Wednesday 26 October 2011

Too Old For Jelly & Icecream?

This time last year it was my 30th. I took the day off and had a grand old time - went to the cinema, had a nice tea and some cocktails. It felt self-indulgent and marvellous - a landmark birthday is the best excuse to make a fuss of yourself.

This year I am going to be a decidedly unglamorous 31. I can't really afford to take any more leave, so I am working my normal Thursday shift in a job I hate. I then have most of the afternoon off due to it being half term (YESS) but everyone is at work (BOOO) so I'm at a bit of a loose end, with no plans for the evening, and no real plans to make any. Should I just get over it? Is it a girl thing to want to do something nice on your actual birthday?

I suspect I been spoilt by five years working in a production office where every birthday boy and girl got crazily over-the-top special treatment. Birthdays in the script department were the BOMB. You wouldn't be allowed to come in until 10am at the earliest, thereby giving everyone else the chance to decorate the office in your honour. There would then be a stream of gift givers laying various (impossibly thoughtful) presents on your desk, so that when you came in your desk would be heaving with the things, balloons would be tacked onto your monitor, streamers over your assistant was a huge comic geek, so when he came in we were all wearing Batman masks. There would then be a ceremonial hour or so of opening everything and cooing over who had bought what, eating cake and getting no work done at all. Then you would be whisked out for a very boozy lunch which generally took most of the afternoon. Finally you got sent home early for a nap and to play with your shiny new toys.

 I mean REALLY? Did I dream this? This used to be my life. No wonder the thought of a grey October Thursday of gym inductions and mopping treadmills is pushing me over the edge.

Still, I have Friday cordoned off for lunch with my best friend, and an evening of drinks with the lovelies of Leeds. I think I will just get over it and pretend my birthday is on the 28th this year.

What do you lot do? Celebrate on your actual birthday, or just shrug your shoulders and treat it like any other day?


  1. I work in a production office and am lucky if they remember my birthday. although I am hoping for some sort of decoration of my desk before I leave to get married!
    You should at least have something nice for tea on your 'actual day' birthday

  2. I meant to comment the other day and say 'please explain more about your existential crisis' (mainly because I feel at a similar point and it'd be nice to hear how someone else is handling it without (hopefully) going utterly crackers. Selfish, you see). And you must keep writing!

    You definitely need to do something for your birthday, even if it's something not-particularly-decadent on your own. Like, if it was me, I'd go and buy a good book, then buy (and eat) sushi in M&S on my own and LOVE MY LIFE. But then I AM fairly anti-social.

    And you definitely need a swish tea. And lots of beer/wine/gin/worreva on Friday.

  3. L - I think our office was an anomaly, never again to be repeated! I should demand decoration pre-wedding though, that's a one-off thing. It's hard enough work in a production office, you need these things to bring joy in otherwise fraught days!

    Laura - I was really surprised and interested to read your last post but I didn't comment because I am being so useless at thinking of anything helpful to say. It's so hard to pull anything constructive out of the mire of emotional ARGH... I will think on! Have just got home from work having seen my appointment diary for tomorrow and burst into tears, so husband is now contemplating skiving the afternoon so I've at least got something to look forward to at the end of my shift! Will report back....


  4. Not too sure how to comment as think my other comments may have disappeared into cyberspace but I'll try this:

    I have decided that I am ignoring my birthdays henceforth but birthdays at the first school I worked at were great and involved the team buying cake and shutting the office door to the kids at break time. Like you, this special treatment has not been repeated at my next couple of jobs. However, in response to the other part of your post, as my birthday is a bit of a moveable feast, being a leap year baby, I think it's absolutely fine to move the dates around to suit you. Forget the 27th. It's all about dinner on the 28th and going out on the 29th. So wish I was there. Lots of Love, Els.x x