Monday, July 05, 2004

As the day commemorating my 27th year of existence comes up quickly (tomorrow!), I am not really dreading it per se, as nothing much really changes too drastically. However, one thing I am noticing over time is that it's harder and harder to actually celebrate my birthday on my actual birthday.

When I was a kid, it was not really a problem because in the summer time, it's easier to get people together, especially when the kids don't have to go to school and they don't have that many responsibilities.

Flash forward some 20-something years. We have dayjobs, mortgages, student loans, and part-time summer schooling. So, everyone ends up celebrating days before or after the actual said date. This isn't such a bad thing, though, as birthday festivities have been actually happening over the course of the week, depending on which circle I'm in.

In my Capoeira group, when a person is celebrating his or her birthday, they are given what I refer to as the Brazillian equivalent of birthday bumps. For the uninitiated, Capoeira evolves around what is known as the roda (or "the circle"), where the students and practitioners of Capoeira are in a circle and the head of the circle has a row of rhythm instrument players (atabaque (drums), agogo (bells), pandeiro (tambourine), and a Brazillian rhythm instrument called a berimbau). Typically, two "players" go into the circle and start their game, which can include anything from kicks to acrobatic movements to takedowns. In the group I belong to, when a Capoeira student celebrates his or her birthday, EVERYONE has to go up against that person, and typically tries (often successfully) to take down said birthday person.

Even though my birthday is on Tuesday, they did it early on Saturday. It's actually not as bad as I thought (I remember seeing some people go up against at least a dozen different students), although my left calf is still smarting from getting swept to the floor. I'm going to class again tonight and there's a good chance that they're going to make me go through the process again.

However, there is another student there who has the same birthday that I do, and she wasn't there that Saturday...

Today is actually my late father's birthday. Yesterday, my immediate family went to visit his site to give some flowers and then we all went out for dinner. It was sort of an early birthday thing for me too, so that way they can get it out of the way. Combining birthdays is usually an economic option for a lot of people, but my dad was never really into birthdays in the first place, so I got a lot more attention on my birthday when I was a kid.

This Friday, my regular friends are taking me out to Playdium, a local video arcade that has a licensed restaurant (read: they serve alcohol). They also have a Dance Dance Revolution machine there. It's that game where you use your feet to step on four panels in beat with music. My friends are allegedly going to attempt to get me completely drunk before going on the machine. Somehow, I think management might frown against finding vomit behind the machine.

As it is, birthdays might actually be better as you get older, as you get more friends and meet more people, and the busy schedules make it so different people will be celebrating your birthday on different days.

Maybe it's just me, though...but as a person gets older, why does a person's birthday involve inflicting a lot more pain and suffering than should be warranted?

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