Having emerged from Christmas with a little less weight put on than expected it was with trepidation that I was forced to approach my 21st birthday. The mass media will have you believe that you will feel totally different the day after, granted this is usually to entice the unsuspecting public into purchasing yet more anti-ageing cream, but the question I ask the students of Royal Holloway is this: Does your age actually make a blind bit of difference to you?
Granted you may be able to shag/drink/drive/vote [delete as applicable] but can you honestly tell me that celebrating the day that you first broke free of your mothers uterus is worthy of note? Why? Of course your parents may wish to celebrate 9 months of swelling feet and random food cravings being ‘over’ but why should you, the birthee, dedicate a whole day to toasting your existence? But that is exactly it - a birthday is a day to celebrate your existence. A day to have your ego massaged by those around you who feel the need to shower you with gifts and alcohol to ensure that their birthday in turn is just as egomaniacal.
This may sound like a very cynical outlook on life but I assure you that it is merely an observation! I genuinely enjoy having my ego expanded on a yearly basis - it is an excellent excuse to have a good time with your mates and to feel great that people actually care that you are around. But how do you tell someone this? How do we attempt to express our feelings of pleasure at their presence? ‘Happy Birthday’ is the preferred method. Any other way? Not really… How many times do we receive birthday messages that say
the same thing over and over again?
Is there a limit to the number of times that a friend or relative can say ‘Happy Birthday’ before it becomes meaningless? Despite the obvious good intention that surrounds it can get a bit tiresome. Incidentally I am very grateful for all of my messages – the most imaginative of which was a poem sent via facebook:
It’s the day of your birth,
and for what it is worth:
Should you get accosted by an old lady tramp,
Don’t hit her in the face, or smack her with a lamp.
Say ‘it’s my birthday’ and simply reassure her
You’ll have a great day, ‘cos you’re Mario Creatura.
And on that note, enjoy this issue which is chock full of January goodies and don’t forget that you too can contribute to The Orbital simply by sending your content in to firstname.lastname@example.org!