Birthday

I’ve moaned about this for long enough. I think I’ve complained about it every year without fail.

Those that know me will remember I’m a stickler for tradition and I loathe breaking from it. So this year will not be any different.

I am one of the many people who are unlucky enough to have a birthday that falls within the festive season known as Christlemas. I’ve always pitied those that have birthdays actually on the big day or during the following week. While a birth at Christmas is a boon and a wonderful gift to most parents, to the child it is a curse.

Some would say “Oh but you must have a smashing Christmas, what with birthday AND Christmas presents”. Others would comment on the size of your sack (of presents) while others might discuss the finances behind present giving at this time of year and how they have had to down size your birthday present and some how merge it into your Christmas present. Yet still, there will be others who, for reasons of faith, do not have this problem over the period and flagellate themselves with barbed strips of salted linen.

Now, having had nearly 39 years of this festive cheapskatery, I am not as bitter about it as I might come across. Its kind of like having someone stab you in the arm with a pencil every day, eventually you get over the pain and it’s just a minor annoyance.

No, in fact it is not the presents nor is it the fact that nobody ever seems to be about for your birthday to go to the pub with (Office parties, Christmas shopping trips, visits to the temple, genuinely don’t like you). It’s the fact that year in, year out I have an ever growing stack of cards that I am unable to open prior to my birthday.

Now, it takes but a small amount of consideration to write on an envelope some sort of identifying mark. Like “Birthday” or “Do not open until 17th” or “I hate you I don’t know why I bother” to distinguish the Birthday cards from the Christmas cards. So why does this bother me so much? Well because I get this overwhelming feeling of popularity looking at the wedge of unopened cards on my mantelpiece. Yet when I open them they are 75% Christmas cards.

So I ask you, as I’m sure you know someone who shares a similar curse, please write on the envelopes of your cards this year “Birthday” or “Christmas” or “Death Threat” or “Go away”. That way people know and don’t go through life with a misguided sense of overpopularity.

Birthday Post

pbsIt’s bad enough, when born this time of year, to be told “Oh I’d have got you a birthday present but I’ve got you a bigger Christmas present” by cheap skates hoping to pull the wool over already tried before eyes. But what’s worse, especially recently in the UK, is the chuffing post.

While all around me are putting up their Christmas cards in displays of social popularity I have to hold off opening cards I receive before my birthday, which, if you didn’t know, is today. A few years back I realised that when my birthday arrived I had fewer birthday cards to open on the actual day than my peers because I had opened mine by accident thinking “Oh it’s a Christmas card, it should be safe”. So recently I have taken to stock piling the cards received through the mail until the actual day and then I have a mass card opening ceremony.

Usually I get about a 3:2 birthday/Christmas card mix with some cheeky sods trying to sneak a Christmas card in with the birthday card or, if they’ve thought ahead they put the birthday card in with the Christmas card (which I don’t mind as long as that’s in an envelope marked “birthday”). However, over recent years the Post Office in Warwickshire have been a bit shit and cards sent way in advance don’t arrive until way into the later weeks so my pre-birthday Christmas card opening abstinence seems to be a bit futile.

manLast year the postie had a good excuse. Most of the UK and Warwickshire was under a thick blanket of snow and poor Postman Pat was at risk of slipping on the pavement. Meaning they would be having to take time off work with a sprained foot and a personal injury claim. Fair enough. This modern snow can be lethal. Those Victorian and postWW2-pre HSWA(1974) postmen had it easy. I’m surprised today’s postmen don’t have to wear special wire lined gloves in case they get a rather nasty infected paper cut from an overtly sharp envelope.

Last year’s snows and postage backlogs meant that I was getting birthday cards well into the New Year, which was nice. Amusing in a “Ne’r mind eh?” kind of way.

plaThis year though, I thought it would be better. No snow in the midlands. Not a drop. Well at least in Leamington Spa at any rate. Through the week I had received a good few cards through the mail. I’d say about 9 or so. A few who’s origins I could guess and a few I could not. It was going to be a good birthday morning, opening these cards.

Just after my breakfast of Cinnamon Grahams and a cup of tea, I began the opening ceremony. One by one I gingerly teased each card out of it’s envelope revealing either ageist birthday mirth or greetings of seasonal persuasion.

The score was roughly

BIRTHDAY CARDS 6

CHRISTMAS CARDS 5

A nice balance. But no fear, I thought, it is Saturday today! The Royal Mail still deliver on a Saturday. Maybe I’ll get some in the post today!

Of course, sitting round expectantly is not something I can do these days, so we opted to brave the early morning cold and penultimate-Christmas-weekend  shoppers and grab a few things before we came home for the afternoon to see what exciting things were in line for the rest of the day.

All the while I was like “heheh I can’t wait to get home to the mountain of cards that will be awaiting me on my doorstep”.

It was the spirit that enabled me to battle through the shuffling horde of consumer zombies.

The vim that vigorously calmed my need to vent venom at gawping gormers goggling at festive gifts of grot.

The spice that added fire to my mental curry of warmth empowering me through the ice knife cold Warwickshire winds.

So you can imagine my face when I opened the front door with the eagerness of an expectant child on Christmas morning only to find….

EVERY

SINGLE

STUFFING

ENVELOPED

CARD

THERE…….

there was for Fruitcake.

Chuffing Nora.

NOT A SINGLE ONE delivered today was for me. NOT ONE.

ON MY BIRTHDAY!

***Frump***

***SULK***

Birthdays

People (the wife and her sisters) ask me “What are you doing for your birthday this year?”

I’m a bit low on my birthday, and for that matter other people’s, this year. I think I’ve finally reached that stage in my life where I couldn’t give a flying toss what I do on my birthday. This year it falls on a Sunday. Sunday as we know is shit. Nothing happens on a Sunday and everywhere closes early, in the UK at least. Being miles from anywhere doesn’t help either nor does having your nearest chums several bus changes away (and Yorkshire Traction Bus Company are shitter than a pile of shit with shit on top under a large pile of shit decorated by poo pellet hundreds & thousands)

So this year I think I’m gonna sit and sulk watch telly or something and ignore the fact that I’m one year older than I am now. Besides, with it being Christmas next sunday people will only say “Oh I’d have got you two presents but I splashed out on a bigger christmas present” or “You can have a birthday or a christmas present”….It’s so fucking annoying! Perhaps everyone gets to this stage in their life eventually.

Then there is Christmas. Less than 2 weeks to go and I’m still not in the festive spirit. I really cannot be bothered with any of it this year. Sure it will be nice to see people and family and stuff but all the fucking annoying Christmas songs (this month I must have heard Jona Lewis’ Stop the Cavalry 50 times already), the disgustingly illuminated houses that I drive past every night (There seems to be a new craze for blue lights this year) , the greedy shops (over inflated prices and essential and healthy things replaced by crap and tinsel) and the demanding and ungrateful brats (if Charlotte doesn’t say thankyou this year she’ll get a sodding lump of coal) just make me want to convert to Islam or something. I’m sick of turkey (I’ve been trying to get my mum to get a goose for over 15 years now) I’m pissed off with seeing miserable faces of people who are pissed off with Christmas but for inane reasons and I’m really really annoyed with all the imagery and how everyone with money or influence is trying to hijack the season for their own selfish gains.