Written by Tonja Bagwell
In a few days, it will be the birthday of my beloved and departed dad. One of my cousins and a long-time friend both share my dad’s birthday.
With each year comes a new birthday. Some people are not happy about birthdays. They don’t want others to know it is their birthday, so they remain quiet. These are the people who refuse to post their birthday on Facebook. How can anyone not enjoy receiving Happy Birthday greetings from friends and tons of strangers on Facebook? Dr. Suess created the Grinch for Christmas and it has become synonymous with those who spoil and dampen the holiday spirit. What do we call the unhappy birthday folks? Are they party poopers or grinches?
Fortunately, many people are excited about celebrating birthdays. They feel a special kind of happiness once a year. I love to see people filled with positive energy, joy and optimistic attitudes. I always wondered what it would be like if people acted like it was their birthday every day. My birthday celebration consists of celebrating the entire month of October. One day is not enough for all of the joyful fun and happiness I feel about the day I entered this world. It’s a month-long celebration of events, traveling, dining, and other activities.
The interesting thing I have learned about birthdays is that people love to drink alcohol and buy birthday drinks for others. During an entire month of celebrating in October, drinking is the furthest thing from my thoughts of celebrating. In 2013 I had a birthday party and bought several bottles of wine. I sipped a little from one glass throughout the night. At the end of the night, I gave a friend two bottles to take home. Today, I still have two unopened bottles of wine from my 2013 birthday party in my refrigerator.
Over the years I was dumbfounded that clients in my court-mandated group counseling and DUI education classes loved to celebrate their birthdays with alcohol. The fascinating part is that they still wanted to celebrate and become intoxicated even after one or more alcohol-related offenses. My underage drinking clients who had birthdays during the duration of their mandated treatment were excited at the thought of being able to walk into a bar and legally buy a beer or a shot. I reminded them that their legal drinking age did not mean they could not be arrested again for an alcohol-related crime.
I can understand the thought of having a glass of wine or champagne to toast our joy of being alive another year. Most of my clients stated their drinking goal was intoxication, which they equated to a thorough celebration. They said it is not a birthday celebration if you do not get drunk. After all of my years of celebrating, am I to believe that I haven’t really been celebrating because I did not become intoxicated? If a roaring good time celebration ends with breathalyzers, handcuffs, and a jail cell, I think I will stick to my non-alcohol celebrations.
Today, March 24th is the birthday of a few famous people: Harry Houdini, Tommy Hilfiger, Steve McQueen, Star Jones, and Louie Anderson. Tomorrow, March 25th, Aretha Franklin, Elton John, Sarah Jessica Parker, Danica Patrick, and Marcia Cross may be celebrating their birthdays.
QUESTIONS & THOUGHTS TO PONDER:
- Do birthdays make some of us so happy that we forget our troubles or any troubles that might arise from too much celebrating?
- If you could spend a birthday with a celebrity who shares your birthday, which celebrity would you choose and why?
- Do you feel your birthday is not a fun-filled celebration unless you are intoxicated?
I’m interested in reading your answers to the Questions & Thoughts to Ponder. Please leave comments about this article and other articles posted on Bagwell’s Book Blog. Do not forget to subscribe and/or follow me and to click Like.
Copyright ©️ 2017 by Tonja Bagwell. All Rights Reserved.