Mine and Husband's birthdays are twelve days apart. It is convenient as it means that our families only have to visit us once, usually somewhere in between the two dates, resulting in Husband's cards and presents often being a bit late, and mine a bit early. It's no big deal - as we get older, it seems our birthdays matter less, and all my energy tends to go towards making Teenager's birthdays the best they can be.
I cannot recall many childhood birthdays. I have a vague recollection of my 5th, supported by a few photographs that still exist despite many house moves and carelessness. I also dimly recall my 13th which was supposed to be a surprise, but was ruined by a kid called Paul in my music class at school. He was invited, though I refused to dance with him. We had hot dogs and a disco at the local community centre, and I remember the awkwardness at discovering the girls who relentlessly bullied me throughout school being there. My mother had blissfully invited my entire form, assisted by my best friend at the time, who had invited the bullies because she was scared to exclude them, should she incur their wrath later. They mocked the piss out of me for months afterwards because my relatives were at the party too, and my aunts had the nerve to DANCE with us to the Birdy Song. Like, how totally lame. Yet, they had the most hot dogs, cola and cake, so my lame party at least fed the bitches.
I don't remember what I did when I turned 16, but my 18th was a Pernod-and-black fuelled VomFest, which started in a nightclub and finished on the pale blue flowery carpet that my mother had just had fitted in the hall and on the stairs. My mother said later that the stain never really came out. I haven't been able to look at a bottle of Pernod since.
My 21st involved another nightclub, the name of which I cannot remember, but ended with me going back to a house with a cute chap called Lee. This night was not one of the highlights of my life, as the sex was disappointing and the photographs in the living room that I properly clocked the next morning were of his long-term girlfriend and child, who were away that weekend. He dropped me off home the next morning (which involved some sneaking out of the house to the car in case his neighbours saw) and I took extra special care never to run into him, or his girlfriend ever, ever again.
I dislike parties now. Being the centre of attention scares me. I'd rather be the one behind the scenes, keeping things going like a well-oiled machine. So this year for my birthday, I just asked for a small outing to a pub for lunch. No fuss. No fanfare. Which we did, and I am eternally grateful for. But during lunch, talk turned to our 40th birthdays, which are approaching like a Japanese Bullet train. Husband is 40 next year, I follow suit the year after. It seems inevitable that either Him or me will get a party. Neither of us wants one. And neither of us wants to acknowledge being 40 either. But our families are persistent, so watch this space. The post-40th-party blog will be angst filled and full of swears.