“What are they gonna do, take away your birthday?”
It’s really one of the classic phrases of juvenile provocation, a statement meant to make the target feel as though he or she is perhaps behaving like a “sissy” or a “wuss” with regard to hesitation in performing a hypothetical act that could result in some form of punishment. Its effectiveness lies in the psychological grouping of all consequences with one that could not possibly occur, thereby reducing the internally estimated probability that any repercussions will result from whatever idiotic thing the little dumbass is scheming up.
Or something like that.
The point for the present discussion is that one cannot have one’s birthday taken away, but boy-howdy, wouldn’t THAT suck?
Well, yes, one can, and yes, it does.
I’ve been employed in my current position for just a cat’s whisker over 3 months, and it would be difficult to overstate how much I have enjoyed it thus far. My coworkers are intelligent, of good humor, well-shod, and relatively unannoying in voicing their poor taste in athletic teams for whom they cheer. I was elated last week when I opened my electronic mailbox and found the following message:
“There is chocolate cake in the break room in celebration of the April birthdays of Genevieve and The Dead Acorn – please help yourselves!”
I was, to be honest, a bit confused initially (my psyche is a place where elation and confusion often coexist), as my birthday is in October, but then it struck me - this must be a work environment the inhabitants of which so enjoy life that an annual acknowledgement is simply not enough, and that a semiannual party is warranted! I know parents who celebrate “6 month birthdays” for their children, and I have friends who extend their parties into a birthweek, or even a birthmonth, and I thought “well, if this place bounces that way, then coolo-boolo! I’m tolly down with that!”
As I suspect you already know, it was not the case. I stopped in Guinevere’s office to offer best wishes and to comment on my enthusiasm for the practice:
Dead Acorn: “Hey, Josephine – Happy Birthday! Kinda cool that we do the 6-month celebration as well!”
JeVassia: “What the #$!@& are you talking about?”
DA: “That email from Hannah. My birthday’s in October, so I just assumed that the office does something twice a year. You know, morale, good times, all that stuff.”
J’Anistia: “Umm, no. If it’s not your birthday, there’s an error in your file. This isn’t Candyland, dumbass. Jesus.”
DA (skulking back to office before tears become visible): “umm … oh … okay. Sorry.”
So yes … sometimes, they ARE going to take away your birthday. And it hurts. I didn’t have any cake that day, and I’m not sure I’ll have any on my real birthday, either. If I even still have one at that point.