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The Unreliable Guide to… Birthdays

By Nat Shepherd on April 3, 2020 in Satire

Hip Hip Hooray! Photo: Ulang Tahun

It’s The Unreliable Guide’s birthday soon and we couldn’t be more delighted. We have already started to sing 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ – “Go shorty, it’s your birthday, we gonna party like it’s your birthday.” – because we have no shame. A birthday is a day that is all about you. Or it should be. People congratulate you just for still being alive. Brilliant! If you try and pay for things, they hug you and kiss you and say, “Don’t worry about it, it’s your birthday!” They give you presents, some of them nice.
This marvellous day happens only once every 365 days, or just eighty times in the average lifespan. That’s not many at all, so if you are one of those types who never celebrate their birthday, The Unreliable Guide is here with some tips and some tricks to help you make every birthday bonza.
Let People Know
A well-quoted source of despair is the fact that others sometimes forget our birthday. We take this to mean that they don’t care about us, but life is busy and complicated. If you want people to remember your special day then you can’t rely on memory or social media, you have to tell them. Often. The Unreliable Guide has absolutely no embarrassment about doing this. With significant others, start a month before and keep up with the reminders until it’s the actual day. Forgetting someone’s birthday is a horrible feeling, so it’s unfair to let anyone you love be in that position. For those who aren’t necessarily expected to know – colleagues, neighbours, your favourite barista – it’s permissible to start a week before. On the actual day you should tell everyone you can. People enjoy giving, so why deny them the opportunity to wish you well?
Consider the Alternative
The expression, ‘Many congratulations of the day’ actually translates to mean, ‘Jolly well done for still being alive’. In these uncertain disease and disaster filled times that really should be a cause for celebration. To have achieved another whole year since the day of your birth is a great thing, it means you haven’t died yet. This should be obvious, but instead we complain about getting older. Some argue that we should be celebrating life every single day and I agree, but other stuff tends to get in the way of that. A birthday is an opportunity to focus and give thanks, to think about everything you’ve done in the past year and consider what you’ll do in the next one.
Call Your Mum
Your mum played a big part on the day of your birth, so it’s only polite to give her some thanks on your birthday. If she’s not still around, maybe take a moment to think about her. Even if you didn’t get on that well, this was the day she managed to push your fat head through a very tight space and that is an amazing thing. Thanks Mum!
Finally, The Unreliable Guide does recognize that some people don’t like to be the centre of attention. That they hate birthdays specifically because they get lots of unwarranted fuss. And that’s okay, you can be like that of course. Just let me know and I’ll have that birthday for you.