I’ve never liked my birthday. What is supposed to be a happy celebration of completing another year in the life, is just a reminder that I never get a day to myself.
Ya see, I’ve never had a birthday of my own. Ever. I was born on my dad’s birthday. My uncle (my dad’s brother) was born the day after us, on March 27. My paternal grandfather married wife No. 2 on our birthday, and wife No. 3 on my uncle’s birthday. And my uncle married a woman who was born the day after him, on March 28. And that’s just my immediate family.
While other little kids got to bask in the glory of presents and parties and getting whatever they wanted, I’ve always had to compromise. I’ve always had to share. And you know what kids hate? Sharing. Especially on the one day a year that’s supposed to be theirs.
I’ve always had to check in with my family on party times, dinner venues, and cake and ice cream flavors because the decision was never mine alone. We always celebrated everyone’s birthday at once.
I don’t care if this all seems whiney. It’s never been my party, but I’ll cry if I want to.
Once I started attending school, I made friends with someone who—you guessed it—had a birthday that fell on March 27. We always had to coordinate our celebrations with our friends, which was never easy because our birthdays almost always fell on Spring Break or Easter, so no one ever remembered or was around to celebrate.
And I’ve always hated birthday celebrations.
One year, my mom finally agreed to let me have a birthday party at Castle Skateland, a roller rink where every child in Loveland, Ohio, hosted birthday parties. But it snowed that day and the roads were bad, so no one could come but my best friend who lived down the street.
One of my college roommates had a birthday the same week as me. And there were so many of us in our friend group who had birthdays in March that we just had a mass birthday party halfway through the month.
This year is my golden birthday; I’m 26 on the 26th. I get to celebrate losing my health insurance coverage because I aged out. On the upside, I would have aged out two years ago, but thanks to Obamacare, which celebrates its birthday March 23, I got to stay on my dad’s plan. I like to think it was a secret early birthday present from the president. But then again, if Obama really knew me at all, he would have given me universal health care.
Anyway, over the weekend I gathered with a few friends at the Third & Delaware Ultimate Roseanne Dance Party at Parlour on Clark hosted by The Qu. That’s right, I ushered in another year by dancing in a bar filled with people dressed like characters from Roseanne. Here I am (dripping in sequins) with the people who run The Qu:
At the Roseanne dance party I had a surprise visit from a friend from home, who happened to be in town for the night. Her birthday is two days after mine. And there was someone else at Parlour celebrating her birthday, too. But it was still a great a night with great people.
And so far my birthday is looking up. I woke up to a package on my doorstep this morning that contained these:
It may be hard to tell from the photo (I don’t know why Photobooth captures text as a mirror image), but that’s two signed advance copies of Rachel Maddow‘s new book Drift: The Unmooring of American Military Power, examining the military industrial complex and America’s strange peace with perpetual war. It’s the latest edition to my queer library!
It’s nice out, so I’m going to spend my day reading my copy in a park. But the extra copy? It’s for you! I’ll be posting a review of Drift—as well as a few other books, including Kate Bornstein’s new memoir—this week. I will have the official giveaway in that post, so check back for details. What better way to mark my golden birthday?