In light of that perpetual step one takes each year as one approaches the top of the hill labeled old age, today is like any other. Or, as Ralph Parlett tactfully puts it: “Real birthdays are not annual affairs. Real birthdays are the days when we have a new birth.” Why do we invariably celebrate this “holiday” that stops nothing short of directly handing our wallets to greedy corporations, then?

Sprout

The only logical conclusions I can surmise after minutes of hard-core contemplation are as follows:
     1. The celebration serves to celebrate the day on which family and/or friends were “blessed” with the individual.
     2. People are parasites for love and attention and (1) enjoy basking in the spotlight under which they are waited hand-and-foot to their every whim and (2) crave the sensation of feeling special.
     3. There’s an unspoken competition among friends as to who hosts the best parties.
     4. It’s all an excuse to receive gifts and eat artery-clogging cake.

That’s 5 of the 7 deadly sins in the course of a single day — Luxuria, Gula, Avaritia, Invidia, and Superbia. If it were up to Pope Gregory I, we’d all be in hell by now.

Others of us consider birthdays and New Years to be synonymous, where we reflect on what we’ve done wrong and how to prevent such blunders from occurring again or, simply put, we seek self-improvement. From what I’ve thus managed to gather from my 21 years of existence, self-improvement is a continuous process and an arduous one at that. Picking merely those 2 days out of 365 (not counting leap years) to reflect on ourselves and our surroundings is utterly pathetic. And we wonder why the current condition of our society is so abismal.

There is one show on TV that I absolutely cannot endure: My Super Sweet 16. Three words would describe such characters as seen on this show perfectly — Paris Hilton, Jr. I cannot even begin to form coherent sentences to convey the atrocities of the show and the people taking part in it. Suffice to say, I hope they learn how to put their money to better use once they ackowledge that daddy won’t be alive forever to plant money trees for them. Can you imagine how many famished families one of their exorbitantly extravagant birthday parties could feed? I’m not against celebrations, but a dress with $12,000 worth of diamonds as sequins is a smidgeon surpassing the boundary. Oh, and don’t even get me started on celebrities whose only transactions are houses, food, and clothes to satisfy their self-indulgent lives.
I digress.

I feel no better today than I did yesterday; I feel no worse today than I did yesterday. Besides serving as a tracking device to show the speed at which I am aging physically and (hopefully) maturing emotionally and mentally, birthdays have little significance. I do admit, however, that I look forward to having cake every year and spending time with those close to me but not to celebrate my birthday, instead, to celebrate the fact that we’ve remained friends until age ___.

I’ve said it multiple times before and I’ll say it again — it’s always the thought that counts. You can’t put a pricing on thoughtfulness.

Anyone up for sky-diving sometime in the near future? (I know, it’s a random question.)

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