Top Ten Things Not to Do When it’s Your Birthday

This post ran on May 11, 2015. I hope you like it if you haven’t seen it.

The inspiration for this is the fact that all of us have a day of birth, even those of you from another planet. So I thought we could all use a little advice on that particular day.

a bday-cake1

Top Ten Things Not to do When It’s Your Birthday

10 When it’s your birthday, do not tell anyone what you want for a present. If you do, at best, you won’t get what you requested. At worst, you will get all kinds of things that are sort of like what you wanted but not quite. (Yeah, that used Prius doesn’t even look like a Bentley)

9 When it’s your birthday, do not tell anyone you are feeling older. If you do, at best, a well-meaning someone will plop a post on Facebook asking everyone to cheer you up. At worst, you will get all those people who are older than you telling you things like “you only live once, enjoy,” and “When I was your age…”(Thanks, Pops, that really cheered me up)

8 When it’s your birthday, do not request a special dinner even if asked. If you do, at best, the dinner will not resemble what you thought you wanted. At worst, the dinner will be so complex and require so much prep that you will be forever in the debt of the preparer. (and reminded of same periodically)

7 When it is your birthday, do not let anyone at work know, even if you are in a birthday club. If you do, at best, all the cake and potluck will be made of everything forbidden on your restricted diet. At worst, since you have no idea which one of the dishes was prepared in the home of an Ebola sufferer, you will be playing potluck roulette with anything you try. (Just drink your ipecac and quit complaining.)

6 When it’s your birthday, do not accept an invitation to celebrate after work. If you do, at best, you will only be slightly late to your surprise birthday party at home. At worst, you might forget all about a prior commitment and join in the rest of the work crew for way too many birthday shots that could ultimately end with a late-night karaoke sing-off which you will win just before passing out in the restroom. (You’ve looked better in the morning)

5 When it’s your birthday, do not join everyone and sing Happy Birthday to yourself. If you do, at best, the assumption is you had too much punch. At worst, the party goers will come away with the feeling you could have had your own narcissistic party that would have been cheaper for them. (They may be right.)

4 When it’s your birthday, try to look pleased with your in-law’s gift. If you don’t, at best, you might hurt their feelings. At worst, you will be the center of a raging controversy about what it takes to please you with no good result. ( Can you say the center of attention?)

3 When it’s your birthday, do not tell the restaurant this information. If you do, at best, someone will quietly bring a piece of cake and congratulations. At worst, the entire restaurant crew will gather at your table clapping and singing some rendition of Happy Birthday while delivering a cake with a sparkler that gets the attention of the whole room.(Oh joy, your boss is over there.)

2 When it’s your birthday, do not stop at a store just to see what’s new. If you do, at best, you will only look around and realize you don’t need anything. At worst, you will feel as if your birthday somehow suspends any restraint that you have for overspending. The presents you buy yourself will be way too expensive. (and unnecessary.)

1 When it’s your birthday, do not take the occasion to over analyze the significance of the event. If you do, at best, you may miss the fun of the day. At worst, you may be unkind to yourself and in the process discount much of your success. (This took a nasty psychological turn, didn’t it?)

110 comments

  1. Pretty sure I’ve broken most of these.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Me too. Hahahaha

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  2. I know I have broken most of these, but I have a year to learn! Thanks for the advice.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. New learning is a good thing. Thanks, Karen.

      Like

  3. Gwen M. Plano · · Reply

    Some good reminders, John, expecially with your birthday rapidly approaching. 😁

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it is coming like the wind. Thanks, Gwen.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Number three is the worst!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. Stopped doing that when I was 19. 😁

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    2. Yes, and that’s because our necks get red!

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Which rises to the cheeks and makes our noses look longer. 😁

        Liked by 1 person

      2. LOL!!! I never noticed that!

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Check it out next time you are embarrassed.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Hah, ok!

        Liked by 1 person

  5. Good reminders

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Thank you, Niyati. Best wishes on your blog. 😁

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      1. Thank you

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have taken FB notifications of my birthday off, John. I am old enough to prefer not to announce it, and my age, to the whole world. An entertaining post.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I passed the point of caring about who knows I’m 80 this year. I think when I turned 70, I started to forget about birthdays. *Shakes cane at the whippersnappers.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Hahaha. Once you are passed middle age, I am sure it matters less.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I think you are right.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. When is Tiny’s birthday? I want to ask him how old he is – I keep seeing the big fella at all the spots in history we’ve visited!! 😏

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I think if you ask Tiny his age, he will think you owe him a present. You know how he is when he doesn’t get his way. Enjoy the helicopter spin, GP. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You bet! haha

        Liked by 1 person

  8. And we were out celebrating the birthdays of two friends this weekend. Number three is the worst.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Talk about red face. Need plenty of drinks to get by that scene. Thanks, Teri.

      Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s a bomb. dear John! So true & so sad! Thank you! 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Have to watch those birthdays. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  10. I agree with Jill. Number three is to be avoided at all costs — although the free dessert isn’t a bad deal, especially if they let you choose which you want!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m with you. A nice molten fudge cake would be super.

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  11. John, it strikes me as funny that these rules don’t really apply to kids. One regularly hears little ones break #10, 8, and 5! Any why is it they can’t wait to grow up? A little kid is never 5; they’re 5 and a half, or almost 6. Happy Birthday Week to you!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Like human nature. Always want what we don’t have. Thanks, Debbie.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. D.L. Finn, Author · · Reply

    I believe I’ve broken a few of these, John. I prefer a hike or swimming over a party now:)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. I agree. I asked for and got a magnolia tree for my birthday. It won’t be delivered until July 6th. It is mammoth.

      Liked by 1 person

  13. I real appreciate all these repostings since, I missed most of them. It’s nice that you do this. More later.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Susannah. These also save me about three to four hours on a Sunday. Time I sorely need right now. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah but, they’re like your greatest hits.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I could live off them for five years. If I went back to 2013 could even be longer.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Sounds good to me. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  14. Great advice to remember. I hate it when I get asked, “How does it feel to be ….years old?” Have a good one, John, when yours comes this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes it feels great to be 80. (A testimony to big Pharma.)

      Liked by 1 person

  15. Ha ha. I think I’ve done all of these, except maybe join in the singing. 🙂 When my husband makes dinner arrangements, he always says it’s his birthday (or mine or our anniversary) so he gets a complimentary dessert. Lol

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Sounds like a plan.(If it weren’t for all the clapping etc)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yes, that part is a bit ridiculous. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Great tips. I write a story a couple of years ago about bdays. Everything good that happens anywhere on your bday is because of your bday, an international celebration, of sorts. But I like your tips about keeping silent and just let the day pass.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Could be good advice. Thanks, Steve.

      Liked by 1 person

  17. Lol, John! Great tips! I especially like #1. Avoid that at all costs! 🙂 Happy pre-birthday! 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Jan. 😁

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  18. Do the over-70 crowd still celebrate birthdays? Hmm…

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’ll be 80 and the family demands it. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. They must live close to you. Mine are too far away to demand anything other than a phone call!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes, the youngest lives near. She would miss not celebrating

        Liked by 1 person

  19. Man … I couldn’t agree more with #3. I get the shakes just thinking about the restaurant staff crowding around my table and singing to me while I have that stupid look on my face.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. This would be like throwing Howard Hughes a surprise party.

      Liked by 1 person

  20. I had to laugh at number 7, John. I suffered through too many potluck roulette meals at work over the course of 31 years. I’m not sure we had an Ebola-infected chef, but we did have a woman who brought squirrel stew.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Oh my. I’m not sure I could do squirrel stew. 🤢

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I couldn’t.

        Liked by 1 person

    2. #7 gave me the shudders, too. (Pot lucks violate the 2-hour rule!!)

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Yes indeed. 🤢

        Liked by 1 person

  21. Good grief, I’ve done almost all of these!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hahaha. Me too.

      Liked by 1 person

  22. B-b-but the used P-p-prius was all I could afford, J-j-john! I was just trying to show I cared! 😥 At least I didn’t fix you a special dinner, though I had considered my famous Leftyover HodgePodge!

    Happy Birthday, John!!!!

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahaha. Thanks, Jill.

      Liked by 1 person

  23. Seems there is consensus for #3 being the worst!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Looks that way. 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  24. Oh, these are good! Is it your birthday, John? If so, happy birthday! I am a weird one for my birthday. I usually manage to find a way to cry. One time I opened a gift from the gardener and the kids and started to cry. They were traumatized. I loved the gift–it was a rooster cookie jar.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. My birthday is on Saturday. Thank you for the birthday wish. I haven’t cried at a birthday yet but I’m not saying it couldn’t happen. Thanks for sharing Luanne. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m less inclined to cry at my birthday lately. I’m more grateful haha. HAPPY HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. That is a good thing then.

        Liked by 1 person

  25. petespringerauthor · · Reply

    I think the only time I wanted a restaurant or bar to know it was my birthday was when I turned 21. There aren’t too many occasions when the drinks are free.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I remember the 21st. Didn’t dare tell the bartender it was my birthday since I had been drinking there for a few months. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

  26. Reblogged this on Author Don Massenzio and commented:
    Head over to John Howell’s Fiction Favorites blog for another great list. This one is the TOP TEN THINGS NOT TO DO WHEN IT’S YOUR BIRTHDAY

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Don.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You’re welcome.

        Liked by 1 person

  27. Never tell the restaurant is a rule I follow closely. Great tips Boss.

    This list reminds me of a Marv Albert story. Albert is retiring after fifty years as a HOF broadcaster. He used to prank his friends by telling the restaurant it was their birthday, so they would send out a cake and everybody would serenade the birthday person. Only thing was, it wasn’t their birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. A good one. I think that would be fun to do. 😁

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think I’ll pull that one on my sister.

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      2. I think that would be a great idea. Let me know how it works out.

        Liked by 1 person

      3. I will 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  28. Ajaykumar Katageri · · Reply

    Why not break the 3rd rule for a free cake? (Boss won’t be there around all the time)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Always up to the indivdual. Thanks, Ajay.

      Like

  29. Hmm…why do most of these sound familiar? 🙂 #3..been there, done that, only someone else spills the beans. A free dessert is worth it, kind of, maybe not. :O
    Thanks for the reminders, John!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is worth it if you get to pick it. Most times not. Thanks, Lauren.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Good point. After all, if it’s our birthday, we should get to choose, right? I’m going to remember this post next March. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Yes. Put it on the fridge. 😊

        Liked by 1 person

      3. Done! 😁🍰

        Liked by 1 person

  30. Loved these tips. Very well written.

    Liked by 1 person

  31. I was sure I had commented on this one! Sheesh… and I’m not the one having a birthday very soon like some people… 😉

    The singing in the restaurant has to be the worst!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, like some 80 year olds. Thanks, Dale.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yep. A special one comes to mind… I do believe it is in two days…

        Like

  32. […] Top Ten Things Not to Do When it’s Your Birthday […]

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  33. Hehe😄 nice things ❤

    Like

    1. Thank you, Samad. 😊

      Like

  34. Singing in a restaurant is worse than singing in the classroom. Happy birthday, John. I join you adding another year this month.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Happy Birthday. May has the best birthdays or the best people having birthdays.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yup! 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  35. I can confidently say I am not guilty of no. 1. The rest…well, we live and learn. And sometimes we don’t 😦

    Liked by 1 person

    1. So true. 😁

      Like

  36. Guilty as charged. Hahaha… I find it hard not to tell “everyone with ears” the count down to my birthday.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes would be a good idea except in a restaurant. Thanks, Eni.

      Like

  37. Yes, the good old ‘potluck roulette’ nothing like finding a bit of non-bovine DNA in the meatballs.

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    1. Hahahaha. Like snake DNA?

      Liked by 1 person

  38. The birthday club and the restaurant crew cracked me up😂😂it’s kinda cute though

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Glad you liked it.

      Like

  39. Hilarious! Birthdays are interesting days for sure!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Nice thing is they only come once a year. 😁

      Like

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