When I was growing up, I had one - count it - ONE birthday party. I think it might have been for my 10th. I was allowed to invite a bunch of girls over for a slumber party, I remember someone brought the soundtrack album for Grease, and my mom got me one of those doll cakes where the cake is like the big hoop skirt of the princess-y Barbie type, and we all freaked out when we went to pull out the doll and it was only a torso stuck in the top of the cake.

Anyway, that was the extent of my experience with big birthdays. Birthdays were just not a big part of my growing up experience, at least not as a I remember it. Therefore, I just don't feel like they're a big deal. Another day, another year older. Big whoop. I don't expect anything, really, from my family. I've tried to make them more special for my kids than they were for me - they had some parties growing up, they've always had the option of inviting friends over for sleepovers, and the tradition in our family is birthday person gets to choose dinner. It can be dinner out or a particular homemade dinner of their choice, whatever they want.

But, in recent years, for some reason, my mom has suddenly started acting like birthdays have always been a big deal in our family. More specifically, HER birthday. God forbid anyone not treat it's a big holiday. It's becoming a source of guilt each year for me, because I feel like I can't do anything that will live up to her expectations of what she wants for the day. And at the same time, it's becoming a source of resentment, because I'm wondering, where the hell did this come from?

Am I just a party pooper?

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What do you expect out of your birthday? Do you want to be Queen for a Day, or does it matter?