I Hate My Birthday and Here’s Why

sad birthday girl

It’s my birthday and I’ll cry if I want to. | Source: ShutterStock

Halloween is almost a week away and for me, that means one thing: it’s almost my birthday (I was born on Halloween). Ugh. I love Halloween – in fact, it’s my favorite holiday ever – but I hate my birthday.

I know, I know. I sound like a lame party-pooper who is really boring and hates celebrating things. But hear me out: my birthday always sucks (although Halloween is always great. I don’t know how this is possible, it just is). It’s a mixture of bad luck and my awkward shyness, but it almost never fails that somehow, I will have a bad b-day. So, I’ve started dreading it.

Things weren’t always this way. When I was a little kid, I looked forward to my birthday all year long. Being born on October 31 gave me an advantage over all the other kids: my birthday was automatically cooler and way more fun. My parents were really into Halloween and so they loved throwing my birthday parties. Every year, my dad would create what he called a spook house – he would transform our basement into a scary haunted “house” that was elaborate enough that we could have charged people to get in. I would invite all of my friends over, my parents would buy us each a pumpkin to carve or paint, everyone had to wear a costume, my mom made cakes shaped like ghosts and everyone was given a huge bag of candy at the end of the night. I had the best birthday parties ever.

But when high school started, my friends and I got too old for spook houses and painted pumpkins and my birthday immediately went downhill. As freshmen, my friends and I were “too cool” to celebrate Halloween and without a spook house to fall back on, I had no clue what to do for my birthday. So for a few years, I did nothing except aimlessly walk around with my friends and get into shaving cream fights. One time a kid threw an egg at me and it really hurt. It was boring and I longed for my old kid parties.

My high school birthdays were snooze-fests, but I thought maybe things would get better in college. LOL no – things only got worse. For one birthday, my little brother got in trouble with the cops and my parents were so mad they forgot about me. For the next, I went out with a few friends – and immediately watched two of them get in a huge fight that ruined the rest of the night. I tried to be understanding, but inside I was like, “it’s my birthday and no one cares.”Β 

My 21st birthday was no less terrible. I went out with a bunch of my friends and had visions of having a great night because it was a milestone birthday. But even before the clock struck midnight, my best friend got mad at her ex for a very stupid reason and made such a dramatic scene that we all had to go home. The night ended early after I got in a huge fight with her, screamed at everyone and drove home alone to do nothing. The next night when we went out again, another best friend threw up on my shoes.

One of my old birthday parties.

One of my old birthday parties.

One birthday, I had both strep throat and tonsillitis – trying to have fun while you can’t speak and have a fever is basically impossible. One year, I planned (for the first time!) to go somewhere really fun with all of my friends and we promptly had a surprise early snowstorm (yes, in October) and had to stay local. Last year, my birthday fell the day after Hurricane Sandy hit Long Island hard. A lot of friends lost their houses, my boyfriend was stuck at the end of his flooded block and we had no electricity, so… yeah, we didn’t celebrate or think about my birthday (I obviously don’t blame anyone for that but it still sucked). And every single year for the last five years, one of my very best friends has ditched my b-day plans to do things with her other friends, so that’s always felt really great.

I know I probably sound very bitter and miserable and ungrateful right now. I won’t lie, some of my friends have done things to try to make my birthdays turn out well. One year, probably the best birthday I’ve had since I was a kid, one of my best friends surprised me with an elaborate skull cake. Another BFF always sticks by my side and does what I want to do, even though it’s Halloween and other people try to make plans with her.Β I appreciate those gestures, I really do. But, maybe I’m just spoiled… I still hate my birthday.

Another reason I hate my birthday? I’m a naturally shy person and so I feel really uncomfortable making a big deal about what I want to do, if that makes sense. It doesn’t help that my birthday is on Halloween – there is always a ton of stuff going on and I feel a little bad asking my friends to forgo other plans and just do what I want. I don’t like planning things that are centered around me. I wish I had someone else who could plan my birthday celebrations every year!

Now, with another birthday just around the corner, I have made the decision to stop celebrating them forever. When I told my friends this, they all rolled their eyes and got annoyed at how lame I was being. This is yet another reason I can add as to why I hate my b-day: now that I want to do nothing, everyone bugs me about it. I can’t help it though – I have have terrible birthday luck. I either get sick, there’s some natural disaster or I fight with my friends. Plus, I hate that the focus is on me.

Up until a few weeks ago, I have felt really guilty about hating my birthday. Birthdays are supposed to be fun and exciting and glamorous, or at least society makes it seem that way. So if you don’t have a good birthday or if you have a boring birthday, people make you feel bad about it. But I don’t care anymore. I’ll continue celebrating Halloween, but in my book, my birthday is done. And it’s okay if you feel the same way about your own birthday!

How do you feel about your birthday? Why do you like or dislike it? Can you relate to my story? Were you born on a holiday and if so, do you like it? Tell me in the comments.


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  • Laura

    So Happy I found your post. I am really dreading my impending birthday. My mom had juvenile diabetes and I was a really high risk pregnancy. I made her really sick. I’ve heard a lot of opinions on that throughout my life. Everything from “she had no business having babies in her condition” to “you were a miracle”. Anyway af surviving having me and suffering some health consequences in the process she didn’t have any more children. My parents moved me around the country 8 times before I graduated high school. They both worked full time and I had no family around on my birthday or any other day for that matter. My mom was also really sick a lot of the time. She was also really tough and didn’t show emotion. I can recall multiple birthdays that I spent the day visiting her in the hospital. She would be all doped up and look at me lovingly with glazed over eyes and say “I remember being in the hospital (blank) years ago today. She died when I was 24. Not on my birthday just wanted to mention that, I guess I still feel that much shittier not hearing her wish me happy birthday another year.

    Also I was a really awkward kid. I was chunky and had a bowl haircut, giant red Sally Jesse Raphael Glasses, a speech impediment and a headgear. Pair that with the social awkwardness of being an only child and well yeah you get the point. So yeah total loner/loser. One year in middle school a bunch of other dorky kids had a surprise party for me in the park that was 1 of 2 good birthdays in my 35 years of existence. The other was last year I was really sad about turning 35. My husband always takes time off for my birthday and I never do. I work banquet bartending so I gotta make the money when its available ya know? Well anyway my husband finally took work on my birthday and I happened to have off, on a Friday! All my coworkers were working and I didn’t want them to know anyway. So I figured I would just spend the day alone. The phone rang it was a co worker of mine who had recently retired due to having terminal cancer, he wanted to hang out on the beach. I didn’t tell him it was my birthday and we had the most wonderful day!

    Despite hating my birthday, I always have the same mix of depression and anger of the fact that the majority of my close friends always forget it is my birthday despite the fact that I always remember theirs. The only people that remember my birthday is my Dad and my husband, and of course my co workers cause that shit is listed on a dopey bulletin by the time clock. My husband used to at least get me great presents but lately he’s been really dropping the ball on that one. This year he actually asked me to just put stuff in his amazon cart. I put a t-shirt and a CD in there. That’s what I have to look forward to this year! Well that and the fact that I have to work both my jobs starting at 8a. At 2p I get to drive an hour to my other job and work from 4p until 2a. If I’m lucky I will get a fifteen minute break in between jobs to listen to my one birthday message from my Dad.

  • Amanda

    My birthday is on St Patrick’s Day. It’s actually impossible to have a celebration because I constantly have to compete with everyone who would rather drink green beer all night instead. Since turning 18 I’ve done nothing. I’m dreading my 21st birthday for that very reason.

  • Jessica

    I just Googled “I hate my birthday” and landed here. On my birthday (and the author’s!), Halloween. We’re both named Jessica, too!
    I could’ve written a post like this myself. As a kid, my parents wouldn’t let us celebrate Halloween. So we just stayed at home and celebrated my birthday by ourselves because everyone else was trick-or-treating.
    So many birthdays have been a bust. We try to go bowling, but the place is swarming with gang members. Another year, we invite my uncle and his family to come over, they don’t show up til late at night and leave soon after. We put on costumes to go to a church event, my mom misread the time and we’re hours too late.
    Today, only a handful of people have contacted me, mostly immediate family. Even though everyone in my dorm has their birthday posted on their door, no one has said anything to me about mine.
    Well at least the day is almost over. Happy birthday, Jessica.

  • anya

    I hate my birthdays. Everythig seems to go wrong, if I get any presents they are lame and everyone either forgets or pretends to care at the beginning of the day then forgets. My last party was a sleepover an my friends sang disgusting loud songs all night while I tried to get to sleep and my sisters stole all the attention away from me by pretending to be cute and I was the bad guy if I made them leave. My sister and I also have a day (and six years) between our birthdays and she always gets heaps more fuss then me. This year mum was up all night making her cake and forgot about mine

  • Mandy Sikder

    My 21st birthday was nothing like what I had imagined all these years. It was forced and awkward. All my best friends live in different states and countries because of college so it’s impossible to be together. I’m actually really into halloween but everyone I know seems to have grown out of it or maybe just never really cared for the holiday to begin with. Up until this year birthdays were very special but I think I’ll stop celebrating too. I wish you were my friend, I’d definitely plan a party for you πŸ™‚

  • sparkles

    …. but did you die? lol, no. i usually go to one of my favorite restaurants, Chili’s. they give you a free dessert on your b-day. πŸ™‚ but this year, i just stayed in my room and studied. πŸ˜› after the age of 21, birthdays are kinda meh to me. .-.

  • Elizabeth

    It’s called getting older. It happens to EVERYONE. Well, in that people don’t fuss about your birthday so much. Sometimes we need to be proactive and initiate our own birthday plans rather than wait for everyone else to make a big deal. Otherwise we just sit around having one big pity party. I think this may be a “woe-is-me” situation…. Otherwise you wouldn’t have written an article. I think you secretly do want people to make a fuss over you. After all, it is your special day.

  • America

    I don’t hate it nor do I like it. I don’t care for it. I never do anything nor do i really have friends (i have like 3 bff but I hardly see them) so I just don’t care for it. And the fact that it’s a week or so after Christmas I don’t get presents because it’s so close to xmas. The only thing I’m looking forward towards this time is that it’ll be my 21st (I don’t drink or party) and I’ll be able to go out to places 21+ with my sister (who makes everything so much more fun) so that’s the only thing I’m looking forward to this time

  • Faith

    well, actually, birthdays are not supposed to be anything. Screw popular opinions, you don’t have to celebrate if you don’t feel like to πŸ˜‰

  • LittleRedWolf

    I hear ya on not wanting to make a big deal about myself. It is kind of nice knowing I can get away with planning things, but this year was especially bad. I was supposed to go to Alcatraz with my best friend, but just a few days before my birthday crazy drama went down out of no where and I went through the worst friend breakup of my life. Ironically enough, the Alcatraz plans would have been canceled anyway because of the government shutdown, but that worked because it ended up being the only way my mom got her money back for the tickets. It was really hard to enjoy anything that day because all I could think about was how I was supposed to be hanging out with my “best friend” but that I never would again because the friendship was over.

  • Melissa

    I never really liked my birthdays either. When I was little they were fun and exciting! But as I got older the excitement faded and just became another day for me. One birthday by best friend at the time broke her arm on the monkey bars in my backyard, another my cousin hit his chin on the pool and bit his tongue so hard he had to get stitches. My birthday is in the dead of summer- my friends are gone on vacation, people forget, it happens. Birthdays were just never my thing.

  • Michelle

    Uagh, me too! I don’t even have many friends, I didn’t even have a 17th birthday. I had an 18th birthday about a month after my real one, because it was exam month, and studying for your exams is ~so important~ to my friends, that they couldn’t forgo 4 hours to come to my house and eat food. I mean, my party was just OK. I felt kinda bad because I made my friends watch the premiere of a show I love, and some left early, I think because they wanted a ~high school~ party with booze and stuff (the drinking age is 18 where I am)
    It makes me sad because I always try to do things for all my friend’s birthdays, but they kinda left me hanging, and I was so sad those few weeks, I cried so much.

  • Hikaru

    You could always just celebrate your birthday before or after the actual day just so it’s not competing with Halloween. That’s what my friends do (they were also born on Halloween).

  • Sweettreat

    El-oh-el at society making birthdays a big deal. For my 18th birthday, which was less than a month ago, I just invited my friend over to my house after I came home from a long day of university, put my hair in a bun, and she and I ate chocolate cake while singing along to the Chipmunk youtube version of “Happy Birthday”. But yeah, I guess it was acceptable because it was just a random day in October. If it was on Christmas or something, I think it wouldn’t be such an acceptable celebration. Still, I don’t think you should give up celebrating birthdays! With all the years to come, undoubtedly an amazing birthday has to happen eventually!