Despite the blatant drug references, I've always loved the story of "Alice and Wonderland."
Not in the typical, HotTopic special order Cheshire cat window decal love that seems to be a rite of passage into the "Wonderland" community. I really just like the precedent that the infamous tea party scene sets when the Mad Hatter introduces Alice to "un-birthdays."
An un-birthday, for any uncultured swine who haven't seen the movie, is a celebration of ANY day other than your actual birthday. Friday before your big day? Go celebrate! 5 months until you blow out the candles again? Turn up.
It's a truly wonderful premise to consider that each new day is worthy of celebrating.
I've never felt particularly excited about my birthday before, largely because I don't like the unmerited attention. This year is no different, I actually forgot that I was even due for an age change. Turning a quarter of a century old isn't what it's cracked up to be.
Although the prospect of a lower insurance rate does legitimately excite me, another year of converting oxygen into carbon-dioxide feels like hardly a reason to pop the champagne.
Ironically though, birthdays are the most common type of celebration we partake in, aren't they?
We're taught from a young age that birthdays are for celebrating people, opportunities to make them feel special. We use the calendar like a lap timer for the next scheduled show of appreciation: Mother's Day, Father's Day, Valentines Day, birthdays, all "reminders" to celebrate the important people in our lives.
What if instead of waiting for a holiday to cue our affections...we told them incessantly? What if we expressed to the people in our lives that they matter everyday?
Don't get me wrong, I celebrate all of those "official" days with the best of 'em, but I can't be alone in desiring appreciation in a genuine, non-commercialized form.
I know, firsthand, how it feels to pine after the acceptance of those you truly care about; you want to be admired or simply appreciated, but they always seem to be looking the other way. I know how lonely it feels to pour yourself into something, to lose pieces of yourself in the process, and never even get an "atta boy."
I can't help but think maybe there wouldn't be so many kids questioning their self worth if their families built them up every chance they got, not just guilt-buying their affection once a year.
Maybe more husbands and wives would stay together if they spent evenings in their PJs watching "Friends" reruns and eating ice cream, instead of forced candlelit dinners whenever Kay Jeweler's runs their annual ad.
Maybe our parents wouldn't decline in health so fast and harden their hearts in stubbornness as they age if we made it a priority to include them in our lives and our kids' lives.
Maybe there'd be a little more love and a little less madness in this world if we remembered to celebrate the un-birthdays too.