Once upon a time, there was a post that circulated on Facebook showing a screenshot of two young people having a sad conversation.
The conversation began with OP (Original Poster) opening up to her friend (or her cousin or whatever– I will never know) about how she deleted her birthday on her Facebook account to see who would greet her without having to get notified. Sadly, when her birthday arrived, the people she expected the most to bombard her notification with greetings did not.
Of course, the celebrant was dismayed. She even told the other person, in non-verbatim, “Promise me not to tell this to anyone. Let’s keep this between the two of us.” It was as if she was denying her friends the chance to make it up to her, to add more gasoline to her blazing pity party.
If my memory serves me right, that post had garnered thousands of reactions, the majority of which was the sad one– that frowning, yellow face with a teardrop on its left cheek bigger than its eyes. Even the comment section and the public reshares were basically people feeling the same way as OP.
I have tried searching for the post now to show you the receipt but I can’t seem to find it. The post has probably been already taken down because the person who made it realized that there are far more important things in life than validation.
Come on, guys. Can we not?
Well, you can actually cry. You can question your value. You can doubt your relationships. You can grow resentful towards humans, isolate yourself, and live alone forever. How could they not wish me a Happy Birthday? Have I done something wrong? Yadda yadda yadda.
Having no one greet you on your special day can be a sad thing, but does it have to be?
First, this sort of expectation is actually unfair. Harsh as it may sound, no one should be responsible for doing something special for you. People have their own lives and own shit going on. Plus, not everyone puts that much importance on birthdays– or any holidays, for that matter.
It’s not fair to yourself, either. You don’t just decide to ruin your day in advance by turning it into some kind of a memory test where the prize is temporary, validation-driven happiness and the penalty is shattered self-worth that lasts a lifetime. People can be forgetful. It doesn’t mean that they don’t love you or care about you.
It doesn’t even make sense. Why do you not want Mark Zuckerberg to remind them to greet you? Wouldn’t there be less hassle if you just let everyone know? (I know someone who even kicked things up a notch by putting the wrong date on Facebook to catch who would fall into her little trap. The question is, why?)
Birthdays are pretty pointless, anyway. Sure, as kids, we were made to believe that for every 365 days that passed since the day we came out of our mother’s womb, something remarkable was supposed to happen. Like, your parents were supposed to spend thousands just to feed your neighbors and make the children wear those stupid party hats that never lasted an hour on your head because the string was poorly attached. But we should know better now: if anything, your birthday is a sign that you are one step closer to reuniting with your ancestors.
If you really want your birthday to be a special day, then make it one. Treat yourself to a nice meal. Go to the movies. Join a donation drive. Screw greetings. Drop those expectations. You can’t measure your worth based on the number of birthday messages on your timeline. You’re more than that.
Do you know someone who does this?
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