Happy Birthday, Dammit!

I had a birthday recently, and like most of my birthdays, it was a quiet affair once the voices in my head were all silenced with large amounts of Boone’s Farm. My husband was out of town and the tax deductions had school, so I mostly piddled around and worked. Then I decided I needed cake. There’s a really profound metaphor for my life in the fact that the grocery store only had half-cakes for sale.


But I got into this Facebook argument with someone who wanted to bitch and whine about the fact that I bought myself a cake.

Exhibit A: there’s a metric crap-ton of receipts that prove that I buy myself cake all the time. I mean, like, she-needs-rehab proportions of how often I buy cake.

Exhibit B: it was my birthday and imma havin’ cake.

Exhibit C: it was tasty, even if half of it was already missing when I bought it.

Exhibit D: you’re not the boss of me, don’t tell me about cake!

Exhibit E: Cake! Everybody loves cake! Cakes have layers!


Really, this person’s problem was not with the existence of cake or the eating of cake, but with the purchasing of the cake for myself. She seemed to feel that it was someone else’s responsibility to buy me cake, although I did notice that not once during the entire exchange did she offer to do it herself. Apparently, by some definition of being a girl, I was supposed to sit by and wait for someone to buy me cake.

And wait.

And wait.

And be hungry while waiting. And go totally cakeless while I waited.

There are about ninety-three things wrong with her very anti-feminist “someone should buy you cake” concept. While I am in total agreement that there should be legions of people walking behind me holding cakes for me on any given day, I have to argue that in the absence of overthrowing a neighboring government and enslaving their citizens into my own private cake army, I have two choices: not have cake, or have cake.

Not having cake is so unacceptably jacked up an option as to almost make me throw my head back and laugh at her. Having cake is…well…completely logical and the option I went with.

This pretty much boils down to a very important concept of self-love (not that kind of self-love, we’ll talk about that next week). It’s 2013, I’m a grown-up, and I have both keys to a working automobile and a debit card linked to a bank account that actually has money in it thanks to the job I have. I can sit around being sad because it’s my birthday and no one brought over a cake, or I can act like an adult and get myself a cake.

I chose the second choice.

I’ll also have you know that I toyed with the idea of having an inflatable bounce house brought over and erected in my yard, but that was really only a fun passing thought because a) I’ve never had a bounce house for my birthday and b) because the look on my kids’ faces when I bogarted the bounce house and wouldn’t let them in would have been the best birthday present ever. I could just see them fighting to storm my bouncey castle and being horribly confused when my cake army poured boiling tar on them from the ramparts. I giggled over envisioning their pitiful cries as they begged to be allowed in my bounce house only to result in my shouting, “No! This is my bounce house! You will only get a bounce house when you have a college degree and a job to pay for the four-hour rental plus delivery fee!” (Besides being an epic parent fail, I also found out that bouncey castle rentals are $400, and I realized that was a shit load of self-bought cake, so I skipped it.)

People, we’ve got to stop whining about what’s wrong with our lives and do something for ourselves once in a while. Yes, I could have bitched at my husband when he made it home from his business trip at 11pm for not making sure cake magically appeared on my birthday, and yes, I could have moped around the house generally feeling sorry for myself and my lack of cakehood. Or I could get off my ass and buy a cake. Which choice made me happier, and which choice actually resulted in CAKE?

Now, the “Happy Birthday to Me!” icing I decorated it with was actually just a fun, superfluous add-on to make people in my home feel guilty for not having bought me a cake. I said I was a self-sufficient, confident woman…I never said I was a saint.



16 thoughts on “Happy Birthday, Dammit!

  1. Lorca, I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: I heart you. I heart you and your no-nonsense cake-eating self-loving self. (If I had cake right now, I’d totally not share it either!) xoxo

  2. And why was it any of her business that you bought yourself cake? Just because she’d rather sit at home feeling sorry for herself doesn’t mean you should have to. 😛

  3. You go, girl! I always bake my own birthday cake cuz hubs can’t bake and I want a very specific cake that none of my kids has managed to master (the recipe that is). So if I want a cake, by god, I make me a cake!
    You buy any cake you want, half or whole, any day of the week. And happy birthday!

  4. Hell yes… Nothing so unattractive as that miserable air of martyrdom honed by previous generations of women who didn’t have the confidence or weren’t remotely encouraged to go out and do their own thing – yet felt they, too, were entitled to special consideration… Like you, I’m perfectly happy to go out and buy my own cake – or treat myself, instead of stomping around the house feeling hard done by and punishing the family for not mind-reading my thoughts. Let’s face it, Life is too short!

  5. Yup. I have also taken myself out for dinner on mother’s day. The kids were too young, and my husband was out of town. I still felt I deserved dinner out, though, so I did it myself. We went to my favorite restaurant, and ate well. Sometimes, we have to take care of ourselves. When our husbands travel, it happens more often.

  6. On Monday nights I play volleyball with a group of friends, mostly guys. We go out for pizza and beer afterwards.

    A few years ago I started the tradition that if it’s YOUR birthday, YOU bring cake for everyone else. At first they thought it was weird (or more accurately, that’s what they think about me), but then saw it’s a good deal. The group is large enough so the birthdays are spread over each year. And it’s like a surprise party when someone brings cake for you and you didn’t even know it was their birthday.

    So I say, buy cake!

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