By Aly Plasterer
Do you remember your birthday in elementary school? How you would bring cookies or cupcakes or some form of baked good to class, everyone would sing to you, and you got to sit in the satisfaction that everyone knew that this was the day on which you were born? Most of those who were born during the schoolyear do. I, however, have had the distinct pleasure of my birthday being overshadowed for the past twenty-one years.
My birthdays have been filled with hearts and candy and cards for not just me, but for everyone. While that seems great at first glance, those of us known to many as “Valentine’s Babies” have not been able to experience the small amount of selfishness everyone else gets to experience on their birthdays. It is more than a slight blow to the birthday-bliss when you walk down the hall in high school and nearly every girl has a bear or flowers or chocolates in their arms.
Birthday parties were always just an extension of the holiday, all of the decorations red, pink, and purple, the cake always matching the heart shapes on the paper plates and cups that were available at the party store. An even bigger disappointment is growing older and having friends who cannot celebrate your birthday with you, because their Valentine is more important than you aging another year. Each year since I’ve gotten to college my friends have recognized how significant it is for me to celebrate my birthday, rather than the holiday on which it happens to fall. From waking up to surprise confetti bombs, to homemade cookie cake eaten on Bacchus, to road trips in the pursuit of day-drinking. My friends have helped me make my birthday not so much about avoiding the love and chocolate of it all, to embracing and celebrating me. While I do not think I will ever actually like Valentine’s Day, I think we can coexist for now, even if it makes dinner reservations impossible.