The very idea of turning 20 makes me more anxious than a kitten being threatened with a water gun. By now I should be mature, charming and dashingly good looking, but instead I’m a neurotic puddle who can’t even talk about politics unless drunk. I feel all out of sorts. I usually use birthdays as an opportunity to release my horrific brat child alter-ego, but right now I just want to be left alone in to cry in my bedroom cupboard.
Is this what other people feel like on their birthdays? Is that why they don’t wear the giant flashing badges I make them? I was warned that the birthday spark would eventually extinguish, but like the citizens of Sodom and Gomorrah, I did not listen! Now I’m left with nothing but my existential crisis to keep me warm at night.
Now, just because I don’t want to celebrate my own birthday at this moment in time, doesn’t mean that I’m not going to write an obnoxious article on how you should celebrate yours. I don’t want to hear any nonsense about the blind leading the blind. I may not practice what I preach but that doesn’t stop my preaching from being beautiful and true. Good lord, my misery has caused me to talk like the Pope. I better get on with writing a materialistic birthday guide before the nuns kidnap me and force me to wear something unflattering.
A while back I realised that my friends had stopped buying each other presents. I panicked at such cruel and unnatural behaviour, and upped the pressure by buying them all OTT gifts and making ornate, loving cards. They knew what I was doing, and received their parcels with distrust, but it still did the trick and forced them all to reciprocate.
Don’t bother doing this with all your friends, as it will only leave you penniless. For my 18th, my friend Charlie bought me a blow-up boyfriend. I think it will be safe to say that he will be getting nothing more than a pint this year.
If anyone asks you to send them online links, give them a big selection and insist they only buy you one thing from your list. Nine times out of ten this will cause them to buy you two of your choices. Don’t say that I didn’t benefit from my psychology A-level. However, do remember that this calculated behaviour is only appropriate once a year. Manipulation of loved ones is not very karma inducing in the long run, and you don’t want to be reincarnated as a slug. Slugs never get presents.
Birthdays are not just depressing because they remind you that you will one day die. They are also miserable because they force you to count your friends. I often find that I have less than I think I do. Maybe it’s because I insult them in my articles. Anyway, if you enjoy having a party but don’t want to be surrounded by acquaintances that are only there for the cake, then you better start doing some calculated networking two months before the big day. Right now it is too late for me to take my own advice, and my so-called friends are skipping my birthday to scurry off to their various fresher’s weeks. I hope your own minions are a little more loyal. At this rate I’ll just be getting drunk with my cat, and my cat doesn’t even like me much.
Surprise parties are nice, because you don’t have to do anything except turn up. Use Derren Brown techniques on a suggestible friend to get them to throw you a seemingly unexpected birthday bash. Spend a month using the words ‘surprise’ and ‘party’ in random sentences when conversing with them. An example would be “I can’t believe my birthday’s coming up again. It’s always such a surprise to see how time flies by!” Also whisper “THROW ME A SURPRISE PARTY” into their ear when they’re sleeping.
Only joking! Get those pyjamas off right now and pull on something sparkly! This is the only day of the year where you can dress like a huge ornamental fairy, and I expect you to take advantage of it. This year, I intend to get drunk over breakfast and then head down Oxford Street to buy something ostentatiously glamorous that I can’t afford.
I suppose I can’t force you into sequins if they’re really not your cup of tea, but do push the limits of what you love. If you normally wear jeans, then wear jeans embroidered with your face on your birthday. If you’re fond of woolly socks, then wear them on your hands as well as your feet. Right now I’ve got plastic jewels wound around my ankles and I’m not taking them off in a hurry. It’s my day of indulgence, and I’m going to milk it as much as I can.
How do you like to celebrate your birthday? Share with us in the comments below!
Written by Phoebe Eccles