How To: Have the Best Birthday Ever, Every Year

For those of you who know me or follow my personal social media, you know that I love my birthday. I’m not sure when this started – maybe this love of my birthday was always there? But for me it’s a much more exciting point of rebirth and place of beginning than New Years, as a time of celebration for the past and excitement for what’s to come.

I remember seeing the movie 16 Candles for the first time and being so confused – yes, it was disappointing that her family forgot her birthday, but it’s not like she made any effort to remind them. You have to advocate for yourself in this world! If you want to have a fun birthday, you can’t wait around hoping that someone will plan it out for you – why would you even want to risk it? From an early age I worked on planning fun parties and dinners around my birthday. And in recent years, I’ve involved different groups of friends and family throughout the week to extend the festivities.

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Additionally, since the rise of the Internet, I’ve realized that a number of restaurants and client-focused organizations are equally excited to help you celebrate your birthday for the small price of signing up for their email list. This year, for example, Brueggers Bagels gifted me with a free bagel with cream cheese, Au Bon Pain fed me with a free sandwich, and Tavern in the Square presented me with a complimentary appetizer! I received a few desserts from other restaurants, but desserts really just aren’t my thing, even if they’re free. Other restaurants offer a free entree with the purchase of an entree, but as a currently single lady those deals aren’t quite as easy to take advantage of.

But anyway. I generally don’t like being the center of attention – I don’t need it, nor do I want it – but my birthday is the one time of the year where I feel comfortable saying ‘this is what I want to do. And I’d like you to do it with me’. And it’s as easy as that! I think of the things that make me happy, the things that I’d like to do even if I couldn’t get anyone to join me, and then present it more or less as ‘this is what I’m doing to celebrate my birthday, and it would be more fun if you were here, too’. This year, I did pub trivia, visited a new local brewery, grabbed a quick drink with friends after my barre night for the requisite double bar, and then hopped on a plane to LA to celebrate with my birthday-twin-brother and some friends on the west coast.

You don’t have to go quite as crazy during your special week, but I’d definitely recommend thinking hard about what makes you happy, about what you enjoy, and treating yourself to that. You deserve it! And I’m telling you, getting free shit in your inbox is the closest I’ve come to Santa Claus as an adult.

Katy Rants in September 2016

Here is where I start a new blog series, fondly (as of now) known as “Katy Rants”. This September 2016 edition of “Katy Rants” will talk about the things currently pet peeving me, and why. Maybe some of you feel the same!

Curb Alert
A really fun and relatively recent community-based use of the Internet are different social media groups related to giving away free stuff. It’s really a great way to get rid of clutter while ensuring you’re not wasting anything – that the things you once loved but no longer need are going to a good home. My home town has a “Curb Alert” Facebook page, and my new apartment in the city has a “No Buy” community page with a similar purpose. Both require approval to join, in an attempt to ensure that these groups really are communities sharing with each other, and not outsiders trying to mooch on free opportunities.

Overall, it’s pretty great – people post a lot of random stuff, like gently used clothes or toys or gardening tools, but then there are also some really beautiful pieces of furniture that people don’t have room for and don’t want to transport or worry about selling.

Here comes the pet peeve: when people insist on using this page to get small amounts of money for their used things. I’m all for getting money for your things, if that’s what you want – but that’s what Craigslist and EBay are for. It’s worse when the same people who are regularly snapping up the furniture and household items their neighbors are gifting freely are the ones trying to sell their broken table lamp for $20 on the same site. Are you kidding me? Do you have no sense of pride or shame or an understanding of social contract?

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