This is going to sound awful and pessimistic, but I'm going to say it. I am not a fan of birthdays and holidays. While holidays are not always so bad because it forces us to spend time with our loved ones, I really hate birthdays. It's like I have 2 designated days of the year to remember what a crappy day it was: my birthday and Christmas. Yesterday, as some may know, was my birthday. It was just another day. I felt sick in the morning, had a terrible headache, went to a couple of panels at the conference, went to lunch and dinner. As far as days go it was mediocre at best, definitely not as great as Thursday and Friday were, but because it was designated my birthday it suddenly went from an ok day to kind of a crappy day that I would rather have not called my birthday.
Another thing I hate about birthdays is this weird attitude that we have about them. It's YOUR day and you are supposed to be selfish (you pick what you want to do for dinner, you pick the cake you want to eat, and some people ask you to pick the present you want), but at the same time, if you are selfish at all people will think you are a total brat. I feel like I'm doing something wrong when I have a birthday, like people are obligated to say happy birthday and they are annoyed with me when I don't tell me every little thing I want. I don't want the day to be my day. I don't want to say "It's my birthday and I want to do this." I don't want the day to arbitrarily be a "special day" because I happened to have been born on the date so many years ago. I want the day to be special because people go out of their way and make it a special day, without me asking or demanding or even being aware of their plans to make it special. Maybe this is the most selfish way to want a birthday, but I don't want it to be MY day, I want it to be YOUR day to make me feel special, if you think I am special and want to bother. If you don't it's fine.
And so I'm going to put this out there to the world. Please don't ever feel obligated to give me a present of any kind, not for Christmas or my birthday or anything. If something makes you think of me, then by all means, but you don't have to wait for some arbitrary date to give such a thing to me, I'd rather you try to make next Thursday a special day than my stupid birthday. We can celebrate the day of my birth any day of the year if you really want to celebrate it at all.
I do have to say that I had an excellent birthday dinner last night, thanks to my sister and our friend. We went to a tapas place and spent a LOT of money trying all the different little entrees. We had duck, quail, tuna, gnocchi, risotto, beef tenderloin, a lobster salad, and two other things that I can't remember, and for dessert I had gelato with caramel and a basil cream. I loved the basil cream with the gelato, it was the most interesting flavor ever. Basil should be sweet, I've decided.
So, I'm still in St. Louis but I'm leaving today. The PCA Conference was great this year, even if I didn't get to do as much site seeing as I did in New Orleans, but it turns out there's just not that much to see. I spent most of my time geeking out with my fellow academic nerds about popular culture, which was just as fun as anything I can think of. I presented my paper on zombie origins, and was pretty proud of it. There weren't any zombie people there though because I had been stuck on the panel at the last minute and so they didn't know another zombie paper was given, which was really too bad. I was hoping to have a zombie discussion. It was fun nevertheless. I had worked on the paper the few days before and was really proud at how it turned out.
Anyway, I'll blog more about the conference later. I just needed to get my feelings about birthdays out of my system.