It’s your birthday

The date of birth is a very important thing. Not because of horoscopes. Not because you are doing a study on the times of year people have sex the most. Not because you want your birthday to fall during the most pleasant-weathered days of the year. Not because you heard boys are mostly attracted to girls born during the month of October.The reason your birthday is important rests on the fact that you want to assure yourself a staggered procession of gifts during the year.

My birthday is June 9. Not a bad day in general. I share it with the likes of Michael J. Fox, Johnny Depp, Natalie Portman and Donald Duck. However, whereas some years my birthday is a beautiful placement of time, other years it turns into a degrading reminder of my own inconsequence. Much like being born at the end of February, I think.

You see, on those perfect years, my day of presents and favorite foods rests about six months after Christmas, that other day of presents and favorite foods. Semi-annually, I am deluged with all things good. Perfect timing.

However, do not fret over your inferior day of birth. Some years, siblings or cousins or family friends need to graduate. When does graduation time come? That’s right, in the middle of June. Those years, I become the forgotten birthday girl. What’s worse, in a way, is when I have a graduation of my own, be it from kindergarten, grade school, high school or college. That is when the dreaded combination gift rears its ugly head: “Here, Amanda, this is for your birthday and graduation.” If it was one day, requiring one present, we’d call it birthuation. I don’t think my relatives get this.

I know there are others who share my pain. End-of-December birthdays deserve much sympathy. Who can compete with the birthday of our Lord? Beginning of January birthdays often get the shaft. For you, I have a suggestion. Next year, when writing out Christmas cards, add a friendly reminder at the bottom warning people not to spend all their money on presents and after-Christmas treats for themselves. Just casually mention that some people have birthdays coming up, and in order not to dip into a winter depression, you will require birthday gifts.

End of spring

End-of-spring birthdays are good. By the time you get real antsy, Halloween happens along. The ensuing mighty sugar high should last until the end of the year. If you could care less about candy, end-of-summer/beginning-of-fall birthdays can be rewarding. When you start to get bored with birthday presents, Christmas comes along. And since your birthday is toward the end of the year, you may be able to finagle your way into more gifts. After all, if you see something in April, you can’t possibly wait until your birthday in September – it’ll be useless by then. With reasoning and slight whining, you may be able to score some April, May and June gifts.

However the best birthdays are the floaters. Let your family buy presents on your real birthday. Tell friends your birthday is in March. Tell co-workers your birthday is in May. Tell your knitting circle your birthday is in July. Tell your workout buddies your birthday is in September. With any luck, you’ll have birthdays the whole year. – Amanda Koch (The writer is a frequent Current contributor.)


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