>>> The Rollercoaster of Drama
By staff writer Simonne Cullen
May 15, 2005

Happy Birthday To You

You'd Think Celebration Ensues
But Unless You're Turning 21
No One Cares About You!

The only birthday that is going to count in college is your 21st. Naturally though, every year you think that the day of your birth is special and should be special to everyone—because let's face it—you're a miracle. The fastest sperm and the ripest egg made you at the right place at the right time. Maybe it was in the back of a pick-up truck, or in the bathroom of a train, or in the cargo area of the milk truck…whatever the case, there is one day a year and one day only when everyone should celebrate your presence and admire your contribution to society. But for your 19th, 20th, and 22nd, the only people who care about you are your parents—and that's only because they made you.

Remember the days of birthday parties at the ice-skating rink, the community pool, or if you were white trash, McDonalds? You may not remember the exact location of said birthday party, but I bet you do remember the presents. Oh yes, the glorious stack of presents flowing over the presents' table. There seemed to be hundreds of them, just waiting to be ripped open and played with—kind of like how you feel about your girlfriend's blouse now. Over time though the present table seems to get smaller and smaller. Once you come to college you're lucky if you even get a card.

Parents care. They'll call you. Send you cards, flowers, money. No one else does. And isn't it so much fun to have people overhear it's your birthday and then act surprised to hear that this day, twenty or so years ago, you came into the world? “Oh hey, it's your birthday?” Yes. Yes it is. “Well happy birthday,” they'll mutter unconvincingly. Yes, thank you. How incredibly anti-climatic this day is going. I hope more people wish me a happy birthday and walk away talking about their stupid term paper. This day is turning out more glorious than I could ever imagine! Maybe next year when I turn twenty we can do this little song and dance we so lovingly created this time around. Sound good? Swell! See you this time next year!

Turning 22 is the most anti-climatic event ever. Sure you head out with your buddies, but nobody is trying to get you wasted. No one's goal for you is Death by Dr. Macgillicuddies. You've been going out to the bars the past 364 days. This is nothing new to you at this point. You're just one year closer to being legally able to rent a car without your parent's signature on the lease. Now 25, that's going to be where the real fireworks happen. “Come on guys! Let's all go over to Enterprise or Hertz and rent me a 2000 Mustang for the night!” The sweet pleasure that comes from signing the rental contract far outweighs that of any preceding birthday experience.

You always know who your true friends are by who gives you a birthday card, and who your lifers are that give you a present. I know we're all poor in college. We don't have money for much, except that weekly bottle of vodka, but true friends never underestimate the power of a makeshift card. Slap come construction paper together, paste some naked ladies or men you printed out from the Internet on it—or if you prefer, your own stash—and give it to your friend. Chances are it'll be so hilarious that when your birthday comes around they'll do something equally special for you—like taking time out to cover your side of the room with post-it notes. Cheap ideas = everlasting friendship.

I'm telling you, if Martha Stewart really wanted to change her image, she'd tap into the college reservoir. I can see it now, “When you can't afford a bouquet of flowers, pick some from your school grounds. Then try an empty beer can instead of a vase. The bonus is you get to drink the beer. It's really lovely how it turns out to be a win-win situation. Or if you're feeling really adventurous, take down all of the abstinence club's posters from around campus and post them up on your friend's front door. Your friend will be touched you remembered him or her and amused by the thought that you of all people are promoting a sex-free lifestyle on their birthday, you vivacious cock-sucking whore! Happy Birthday!”