The best attitude towards your birthday is not that it’s your perfect day. Instead, it’s your day to generously share with everybody else.
For a stretch of years when I was younger, like in college, I was very secretive about my birthday. I didn’t want people making anything of it. Subconsciously, I knew they could never get it perfect, so I didn’t want them even to try. And so, as you might expect, those birthdays were sort of … nothing.
Over my years here in Colorado, I’ve worked off and on with a young guy named Pete. He took that same secret attitude. He would never say when his birthday was.
This year, I happened to be on a project in eastern Washington, with Pete and another guy named Jerry. It was the week of my birthday. I was no longer secretive about it. As the day drew near, the guys asked what I wanted to do.
I explained my idea that, “Your birthday is not for you. It’s your day to show everybody else a good time.” I asked what they wanted to do. We settled on driving the hour-and-some into Yakima, and going to a nice Mexican restaurant.
As we picked up the menus, Pete announced, “It’s my birthday too.”
“No way!” Jerry cried. But Pete pulled out his drivers license and showed him.
It must have been while Pete and I were both in the rest room that Jerry slipped the information to the staff. They had a double birthday on their hands. Sure enough, at the end of the meal, the waiters and waitresses all trooped out. They put the sombreros on our heads. They sang “Happy Birthday” in both Spanish and English. They laid down the flan and the shots of whiskey.
I don’t drink, but I made the mistake of picking up the shot glass, just long enough a Polaroid got taken. I had a silly grin on my face, and it looks like I was completely snockered.
Pete never gets enough ofshowing off that picture. He goes on and on about “how drunk” I was that night.
I guess that’s part of being generous with your birthday — letting them have their fun, even at your expense.