Oh look, what time of year is it? Why, it’s the time of year when Greg’s birthday is rapidly approaching. Now don’t get me wrong, I’m not one to fear the actual moment of being a year older, or someone finding himself looking in the mirror every morning to see if liver spots have started to materialize. But it is the time of year when I try to figure out what the heck I’m doing for my birthday, and wonder if I should really even bother.
Part of the problem is that when you have a lot of friends, you might want to invite them all. This is a great thing when you’ve got a huge house with which to entertain. Not so much in a 580 square-foot apartment. A couple of months ago two friends offered up their home for a birthday party and I ended up turning them down. I’m not entirely sure why, to be honest. It was an extremely generous offer (and their rowhouse in DC is fantastic, I’m very appreciative of it) but it just didn’t feel right for some reason. So instead I keep running through the different options (small group of friends over at my place, medium group of friends out for dinner, large group of friends out for dinner at somewhere that could accomodate them) and none of them are jumping out at me.
I think part of the problem is that (my own) birthday parties actually stress me out. Not just the planning, but the actual having them. Is everyone having a good time? Have I spent time with everyone? What’s going on over there that I need to take care of? Are the people at the other end of the table feeling slighted? (This is usually the point where it’s pointed out that I really spend too much time worrying about other people.) Meanwhile, it’s now less than four weeks from the actual day in question so I need to get my act together if I’m to plan anything.
That said, I’m half-contemplating doing absolutely nothing for my birthday this year. Or at best, something really, really low key. (Picking a bar for Saturday night, telling people to show up if they feel like it, and calling it a day. At least DC is smoke-free these days.) Turning 34 is hardly a big exciting event, and not doing anything for it relieves a lot of the pressure and stress and trying to draw lines on who to invite when potential guest lists are three times as long as could be accomodated no matter where I would want to go. Except, of course, for the potential, “What was I thinking?” moment when my birthday rolls around and nothing is planned for it.
There are certainly more important things to get stressed out over than one’s own birthday party, but I think I spent a good half-hour in bed last night flipping around under the covers and trying to think of what to do. (It’s a pity the weather in late March is so unpredictable because every year for a split second the idea of a picnic tied into the kite festival is always raised. Then I’m reminded that the reason why the kite festival is that weekend has to do with high velocity winds. Yeah, not so good.) My life in a nutshell, really.
At least I’m not actually freaked out by the idea of being older. Can you imagine a combination of the two issues? Yikes. I’d have to be sedated for the month of March!