Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Annual Pessimism

Ladies and Gentlemen, today I'm celebrating the most pessimistic of all holidays: my birthday. No, I'm not pessimistic because I'm twenty-seven, hold a college degree (and graduated at the top of my class, no less), and yet am working a barely more than minimum wage entry level labor job. In fact, it isn't that I'm pessimistic. It has nothing to do with the fact that I feel as though I've accomplished nothing with my life. No, birthdays in concept are pessimistic. You're celebrating surviving another year. The party, then, seems to suggest that your continued existence is a pleasant surprise. "Oh, it's your birthday, Mr. Truth> You're a year older> We didn't think you'd make it. We thought you'd do something dumb like drive blindfolded or eat peanut butter. Well... I guess this calls for cake." 

Every time your birthday passes and people throw a party, it means they didn't think you'd live a whole year more. As though you not doing something worthy of a Darwin Award for a whole year is a noteworthy accomplishment for you. That's the kid of faith your friends and family have in you. They expected you to go fishing with dynamite. They expected you to huff too much gas or try to do a tightrope walk across the Grand Canyon. But you showed them. You continued working your boring, safe, non-threatening job and diligently avoid getting killed in one of a million horrible ways. Good for you.

But they didn't think you'd make it. Even when you prove your modicum of intelligence by not attempting to parachute with an umbrella, you let them down by failing to live up to their meager expectations of your and your impending doom. That is why birthdays are the most pessimistic of all holidays.

You have been informed.

No comments: