Recently, I was thinking about my birthday coming up later this year and wondering how it would be nice to be away, so I can “dodge/miss” the bulk of calls that may come in that day – as most people would try my number and wont be able to reach me and then send written messages instead. Quite an unusual thought right?
I remember my birthday two years ago; I wasn’t really up for doing anything to celebrate. The night before though, a couple of friends were going out and I was bored, so I went with them. There was a lot of dancing and clowning around and before I knew it, I was still dancing my ass off at 5 am. Now, I was so oblivious to my impending birthday, that when my friends approached me at 12 midnight with two -TWO- bottles of champagne, I was confused, until they broke into the happy birthday song. It was terribly sweet of them, especially as none of it was planned. However, the trouble started when my phone rang a few hours later, after what felt like only two minutes of sleep. I was severely hung over; my head throbbed like there was an automatic drum set inside of it. Thing is, I don’t like champagne, never have. I don’t like the taste and I don’t like the fact that it goes straight to my head. So, ordinarily I don’t drink champagne; I may have a glass but that would be the most I’d drink. But, at the point where your friends have purchased TWO bottles in your honour and we all know how marked up drinks are in the clubs, I had to partake significantly in the drinking, lest they think I “wasted” it or worse still, was ungrateful.
So, as my ringing phone startled me awake, I automatically started cursing because I was like, what the hell! I need to be left alone; I clicked the green button and murmured a groggy “hello?”, and what do you know, this high pitched voice breaks into the happy birthday song, complete with the “how old are you now.” part. It was one of my cousins and I tell you, it took all the emotional intelligence in me not to stop her. When she finished, I murmured what must have been an inaudible “thank you”, and then she got angry, that “eh hen, sorry oh, this one that you’re sounding like I’m disturbing you, bye”. What she didn’t realise was that she was in fact disturbing me, but it wasn’t her fault. Although, do you really need to call as early as 7am in the morning to wish someone a happy birthday? After our conversation, I put my phone off and went back to sleep, resolving to beg her later. I didn’t surface till the next day.
My birthday last year was spent away from home, in a city where most of my friends lived and so we planned a nice dinner. The thing is, during the dinner I could barely be present in that space and time. Calls kept coming in; some people sang, some prayed, most asked the ubiquitous birthday question – “so are you doing anything?” I had to keep getting up to go outside to talk because I couldn’t hear them over the noise in the restaurant. It became tiresome and I know they were wishing me well, but I felt flustered. When the food came, I was still receiving calls between mouthfuls. After a while, I put my phone on silent because frankly I wasn’t having that good a time at my own birthday dinner. I kept missing all the discussions points, all the laughter and was tired of asking, “what did I miss” when I returned to the table. Once my phone was silenced, I became more relaxed and went on to have a really good time.
When I eventually put my phone back on, at the tail end of the day, it was very sweet and touching to read the barrage of text messages and emails, as well as listen to voice notes/voice mails. As I read every one of them with a huge grin on my face, typing “thank you” replies, I had an “aha” moment. For the most part, I preferred to read than talk. I am not saying I do not like or appreciate calls from well-wishers and family on my birthday, far from it.
My point is the sheer number of calls that come in throughout the day can sometimes be overwhelming and distracting. I realised that I preferred to receive messages and emails, rather than having to speak to so many people in such a short time. You find yourself navigating call waiting; putting one person on hold because the incoming call is from a more “important” person or because it is a long distant call and then eventually accidentally cutting of the initial caller when you’re trying to reconnect, sigh! How can I forget the well-wishers that want to be the first to wish you a happy birthday, so they therefore call you at 12 midnight, when chances are that you are sleeping. It just gets a little too much for me sometimes.
So tell me guys, am I the only one who feels this way?
Photo Credit: anushacorporation.com
Mya Williams is a fiercely passionate and fun loving rebel/ nonconformist. She loves to write in her free time. She emphatically believes that certain societal customs and norms must be challenged if one is to have a fulfilled and happy life.