A birthday, all told, is just another day.
Birthdays are just as subject to bad luck as any other day of the year. It feels more personal because it's your day. But it's not--it's just the randomness of the universe making you randomly suffer.
Carmen's Mom... Needs Helpdrunk on one GIF Giphy
When I turned 15 there was a girl who lived in my apartment complex who I'd flirt with from time to time. On my 18th birthday her mom drunkenly tried to have sex with me. While Stacy's mom may have had it going on, I can assure you that Carmen's mom did not.
Just Awful To A Child
Everyone ignored me and quite some people got gifts for my mom, then I sat in my room and cried. I got scolded for crying and everyone told me to grow up. I was 12.
A Sixteen Candles Situation
So growing up we were poor, lived on a trailer, and not white in the south. My tenth birthday was coming up, and I really wanted a party. A real one like you see on TV shows and whatnot. So I invite everyone in my grade.
The day comes and my dad and I go out and get pizza, and cake, balloons, the whole shebang.
No one showed up.
But my mom, thinking she could save it, invites her friends kids, one was seven, one was a kid who just was super annoying. My older sister invites her friends.
The seven year old totally took over the party, even blew out my candles. My sister and her friends just holed up in our room so I didn't even have a place to get away from the annoying kid, so I spent the afternoon trying to look like I was having fun so my dad wasn't sad.
Or when I was 13 my iguana died. Either one sucked.
Def Not Suspicious
My best friend told me he and my GF weren't going to meet me after I got off work because they were going camping for the weekend, just the two of them.
Just A Little Nicer
I tried to arrange a 19th birthday party over facebook. No-one showed. Sat in a pub alone on uni campus feeling like a right idiot.
My birthdays are generally nicer than that though.
Too Much Emotional Labor
Not anywhere near as bad as some of the comments in this post but in new flat that me and a bunch of friends moved into one of my flatmates had a birthday about 3 weeks before me. everyone made a big fuss about all chipping in money to pay for nice presents ($30 each) then we "had" to go to a fancy restaurant for dinner because the birthday girl had been talking about it. in total the 5 people that lived in the flat spent about $120 each to make the birthday happen (we all had decent paying jobs so we didn't mind splurging once in awhile)
I brought up the fact before we committed that my birthday was next and that we were setting a pretty expensive bar for birthdays in the flat and that it may not be sustainable if everyone had one like this. My flatmates assured me that everyone would get a nice birthday regardless.
my birthday rocked up and I never received any gifts, or dinner, or happy birthdays in person. personally I never wanted to make it a thing.
I would have been happy to get some McDonald's for dinner to be honest. as I was going to bed I heard my flatmates I the other room obviously check facebook (though I couldn't see) and see that it was my birthday and that none of them had made an effort. about 30 seconds later I got happy birthday messages from all of them.
it was the last time I put any real effort into helping them with anything.
Externalized AwkwardExcited Happy Birthday GIF Giphy
This happened last year.
I had a huge party, invited about 30 people. At that time it seemed fun but that wasn't even the worst part.
I invited my best friend, I haven't seen her in 2 months at that point. I know that is not that long but before that we used to see each other everyday and then we couldn't meet each other during summer vacations so it felt really long.
I was really excited to see her obviously, I also felt a little nervous. I finally mustered up the courage to go and talk to her, I went to her to talk and she just said "Im sorry, this is awkward" and she walked away. That hurt. This happened at the start of the party so I was pretty upset throughout the rest of the party.
But I don't really blame her, she didn't talk to anyone much at the party as she was going through some tough times. At that time I didn't know that though.
OUCH For Wine
I had a date over for dinner on my 21st birthday this year. We discovered I, not being a functioning adult, lacked a bottle opener for the wine. We then embarked on a several-block walk to Target, purchasing and returning with a crappy little bottle opener.
Alas, it had a sturdy plastic zip-tie which fastened the screw inside.
Again, I'm a schmuck, and could not locate my own pair of scissors. Already being stoned, I resolved to stab the plastic repeatedly with my roommate's butcher knife. I was eventually successful with significant force, but the knife plunged forwards and I bisected by entire left pointer finger, requiring a dozen stitches.
A jagged, to-this-day nerve-sensitive scar will help identify my body in any hypothetical future mass casualty incidents, so I've got that going for me - which is nice. At least six different medical personnel throughout the night joked, "Did you at least get any wine?" My date stuck with me in the emergency room until five in the morning - and I still got laid afterwards.
5 years old. My best friend with social anxiety who lived in the next town over got overwhelmed by the large amount of kids at the party. He tried to run away and got in the car with somebody that knew him and decided to give him a ride home. This was before cellphones and gps tracking of children.
My parents panicked and called the cops and like 50 people got in their vehicles to search for this kid. When he got to his house his parents called mine to inform them of what happened. They all moved shortly after. Super weird...
It's A Way To Change Your Friend Group
I was friends with a narcissist for most of my life. Little did I know that one of the extremely f*cked up things they like to do is ruin birthdays.
They do this because they believe they should be the center of the universe and it pains them to see other people happy, because they don't care about anyone but themselves. You having a birthday is stealing their "spotlight."
I've made plans like going out of town only to be ditched. Like they tried to give me some bull about how they "don't feel like going" at the last second when the night before they pretended like they were pumped. Or they just turned their phone off the entire day when they practically invited themselves.
I don't have friends anymore because of this. I got sick of it. I got to the point where if someone tries to ruin my birthday, they're getting beat up.
SucksKim Kardashian Crying GIF Giphy
My parents forgot once. They were under a lot of stress at the time so as an adult I understand. As a kid though, felt pretty bad.
I don't live with my parents, only with my grandparents. I am still in touch with them (they are divorced) but they never called or anything like that on my birthday but I got through it. This summer I going to be 18 and I really hope, they realize that and at least message me.
Paid for by....
I paid for my parents birthday gift to me.
Haven't talked to my parents in years, I'm in therapy, getting my meds sorted because growing up like that did a number on my own mental health. Have a kid but kiddo doesn't really know them, and friends parents and other family have been great and stepped up to be surrogate grandparents. I just think I've dealt with everything and then there is that one reddit comment that shows me that there are still things I haven't realized are incredibly messed up.
Can I be 16 Again?
My 17th, my parents picked the day to tell my sister and I they were separating. Mine since have been a card and $25 per parent. They have never even adjusted for inflation! Not once! Ever! (runs off to play My Chemical Romance).
Hey, my 19th was similar! They called to tell me the divorce was finalized. They'd hated each other for years and could have done it any date, but why not ruin someone else's day at the same time?
Over the Years
I got married.
It wasn't a bad thing at the time. It was a joke between me and my future ex wife. She could never remember my birthday, and when we were talking about a date for the wedding one of us (and I don't remember which) said "hey... maybe this will help make the date memorable for a change!"
So we got hitched on my birthday (in Vegas), and everything was cool. Our 2nd Anniversary/my birthday was cool as well.
Our third anniversary was the weekend she moved out. Happy freaking birthday, huh? But it gets worse. She was having an affair (shocking, I know) and in a rare moment of attempted reconciliation she offered to take me out to dinner to smooth over the pain of the birthday/anniversary weekend.
I accepted her invitation. Just about halfway through the appetizers, I asked how she found out about this nice restaurant we were in. "Oh, it's me and (new boyfriend's) favorite restaurant!" Jesus Freaking Christmas are you serious? The rest of the meal was brief and uncomfortable.
Off to England
My parents decided to scoot their trip to England right over my 18th birthday for their anniversary that same month.... their anniversary was 3 weeks after my birthday so I ended up buying my own cake and the dog ate half of it the next day accidentally.
When in China
On my 14th birthday I got stuck in a train somewhere in China during a power outage. No lights, no air conditioning, no flushing toilets, no open windows or doors for about four hours... with food poisoning.
This one should be at the top.
Flamesbirthday falling GIF Giphy
On my 5th birthday my hair caught on fire while blowing out my candles, then I fell down the stairs. If you all have better spacial awareness than a clumsy 5 year old, you should be okay. Good luck, and happy birthday!
My parents just forgot, I was 12. After that any birthday was usually forgotten or they just said happy birthday at some point of the day. Can't still celebrate my birthday with my partner it's too much for me. No other reason than bad parenting send me in some bad times when I was teenager. I'm great now though. Sorry I think I just had to let it out here.
Six Flagsold man GIF Giphy
My mom chose the day after my 20th birthday to tell me in exact terms why she and my dad were splitting up. I had thought that I knew why, seeing as I've basically been her therapist since I was in middle school, but apparently there were some things I didn't know. This was on the way to pick up my sister who'd been caught stealing at Six Flags. I don't celebrate my birthday anymore.
I got pneumonia. My parents messed up not taking me to a doctor. Coughed up stuff for two weeks straight until my throat and lungs started bleeding after having a really high fever the day of my birthday. Would have been nice to have gotten antibiotics.
My grandpa died on my 19th birthday.
Mine died 9 days before my 12th. Greatest man I've ever known. Named my son after him. I feel you though.
My grandpa died just 28 days after I was born. He held me once and that was the day before he passed away.
My job caught fire.
It was a family business and I worked there for eight years.
This was in February.
Sh*t on by a bird, and hit on the head with a baseball bat. Fun times.
I was 14 my parents do their usual crap, went out got drunk come back about 5pm started fighting each other, my brothers were scared I was scared. When fists weren't good enough, out came missiles books, ash trays or whatever was at hand, but then my mother pulled her party trick.... the knife. Eventually she rang the cops to remove my father from the house. After this i then got a kicking off her cause I told her my youngest brother was scared. This was to show me what being scared is like.
20 for the better....
I had to work all day then I got a speeding ticket on my way home only to find my cat died... Turning 19 was awful.
I was in the navy and we crossed the international dateline skipping it completely. We crossed at 11pm so the day just came off the calendar and I went to bed on the 2nd and woke up on the 4th.
Whiskerscats hugging GIF Giphy
My 20-year-old cat died.
I Love Grandma
My grandma died on my 16th birthday. I knew she had been sick with what we thought was a cold. I called her that morning and thanked her for the flute she had bought me because it was more than my parents could ever had afforded and I really needed an open hole to qualify at all state that year. When I came home from school I was informed she had died and that cold was actually a severe fungal infection in her lungs. The next day I attended an honor choir where we exclusively sang funerary songs from around the world.
Birthdays still suck because my grandma was the person I was closest to in life. She lived across the country from me but I called her twice a week and she sent me a package with little trinkets and books and treats every month and made sure I was able to pursue my musical hobbies. I regret going to all state instead of her funeral. I am thankful the last thing I said to her was "I love you".
On my 12th birthday I was sick so I was left home alone while my mom took my sisters out for my birthday dinner. Only upside was that my Nana dropped me some vapor rub to help me breathe.
When I turned 16 my mom told me she was embarrassed of how fat I was. (I was 23% body fat, a competitive swimmer, and I am female.) She canceled my party and forced me to go to a weight watchers meeting. On the way there, someone coming down a driveway lost control of their car and side swiped us on my side. I spent the rest of the night in the hospital having tests.
Everyone Hates Charlotte
I (9f) went to an aquarium with my 6 friends, now i have a very stuck up clumsy friend who i will call Charlotte. Charlotte has caused me many issues through our friendship, but this day i will never forget. We get to the aquarium and everyone is so excited to see the penguins, polar pears etc.
We see them, and everyone is enjoying themselves and is having the time of their lives. Not Charlotte though, the whole time she is complaining that it is " Too cold " and that she is bored. This is itself isn't that bad just very annoying, it gets bad when my Mom brings out the cake she made for me.
It was an ice-aged themed cake, because i was obsessed with one i had seen in a cake store so she remade it for me. Charlotte is furious that my cake is pretty amazing, because apparently her cake at her birthday was just plain and average. So after i have blown out the candles, she proceeds to stick her entire fist into my cake and smash it until it is a big white mess. Then she complains that she got cake all over her and it was my fault. That entitled witch ruined my special day, my cake and she some how decides to blame it on me? Smh.
One year we all forgot it. I worked all day, my parents both had work, and it was my 17th bday so it was no milestone. It was also in the middle of summer which made the days blend together. We woke up the next day and my mom goes "wasn't it your birthday yesterday?" so we just celebrated a day late.
The American Way
On my 18th birthday, my best friend told my boyfriend to buy me some flowers and bring them to my birthday dinner at a restaurant. He showed up with a half dead potted plant that he bought with his Lowes employee discount. He didn't get me anything else and didn't know why I was upset.
Also, this birthday dinner was at a Mexican restaurant. My grandpa embarrassed us all by ordering himself an AMERICAN hamburger with AMERICAN fries. Everything he ordered needed to be "American." He also told my friend that she was "nice for a black girl."
My mom was diagnosed with cancer the day I turned 20. Fortunately, she's cancer free now but it was definitely scary then.
Two years later, also on my birthday, a great uncle passed away.
Off to Disney
Had a hotel at Disneyland, got a call from the front office saying they needed my credit card info. It was like 6am and I was 20 so I didn't think twice about it until like ten minutes after I hung up. It was too late, they had drained my account and I had to deal with the bank stuff and cancel my debit card so I didn't have any money to spend at disney. :(
I was in a long distance relationship and had driven three hours to spend my birthday with my girlfriend and her son. We had a nice dinner with the kid before he went over to his grandma's house but my girlfriend seemed super tired and distracted the whole night. Didn't think much of it because I was crazy tired from work and the long drive anyway.
We went home, watched a movie, and had some of the most boring going through the motions sex ever. No one was satisfied and sleep was a welcome change.
I go home the next afternoon and then she calls me about nine that night to break up with me. Yay.
On my 12th birthday, my mom bought me beige horizontal blinds that I hated for my bedroom windows. And then took out the curtains that I liked to put in the blinds that I hated. The blinds that matched all the rest of the blinds in the house that she had just bought for all the other rooms. Pretty sure that doesn't count as a gift. And my super precious lifelong BFF cat had to be put to sleep the very next day after a battle with cancer. It was not a great birthday.
All by MyselfHappy Hour Reaction GIF Giphy
16th birthday. Was living alone, family forgot (no one called), walked to Walgreen's, bought a muffin and 1 candle, walked home, lit it and sang happy birthday to myself, cried, went to bed.
My 21st. Was having a party at my house. Nothing big. Just some family and close friends. By 11 Pm only one of said friends had arrived. He kept telling me we had to go around to my friend's house who lived very close by because he had a present for me, but would need my help to carry it. I kept telling him I'd wait a while so other friends could arrive.
Turns out it was his job to get me around to my friend's house where he had organized a surprise party for me, with all my friends and about a dozen people I hadn't invited to my party.
Like my party wasn't good enough?? The friends I had invited eventually came to my house when I refused to go to the other party, but they were all hammered already and I wasn't because I was waiting for my mates before getting too drunk...
So yeah that was a pretty crappy 21st.
If anyone bothered to even show up my mom would use some asinine excuse to scream at me. The last party I had as a kid led to months of verbal abuse over a $5 pizza and some soda. The only other times I tried after that no one showed up. I don't bother anymore.
Not so Merry Birthday!
This was back when I was in church, on christmas eve which is my birthday. We were rehearsing for the christmas performance the next day, after rehearsal ended I heard someone singing happy birthday, I turned toward the direction where the singing came from and sure enough there was a birthday cake, for another person who shared the same birthday.
There was also this other time few years later this new friend of mine invited me to a Christmas eve party, and I did not tell him it was my birthday since that's kinda weird. Anyway after the party they brought out cake for not one, but two people whose birthday was also Christmas eve, its super awkward if I say hey it's my birthday too so I just went along with it and didn't say anything. Not a horrible experience really.
I was 21 or 22, I can't remember, and I had booked a hotel room so my then-gf and I could have some quality alone time (we were both living with our parents).
I couldn't get it up. She got insecure and we had a fight. Lots of tears, anger and 50€ down the drain.
Allergic to Happy
A few weeks prior to my 16th birthday, my sister had graduated high school. My dad bought her a car and gave her $1,000 and threw a huge party for her.
He didn't even acknowledge me. My mom yelled at him and told him to do something for me, so he sent me roses, a box of chocolates, and a bottle of perfume.
I'm allergic to all of these things.
He also sent me a birthday card for my 18th birthday..... Six months after my birthday. And told my mom he was happy I was finally an adult so he didn't have to pay child support anymore.
2 in a Row
On my 21st birthday I was on a film set doing free labor after driving 2 and a half hours for the director who was my college professor. He brought along a couple of us students to get real set experience who then promised us paying gigs once the film got picked up (this filming day was for test footage and a trailer)
We spent over 16 hours on this set on this ranch in the middle of farm land.
After that day none of us students heard from our professor ever again and he was no longer working at the college when we went back the following semester.
Then for my 22nd birthday I got laid off from my job at Target with no warning. I finished all my duties for the morning and was about to clock out (I was an early morning shelf stocker). Where they asked me into the office, handed me an envelope of money saying "we're letting you go, here's the money for the days you've worked since your last paycheck, have a good day."
The Loud Day
My parents got into a huge fight (they had started the divorce process about a month prior). Argued loud enough for the entire apartment complex to hear. Both storm off somewhere and leave me and siblings alone.
Guess someone called cops.
Cops just chilling in our apartment until my mom finally comes back.
It was MeWilly Wonka And The Chocolate Factory Tantrum GIF Giphy
On my 10th birthday my parents set up a treasure hunt for everyone, we had a pretty big piece of land around our house with some notable landmarks around. When we had eaten cake everyone ran outside and found a bunch of clues out of order without the hunt even having started. I was a little witch and started crying and my parents had to cancel the whole thing and everyone's parents had to come get everyone. I still cringe to this day.
On my 13th birthday, when I came home from school, I was told that a really close family friend had died. And every birthday since then, either someone we know or have heard of passes away. The worst was when Chester Bennington died on my birthday. I feel like an unlucky charm, obviously.
I was in a juvenile detention center for my 14th birthday.
I got a root canal with no sedatives, and somehow the dentist was convinced novocain was a sedative.
Root canal, no pain killers or nerve block. Happy 14th birthday to me.
A Deep Cuttv land pain GIF by #Impastor Giphy
Went to the beach on my 16th birthday and when I ran into the water my foot was impaled by a piece of rebar sticking out of some concrete (within a bordered off safe zone, ironically), which stopped me in my tracks and caused me to faceplant into the water and nearly drown.
Want to "know" more? Never miss another big, odd, funny, or heartbreaking moment again. Sign up for the Knowable newsletter here.