I do not have a great track record with my birthday.
As someone who is accident prone, I can’t even begin to tell you how many birthdays I’ve spent with my arm tied up in a sling. (Seriously, I can’t. But it’s a lot.)
So when I found out my birthday fell on a Saturday this year, I was a little excited. Okay, a lot excited. It was going to be great! I was going to have an all-day party with my friends, maybe karaoke and putt-putt golf, and then I was going to have dinner with my family…
I had plans. Grand plans. And then they all came crashing down with one sentence.
“You know your birthday falls on Greek Easter this year, right?” my sister told me while we were out at a family dinner one night.
Why, God? Whyyyyyy?
Anyone who is born in March or April knows the pain. You start planning your birthday, only to have it hijacked by Jesus.
And being Orthodox means Easter is a really big deal. There's the fasting, which basically means you can't eat anything fun and feel hungry for weeks on end, and then there's the church services. So. Many. Church. Services.
I may as well just set up my bed on one of the church pews during this time of the year. I know that would make my grandmother happy.
My 21st birthday fell on Orthodox Easter Good Friday, so while the rest of friends got to go out partying for their 21st birthdays (and probably mine, too), I ate tofu for dinner and then went to church. Awesome.
I complained about all of this to my family at dinner, and things quickly went to hell in a hand basket.
The more I complained (and to be fair, I did complain a lot), the more upset my mum got. Before long, my mum burst into tears.
"Why are you crying?" I asked her incredulously.
"It's my birthday! If anyone should be crying here, it's me!"
My dad told me to calm down. My brother-in-law probably thought, "What have I married into?" And my sister just laughed.
And then that's when my mum uttered three little words to her: "You're a b*tch!"
"Why did you have to tell her?" Mum angrily asked my sister.
At this point, both my mum and my sister were crying, my dad and my brother-in-law were looking around the restaurant for a fire extinguisher, and I was still fixating on the fact this was my birthday and everyone else was getting all worked up over it. First Easter, now this...
"What the hell is happening?!" I asked.
LISTEN: Why surprise parties are never a good idea. Post continues below.
As you can imagine, the rest of the dinner was tense, and we all hardly said two words to each other after that. At the end of the meal, we all silently walked back to our cars and went home, still trying to make sense of what had just happened.
It was one of the most bizarre things my family has ever done, and trust me when I say there's been some weird sh*t. It was the literal definition of, "Well, that escalated quickly..."
So once again, I will be sharing my birthday with the uplifting event that is the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Am I mad about the fact that last year I got to spend my birthday at Disneyland and this year I'll be going to church? Three times? Not mad, maybe just disappointed.
Thanks, Orthodox Jesus. We should do this every year. But also, please don't.