Unlike most people (I’m guessing), I don’t generally get that excited when it comes to my birthday. At least not anymore after many years (a lifetime?) of disappointment when I’ve tried to do something special to celebrate.
And of course as we move through Gay Pride month (June, for those who are unaware) and get closer to my birthday, the feeling of ambivalence and that there’s no point in planning anything gets stronger and stronger.
You see, this year my birthday is the day after London Pride.. and generally falls on or around the same weekend most years.
Don’t get me wrong, I enjoy going to Pride, but when it overshadows my own birthday, it kind of makes me feel a bit resentful. Regardless of how proud of my community I am.
A friend of mine said I should use Pride itself as my own birthday party, that I should just enjoy the day as if the parties and such were in celebration of my special day. Except that doesn’t work because I’ve tried it many times before when Pride and my birthday have coincided. Firstly because everyone wants to be out partying with their friends and enjoying the crowds, it’s pretty much impossible to organise anything for people to get together.
Secondly, if I were to try and get some people together on the Sunday (my actual birthday), I already know most people would be complaining about how broke they were from Pride, or how hung over they were.. or both. Or already had other plans (had to remind a friend what day Sunday was after he said he was planning a quiet day with his boyfriend.. after he’d asked me several weeks ago what I was planning for the day).
But I also wonder if maybe this is just me being pessimist about my ‘friends’ ability to do something together for me. Mostly after the last time I tried to organise something, just some cheap drinks at a pub in Vauxhall on a Monday.. and the only two people out of those invited who agreed to show up were my flatmate and his best mate. So I cancelled the event in a huff, and fucked off to the South Bank with a couple I used to hang out with from time to time.
Since then, with the exception of last year, I’ve usually spent the weekend with my best mate from Scotland whose birthday is 2 days before mine, usually with us spending the weekend down in Brighton (we went again this year, but the weekend before due to it being the Brighton Bear Weekender.. sun, fun, booze, and bears LOL).
Last year, as I wrote in my post ‘I’m 40?!? WTF!!!‘, I ended up sort-of celebrating my birthday (which did fall on Pride day itself) out in Essex, helping pour drinks for my mate’s neighbour’s birthday party. Despite it being a big milestone birthday for me, I kept somewhat in the background as the woman celebrated her 60th, and barely did anything special for myself.
To be honest, I’ve never really had much luck when it comes to celebrating my birthday, as something else usually takes precedence, like Pride. Even if it makes me feel like I’m allowing Pride to take precedence over my own personal celebrations.
But it goes back further than that. Throughout the years I’ve never had much luck organising anything for my birthday, with most people coming up with excuses why they couldn’t come celebrate – I almost snapped years ago when a co-worker actually had the cheek to say I should push back my birthday for a week or so after the next payday.
It was bad enough as a kid when my parents used to occasionally hold off celebrating my birthday until the middle of July when it was my younger sister’s birthday, and they’d get us a cake together.. which was usually a girl’s cake. 😦 It just left me with a feeling that my birthday wasn’t as important to them for some reason (I’m sure there was more behind it, like finances or something).
So anyway, now I try not to make a big deal about my birthday because I don’t want to feel disappointed that it wasn’t as fun or exciting as I’d like it to be. And the last thing I want is to feel the sting when someone I’d love to spend time with on my day gives a lame excuse why they can’t.
The plan for the moment is to meet my old flatmate and possibly another mate or two to watch the parade, then into Soho for a couple drinks.. after that, nothing planned. Might go to the big picnic in the park in Vauxhall on the Sunday, but we’ll see.
*Sigh* I’ll let you know how the weekend turns out…
Happy Pride Weekend everyone!