I’ve spent my life cringing every time someone says, “Your birthday’s on Halloween? That must be so cool!” Yeah, it ranks right up under having a Christmas birthday… and anything else that puts your special day as an after-thought. Who doesn’t love being second place, or sometimes even being forgotten?
What? I sound bitter? You bet I do! Growing up, I always felt like all the other kids were having more fun than me on that day. Oftentimes, even my birthday cards must be reminders that my birthday is just part of something obviously seen as much more extraordinary, like ghosts and witches, and sometimes black cats. Apparently there are enough of us out there that the greeting card industry has designated a special line just for us… Oh, boy! The solace I find in this is that I may be able to find a support group.
My Halloween/birthdays were always so… awkward. My family didn’t celebrate Halloween, and since I grew up where we had many Mormons at school, and they couldn’t say the “Pledge of Allegiance,” have candy from Halloween parties, or play in any reindeer games at Christmas, everyone thought I was Mormon too. I’m not. Never have been. I even celebrated everything else (and proudly said the Pledge), but I had to try explaining that it was an evil holiday and I would happily eat cookies and candy, but I wouldn’t give out any (sure, I see the double standard now that I’m an adult). Most people never got it, so Mom often decided to let me stay home on my birthday. Kinda cool, but then there was no chance anyone would remember my birthday. You’ve got to have a presence, you know?
On my birthdays, my dad usually worked, and my mom and two sisters and I would shut the lights out for a few hours and pretend we weren’t home. That always makes for a fun birthday evening. You really can’t even light birthday cake candles then.
My best childhood birthday was spent in Hawaii on vacation. It just happened to be a good time for Dad to take some vacation from work and for us to fly the family out easily on his United Airlines stand-by passes, but I told everyone in my class we were going for my birthday. I figured they’d leave me alone about it and just be impressed.
Birthday parties were almost impossible (if your birthday is on Halloween, people want a Halloween themed birthday party, but again, I didn’t celebrate it), so I’ve only ever had two in my whole life, which is also the number of times I ever went trick-or-treating, but not in the same years.
If anyone would like to help me make up for my lost childhood of birthdays, I will gladly accept candy, checks, or cash. Please do not send tacky party hats or Hallowbirthdayween cards (I’ve already had a lifetime of those). I would like for my birthday to be all about ME. Wow, do I feel better!