!” when it’s not true.

    ANyway. I decided to go ahead and ask, since you didn’t like your birthday being forgotten, I figured you wouldn’t like it if your announcement got overlooked either. :)

  11. 11

    Jess, I’m glad you asked, because inquiring minds (mine) were wondering the same thing.

    Amy, I love this: Charles turned six last week. He still leads a charmed life. I try not to rub off on the kids. Tee, hee. It won’t work, but keep trying.

    Once in a while, you remind me of Eeyore, who is now 82 years of age, by the way.

    “Good morning, Pooh Bear,” said Eeyore gloomily. “If it is a good morning,” he said. “Which I doubt,” said he.
    “Why, what’s the matter?”
    “Nothing, Pooh Bear, nothing. We can’t all, and some of us don’t. That’s all there is to it.”
    “Can’t all what?” said Pooh, rubbing his nose.
    “Gaiety. Song-and-dance. Here we go round the mulberry bush.”

    I wish you a bit of gaiety, and a smidgen of song-and-dance, Amy. Even if you have to celebrate another day, when the tummy’s not so rumbly.

    Birthday hugs from an internet/Facebook Friend.

  12. 12
    Christy

    Happy Birthday Amy! You crack me up :) Sorry you’re not feeling well.

  13. 13
    Anna

    I love Janet’s comment about Eeyore. Yes, that’s it exactly.

    Well, I do hope you don’t get sick, at the very least. Being an internet stranger, I can’t really promise more than that, can I?

    I am going to be sure to celebrate St Patrick’s Day later this month. And maybe a July 4th in April instead? Why not celebrate Cinco De Mayo, too? Cause you’re right, all the others are heavy with expectations and such.

    I am working on some genealogy currently, and I’m sifting through those who were around during the Great Depression. Can you imagine dying in the middle of that, with no hope that life would get better? Terrible. My husband was quick to point out that once they’re gone, and presumably in heaven, it wouldnt’ matter any more. But those last few days/moments would really suck.

  14. 14
    Amy R

    Hilarious! I’m literally laughing out loud! I mean, I feel your pain, being of the over 40 subset myself :)

  15. 15
    Rachael in Australia

    Well I was having a good day until I read your post. It wasn’t something you said, more something I noticed…the date. Is it really March 8th? Surely not because that would mean it’s my mother’s birthday today. Oops.

    I turn 40 this year (doing some slow breathing after writing that). It’s nothing like turning 30. I loved finally being 30 as I’d felt like I was already there a long time before I reached it (having had 3 of my 6 children before 30 probably contributed to that). When people ask about the challenges of getting older, I say the battle against cynicism is the hardest. I get a lot of blank stares with that answer but something tells me that you could relate :)

  16. 16

    Unless you suddenly aged a massive amount in the past 2 and a half years, you still have quite a bit more time before you’re so old as to be considered unattractive. Pretty girls like you always exaggerate about these kinds of things, LOL.

    What it is about March 8? I have friend who turned 50, and a beloved relation with a birthday today as well.

    I turned 40 last summer. My crisis passed rather quickly, I must say. Turns out the anticipation of turning 40 was far worse than the state of being 40, which has been rather nice.

    Happy Birthday, Amy! All the best to you.

  17. 17

    Your post made me laugh, and people have said in clever ways the things I thought of, and lots of things I didn’t. Anyway, I hope your Friday is good–better than today. Hang in there.

  18. 18

    Well Puddleglum, I shouldn’t wonder if your day went completely downhill after you wrote this positively joyous description of the anniversary of your birth! Despite the flu, wet hay, achy muscles, crows feet and bellowing cows I pray your day was indeed blessed!

  19. 19

    I LOVE YOU SO MUCH. Thank you, thank you, thank you. My birthday is December 22, and every year since I have been married with children, it has reduced me to tears. Except once. We had some friends over for dinner and played Dutch Blitz, and I was so happy that somebody had time for me–even though it was December 22–that I actually did not cry that year. Because nobody was sick, and I was honestly having fun instead of feeling smashed into a corner that was already full of unwrapped presents and a tree I’d forgotten to water, while everyone expected me to be joyful, and where did the scotch-tape go again, dang it?

    My daughter’s favorite holiday is the Fourth of July. Seriously. She always says this. I thought it was because I always cry on my birthday and ruin Christmas, but now I see it is because low expectations, sparklers and fireworks are fun.

    All that aside, though, I loved being 36. Just to let you know. When I was 36, my youngest was in first grade, and we were all sleeping through the night, and everybody could tie his/her own shoes, and none of them needed me to come and wipe them after they went to the bathroom. 36 is a pretty great number, too. It divides by 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, 9, 12 and 18 and it is a perfect square. When I turned 36, I had not been pregnant for 6.5 years, and that was totally fantastic. I was pregnant pretty much solidly through my twenties, and after that I really, really appreciated my thirties. So I hope you enjoy being 36 too.

    And I am sorry you did not have a great day. Once I was whining to my sister about how I received underwear from my husband for a gift (I can never remember, in retrospect, which gifts were birthday gifts and which were Christmas gifts). Not only was it underwear, it was maternity underwear. My sister listened quietly and then asked, “Well, was it wrapped?” I sighed. “Yes, it was wrapped.” “Well,” she told me, “there you go. Be thankful. I wrap my own.”

  20. 20
    Acrophile

    It was my birthday too, and it stank. My husband was sick and my daughter came home from school with pinkeye and now has to stay home from tomorrow’s long awaited field trip. I am very much right there with you.

  21. 21

    Oh Amy, I feel your misery. Just wait till you hit 39 like I did in December….

  22. 22
    Lois

    oh that was good, Amy. and really, I do care enough to wish you happy birthday the next day. And next year, there are a few chances (if there’s chance) of it being on the day!
    I grinned bigger the longer I read. You sure snuck a lot of funny things in there–while feeling rotten, which has to count for something too.
    I really am sorry though that it’s all so lousy and I’ll pray no one else gets it. Actually, I’m presuming someone else has already had it.. even if it’s a new strain since the last one.
    And in 3 months, Charles doesn’t even look the same as he did then. What did you do to him?? Stop that boy from growing up!! Sure is good looking, though, eh?
    Get well, kiddo; get home soon, Greg; and may the sun come out today and the cows be content and ya’ll feel much better.
    …aagghh. I just went to mark your birthday once and for all on my calendar and saw it was my former neighbor’s bd today–and she ALWAYS gave us cards.

  23. 23
    Lela

    You are a hoot! You need to write more posts! In all that spare time you have! Ha!

    I love talking politics, religion, economics, but I meet few people who want to discuss it. My son is majoring in econ. though. We’re starting to have some good discussions.

    I hope your birthday weekend gets better. Thanks for starting my weekend with some good humor! I’m going to need it.

  24. 24
    Freida

    The one good thing about birthdays is that it means that things will change. At least I’m now older and wiser. It did take awhile for the wiser part to settle in, though. :)

    I was so stupid in my 20′s. I actually thought that when I turned 30, I’d be old. 30 was 10 years better than 20. I only had one child when I was 20. And it was a lousy hospital birth at that. When I was 30, I had 4 children, the last a glorious birth at home. Now that I’m 40, having children has become less of an automatic thing and more of a I hope I’m not done kind of thing.

    What if we were like the Tucks? And we didn’t get older? How sad.

    I take it back about being wiser. I think I only became more knowledgeable. Maybe it kicks in at 50. Or when he grandchildren come.

    Happy Birthday, even if it’s not a spectacular day. Tomorrow will be better. Or it won’t. But God’s in His Heaven and all’s right with the world.

    (Don’t buy into all the tests for “advanced maternal age”.)

  25. 25
    Cindy C

    Awww Amy, you’re still a spring chicken! I wasn’t so fond of my mid to late 30′s, but I have really loved life in my 40′s. I don’t know exactly what it is, but I wouldn’t trade ages with anyone in their 30′s for anything. You probably don’t believe me…….I wouldn’t have believed it either when I was 36.

    Your comment about being “high risk for pregnancy” made me chuckle. I’m 45 and expecting #7. Keep that info under your hat – I’m trying to put off my mothers nervous breakdown for a while longer! ;-)

    Hope you’re getting the same KY sunshine I woke up to this morning. Spring is almost here! Happy belated Birthday, Amy.

  26. 26
    Wendy

    Right on. The world doesn’t stop turning on our birthdays like when we were children, huh? I remember how sorry I felt for myself in college when Chris had to go to work on my birthday. This year He was in Kiev. The kids still have homework. They still need their lunches made, diapers changed, discipline. On it goes. It is good to hear when everyone else’s life isn’t picture perfect either. Happy belated birthday nonetheless!

  27. 27
    Rebekah McKissick

    Ahem! I hope you will be wearing orange this March 17th young lady! Happy Birthday Amy.:)
    From one (reformed) presbyterian girl to the other,
    Rebekah

    P.S. I turn 30 on monday.

  28. 28

    [...] are like New Years Eve to me. They aren’t much fun. Here Amy Scott articulates why birthdays are better ignored. Pretty funny and [...]

  29. 29
    Amy Scott

    Greg got home today (surprise! we weren’t expecting it), and McGregor and I took a ton of vitamin C and D. So things are looking up. It’s almost disappointing to say so; I was getting rather fond of the sympathy. (I’m so pathetic!) Thank you for the birthday wishes.

    And no, I’m not pregnant!

  30. 30
    Amy Scott

    p.s. It finally stopped raining. The sun is out. I’m out of bed. And I just came in from selling off one of those bellowing cows.

  31. 31
    Lois

    Yea!!! Good job, Greg!

  32. 32
    Lois

    oh there was more! Good job, Amy! if that cow’s not content, let her bellow elsewhere. Plus you’re up and the sun came out too! nice!

  33. 33
    Amy Scott

    Well, it was a decent cow, but they do tend to bellow when they want their hay. :)

  34. 34
    Lois

    ah yes. or when they get out of the pasture and can’t get back in. I learned that one good.

  35. 35
    shnua

    My wonderful and beautiful friend had a birthday today. The horrible person I am, I just realized it. What’s wrong with that? Call her up, you say? Well, I would, but it is now 10:22 pm and I don’t think she would appreciate it very much at this hour. She seems to think that the older you get the worse it is to have a birthday. I disagree. There is something exciting about growing older. Don’t get me wrong, I will agree there are a lot more things you have to worry about, but there are also new adventures ahead of you. You know what they say about older women. Who says you have to stop living just because you are growing older? I sure don’t! My wonderful friend…. live life to it’s fullest, party like it’s 1999 and most of all, I hope you had a great birthday.

  36. 36
    Shnua

    An awesome friend of mine had a birthday today and the horrible person I am, I just realized it. What’s wrong with that? Call her up, you say? Well, I would, but it is now 10:12 pm and I don’t think she would appreciate it very much at this hour. She seems to think the older you get the worse it is to have a birthday. I disagree. There is something exciting about growing older. Don’t get me wrong, I will agree there are a lot more things you have to worry about, but there are also new adventures ahead. Plus, you know what they say about older women. Who says you have to stop living just because you are growing older? I sure don’t! My wonderful, beautiful friend…. live life to it’s fullest, party like it’s 1999 and most of all, I hope you had a great birthday.

  37. 37

    I’m going to pretend I’m turning 36.

    There, my day just got brighter, and I’m now 8 years younger. Look, if you’re going to be a pessimist, you have to do it right – things like “I might as well round up to 50, it’s just easier”.

    Happy Birthday!

    Do you not like sheep? I mean, I remember the (hushed tone) g-o-a-t-s, but are sheep equally problematic?

  38. 38
    Robin in New Jersey

    Happy belated birthday, Amy!

    I was in SC on the 8th spending the day with my son, who had just finished bootcamp and became a US Marine!

    I can’t believe Charles is 6! I remember when you were pregnant with him!

  39. 39
    Amy Scott

    Do you not like sheep? I mean, I remember the (hushed tone) g-o-a-t-s, but are sheep equally problematic?

    Nah, I just don’t have any use for one sheep. I mean, we can’t breed her. She’s funny to look at, but that’s about it. Time to eat her.

    Thanks, all, for the birthday wishes. (And Robin, wow, that’s a long time you’ve been reading. Thanks for hanging in there with me, as well as several others I recognize from a long time ago. What a blessing.)

  40. 40
    Holly

    I can’t believe Charles is six, either. Wow. Really?

    I hate birthdays too – mostly because I have all of these expectations – I mean, like the kids might not squabble and might clean the house for me without me asking them to – and then I’m disappointed when instead of giving me what I really want they would rather buy me a gift from the dollar store.

    Also? I think you have read too many articles about biblical gender roles from a complementarian perspective. (Snicker.) Sure, men like beautiful women. (And you are, and you will be. But you do get bonus points for pointing out the uphill battle. We hates it…..) However: Mature men love a woman who is beautiful INSIDE too – and that’s not just to make us feel better. It’s true. Becoming a woman of substance – inwardly – is one of the rewards of getting older.

  41. 41
    Amy Scott

    I think you have read too many articles about biblical gender roles from a complementarian perspective.

    You are funny. Greg was just arguing your side of the equation to me. But I was (rightly, gosh darn it) pointing out to him, that men are still very visual. They want BOTH. He was like, “Yeah, you know those kind of guys who [major stereotype here that I'm deleting]…they want arm candy. Brains don’t matter, but I want brains and common sense and….” And then I’m like, “But it helps if she’s hot, too. Right? I mean, it doesn’t hurt. You would have never listened to my good sense if you didn’t think I was hot when you saw me across the room when I was 19.” And then, he’s like, “You don’t know men.” And then I’m like, “Yes, I do.” And then we go round and round again.

  42. 42

    Seriously. Thank you. This was great!


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