My birthday is for everyone else
When kids are little, they go to all these birthday parties, first for the kids of their parents’ friends, then for their classmates, then for children they actually have something in common with (or who’s parents made them invite them). And of course, if one is invited to a party, they have to invite the birthday kid to THEIR birthday.
This is when birthdays START being for everyone else. Most autistic kids really don’t care for watching other people open presents-anyone who understands this, really, enlighten me, it’s so…voyeuristic-and party games are pointless.
The hats are uncomfortable, the cake is oversugared, and by the end of most childrens’ parties NO ONE is having fun because everyone is either in tears, bored, or hyper and wild. The birthday kid, at least if I’m that birthday kid, is usually hiding somewhere. Or in time out for not being a good sport when losing at musical chairs-I maintain that my butt hit that chair first. Or already being forced to write thank you notes before the parental unit forgets what was given by whom. And really, who enjoys “goodie” bags? What’s good about them??
Around high school, the mandatory parties stop. For me this was a huge relief, since I hated every party game except twister-which I always won, and which stopped being fun when no one would play me. But this is when friends start SURPRISING PEOPLE with crap on their lockers or in their lockers. ACK! I about had a heart attack the first time there was stuff on my locker that I did not put there, and when there was stuff IN it, I had to LEAVE THE BUILDING and come back in. Change And Surprise Are Bad. Even seeing them on OTHER people’s lockers distressed me because it was a change in the hallway. And of course, when the autistic student has found friends…surprise parties.
Surprise parties are the worst thing ever. Everyone is all secretive and they take you somewhere and then SURPRISE! They give you stuff you may or may not want, and all THEIR favorite stuff is there. Oh boy, pizza. I have celiac disease, gee thanks. Wow. Video games and Magic, the Gathering. I’m autistic, not a stereotype. Yes all my friends were guys, but that didn’t mean *I* was a stereotypical nerdy guy who was in Scholastic Bowl. Just…most of that. Ooh, take me bowling with the flashy lights, my epilepsy is gunna go for that one. Happy friggin birthday.
Then…adulthood. It gets worse. Why? Because not only do they drag you bowling or to philosophical and apologetical video game pizza filled nights, they can drag you to BARS. This may be some people’s cup of…whatever you drink, but
a) bars are loud
b) a lot of us take medication, so no alcohol
c) just the SLEAZE factor involved.
Maybe this is just the girl in me, but on my birthday I do not want to be the one sober person in a room while a bunch of drunk guys try their lame lines on me. It’s sad, pathetic, an interesting study in human behavior, but there are 364 OTHER days a year I can do that too! I do NOT want to go line dancing, I have done that before, enjoyed it, and moved on-besides, drunk people never see me or get mad when I out dance them. I do not want to go sing karaoke if more than half the room is drunk and heartsick, because it’s just depressing to watch. not funny. Depressing. In short, NO, I will not be amused at ANY bar, and any place that calls itself a ‘club’ is out because it’s a glorified bar with a dance floor and seizure lights. ERs are off limits on my birthday.
So do people listen to me? No. That’s why my birthday, when everyone else has a grand old time, is for everyone else.