Birthday Tantrums

I bloody hate birthdays.

I’m talking about my own birthday in particular here. Sitting awkwardly somewhere in between the loathsome fun-expectation of a new years eve and what I imagine is the heightened pressure and anxiety of your wedding day to go well[1], a birthday is so much more than turning a year older. A birthday is about the expectation to have the most brilliant day of your life. And why shouldn’t you? Your arrival in the world was supposedly one of the best moments in your parents’ lives – so why not carry on that celebration? Because life is, in a nutshell, generally shit and unpredictable – and age should have really taught you that by now. You bloody fool.

Personally I don’t really care about the age increase – that’s not the problem here – but every year I get so caught up in the hype of a perfect birthday (most of the hype self-induced) that, at some point during in the evening, it all comes crashing down, goes tits up… and the birthday tears start.[2] Recognising this pattern, I’ve tried to manage my own birthday behaviour, telling myself that this year I’ll do something low-key and I’ll have just as much fun. But inevitably it never sodding happens as panic sets in somewhere along the line, leading to one of the most interesting tantrums you’ll have seen that year. As a result I’ve become a big old Birthday Diva, with significant birthday wishes and even huger birthday meltdowns. Wouldn’t you just love to be my friend?

Let me show you how I get to this point every year in my…

…20 Step Guide to Birthday Boo Hoo:

1)    Be cool about birthday and organise something low-key.

2)    Start to gradually shed coolness as you anxiously check how many attendees there are on the Facebook invite.

3)    Think bad things about people because they haven’t pressed “going”, “maybe” or “not going” on the Facebook invite – despite the fact that you know you never normally do this either.

4)    Get closer to the day and panic about the party venue. Change the venue and confuse people.

5)    Whilst confusing people, start to get nervous about the number of attendees. Like a birthday scattergun you invite more people – totally ignoring whether this new bunch of revelers would make a good social mix or not.

6)    Start getting stressed about your birthday outfit. Nothing fits and you’re too fat for all the clothes which are now also too young for you.

7)    Arrive at birthday day. Feel a little disappointed at the modest amount of presents. Maybe there’ll be more later.

8)    Wonder why there aren’t any helium balloons following you around.

9)    Spend the day somewhere in between a weird post-present-opening anti-climax and a pre-evening-party state of nausea.

10)Focus the day on checking your texts and Facebook for birthday well-wishing.

11)Start to receive text messages from twats friends who can no longer come to your party.

12)This carries on in to the evening until you are at the party venue, three wines in, pretending you don’t give a shit about the mass exodus (when really you desperately do).

13)Suddenly realise there is no cake. Where is the cake and sparklers?

14)Go to the toilets to talk to yourself in the mirror and pull yourself together.

15)Despite best intentions, do a big old wine-fuelled birthday sob about the fact that no one has come, no one cares about you, you feel uncomfortable in this stupid birthday outfit and how can anyone expect it to be a proper birthday without cake and helium balloons? One of your friends will inevitably walk in and tell you that you’re being a dick – that everyone who matters is here, and you’re just too off your face to notice.

16)Word gets around that you were doing a Big Birthday Cry in the toilets. Some people are extra nice to you. Some people leave.

17)Get drunker and then traipse around doing more drunk crying. Out in the open. You’re too far gone to give a shit now.

18)Get bundled in to a taxi and go home to bed with your face all unwashed and mascara-stained.

19) Wake up the next morning with a massive headache and regretting that you did this in your birthday AGAIN.

20)Text all witnesses to apologise, and spend the day doing embarrassed winces as fragments of the night slowly come back to you.


Well it’s probably no surprise that the reason I am writing this is because I have another age-increase day coming up. How old, you say? A lady never tells her age… and coincidentally neither do I. Now, please excuse me, I must get on. I’ve only got a few days left and there’s around 50 people I need to panic-invite whilst unsubtly leaving a trail of post-it notes around the flat adorned with high-maintenance birthday hints.


[1] I say “imagine” because NO ONE HAS BLOODY ASKED ME TO MARRY THEM.

[2] Sometimes the tears are warranted, though – like the time when my boyfriend cheated on me on my actual birthday day. If there is anything the wisdom of 22 taught me, it was how to slap a man hard around the face with the venom of a birthday girl scorned.