“I have just seen my birthday cake, overloaded with candles, and that horrible purple frosting. At least it’s not green or blue, those colors stick with your dentures for days! Another birthday and everyone supposes I want a huge celebration, and singing by strangers in a restaurant I don’t care for. Why does everyone assume that the older you get the more obnoxious the birthday bash? I’m sure they think they’re doing something good, but has anyone ever asked?”
“A surprise birthday party! Everyone feels full of anticipation waiting for the honored guest to walk in…but has anyone ever really asked that guest if he wanted that? I don’t think so. I interpret it as a way of telling the surrounding family and friends that you cared enough to set this all up. After all, calling to invite people, making arrangements at an eating establishment and making sure it is kept a secret, all a lot of work. . .oh my yes, a lot of work.”
The honored guest enters, weary at the thought, “it’s my birthday, again, why don’t they stop counting? The cake is god awful, overrun with candles melting wax all over the horrendous purple. . .purple? frosting. When will they respect my wishes, it IS my birthday, not theirs. You think I like wearing some uncomfortable elastic banded paper hat and having those blowout snake whistles blaring? Has anyone even asked what I might like for my birthday, or if I even want to celebrate it?”
“Sometimes I think these wild celebrations are a way of compensating me in their minds. They don’t call or visit during the year and think this makes up for that neglect. If it eases their conscience for another year, so be it.”
The old man walks in the room and puts a fake smile on his face.