I am a Proud Supporter of the Surprise Party

Before Friday, I hadn’t had a birthday party in three years.

At the age of 13, I realized that birthdays aren’t special. Everyone has one because everyone was born. Birthday parties were a strange and conceited idea to me. Like, let me hand out invitations for you guys to all come to an event in my honor to applaud me and give me presents simply because my  mother brought me into existence. Birthdays were only good for free desserts at restaurants, money from my parents and the ability to sound older when asked my age. I now realize that I picked the worst time to have these convictions because I could have gotten way more presents on birthdays 14-16 if I hadn’t felt such a moral imperative to not celebrate mine. Also, I had an assumption that my belief that birthdays were stupid and narcissistic was universal, so now I feel guilty for not making other people’s birthdays a big deal in years past.

This group picture from my 17th birthday party on Friday reminds me of Awkward Family Photos. I have no idea why we didn’t just stand in a line with our arms around each other’s shoulders like normal teenage girls, but I guess the awkward element of sitting on the stairs gives the picture character.

I didn’t have a sweet sixteen because throwing a big party for myself felt weird and gross, but over the past year, my view on birthday parties has become more supportive. To be perfectly honest, I think it’s probably because I’m more self absorbed.  The years in which birthday celebrations are warranted is quickly waning. I have only two big birthdays left: my 18th and my 21st. After that, from what I can tell, it’s only socially acceptable to hardcore celebrate the years ending in ‘0’. Thirty is important; 32 is not. Despite this, nothing was in the works for my 17th birthday last week, even though it’s on this Wednesday (I am totally not writing this blog post to generate more happy birthday posts on my Facebook wall  in order to increase my self esteem, but any and all are appreciated).

I feign surprise at my surprise party. Most of my friends were slightly irritated that they parked all the way down the street and trudged a block through the freezing winds and snow as to not arouse my suspicions because when they finally arrived at my house, I was the one answering the door.

Perhaps my previous stance on birthdays was not founded on my values, but on my inability to plan a party. Even though I wanted to do something this year, I probably wouldn’t have gotten around to organizing anything. That is why I am now a proud supporter of the surprise party. I had one on Friday, and it was brilliant. I didn’t have to worry about who to invite because my mom and my friend came up with the list. I didn’t have to worry about food because my mom made it. I didn’t even have to concern myself with cleaning my house before the party because my grandparents took me out to dinner so my parents could set up the festivities.

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