I was invited to a birthday party yesterday. As far as I remember, this is the first time I have been specifically invited to a birthday party. I have been to parties for my family and sister’s friends, but not for one of my friends, not because someone specifically wanted me there. The only party I remember being invited to was in middle school and that was more of a going away party than anything else. Long story short, it didn’t go well. And needless to say, I haven’t been to one since.
Although this probably would have been an okay party and I probably could have appeared to not be completely socially awkward, I was nervous about it. So, when I had a perfect excuse to not stay at the party, I was happy to oblige. I went, said happy birthday, dropped off a gift, and left. Maybe I should have stayed for a bit and mingled. Maybe I should have taken advantage of the fact that I actually was invited and wanted there.
But I don’t like birthdays. My earliest memory of a birthday is when I was staying at a mice-infested house, my body covered in mosquito bites, helping to clean trash up to my waist, and throwing garbage into the dumpster when I realized it was my birthday and I was now 7 years old. Most of my other birthdays were lonely times, when little to no friends came.
So, this time, I just bowed out gracefully. Maybe next time I’ll face my fears. Maybe next time I’ll stay and mingle and possibly slightly overcome my fear of birthdays. Maybe if there is a next time, I’ll find a reason to enjoy birthdays.