Halloween candy fails to substitute birthday cake

Halloween candy fails to substitute birthday cake

When I was younger, I always thought my birthday made me the luckiest kid on the block. This was the very same block where all my neighbors gave me double candy and treats. Oh, and I got an extra sugar rush from the cake and ice cream I ate at home with my family (thank goodness for my eight-year-old metabolism).

If you haven’t already guessed, my “boo-day” is Halloween.

In elementary school, the entire month of October felt like one extended birthday celebration all dedicated to moí. October meant pumpkin picking, Halloween decorating, haunted  houses, baking those really good Pillsbury pumpkin cookies, school costume parades and a myriad of other activities leading up to my special day.

Prepping for this highly anticipated date was extensive. I would spend hours grueling over the perfect pun for my party invitations, always Halloween themed, of course. Every year for my birthday mani-pedi, I painted my nails bright orange with a black spider web in the corner of my ring finger, a constant reminder of the festivities to come. When the big day finally arrived, everyone who passed me in the halls commented how awesome it was that my birthday is on Halloween.

But as the years passed, my Halloween birthday became more of a trick than a treat. To be honest, I don’t even think my personality fits the characteristics of a Halloween baby. People assume I’ve seen “Halloween” and many other horror movies, when truthfully, I’ve never seen a horror movie, and I don’t think I want to. Up until sixth grade, I didn’t even like chocolate, the most common ingredient in Halloween candies.

Halloween was not always an excuse for eating unlimited amounts of candy and wearing outrageous costumes. According to History.com, it originated from a mournful Celtic ritual providing a bridge between the living and the dead. Ugh, who wants to be born on a day about the dead?

The realization of my birthday misfortune started with the stress of group costumes in middle school. Then in high school, it transformed into this frenzy of which party to attend: my own or someone else’s? Which friends should I make plans with? And then my worst nightmare: what if everyone forgot it was my birthday?

At first, I thought, wait, wait, wait, hold up. Isn’t Halloween supposed to be my birthday, a celebration of my entrance into this world? However, as I got olderI came to understand that Oct. 31 is a holiday that all other teenagers celebrate with their own parties, on my birthday.

Birthdays are special to every child no matter where they fall. Yet, sharing a birthday with a holiday has taught me early on that as we grow up, our birthdays stray from the idealistic, momentous occasion we envision as little kids. There will be homework or real work as an adult and other events that distract from the superficial “all-about-me” aspect of a birthday.  Maybe the day is not made special by the birthday cake and presents, and in my case the additional pound of candy, but by the true friends there to celebrate.

Although my birthday may not be all I once imagined, my go-to fun fact will always be, “I’m born on Halloween!”  At at the end of the day, things could be worse.  Did I mention my brother’s birthday is Valentine’s Day?