25 January 2007

A weird problem

My friend has an Issue. A kind of odd issue, the kind of thing the InterWebs are great at giving advice about.

His birthday is September 11. 9-11.

The first year of 9-11, the birthday was easily forgotten. Everyone was in shock and pain.

He thought maybe it would become more normal as the years went by, but it is still weird to celebrate on that day. It is even weird to tell people when his birthday is, because they always wince.

Question: Should he lie about his birthdate?

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grandma bob said...

Well if he likes to Celebrate (with a Capital C), why not celebrate his 1/2 year birthday. I have a friend with a late December birthday who just never felt like it was a "separate" celebration just for her until she started celebrating in June!

Mir said...

I believe Jenny of Three Kid Circus has her wedding anniversary on 9/11. The actual conversation went something like this:

Her: Yeah, well, our anniversary is 9/11.
Me: Wow. Ouch.
Her: Yeah.
Me: So, that sucks, huh?
Her: Pretty much.

But why lie? He can't help when his birthday is.

super des said...

My grandmother -in-law also has that bday. I've known many people that have had tragic bdays. The problem with 9/11 is that it is still a very recent memory. So he shouldn't lie about the date, but maybe go out to celebrate the day after, or the weekend, or sometime else.

But the 2 things are not associated, so people shouldn't react that way to him.

Jane said...

My birthday is July 7th, which I'm sure will make Londoners think of the 2005 bombings for a long time to come.

I agree with Super Des - the recency is the real problem. There are plenty of infamous dates and lots of people were born on each of them, but once a reasonable amount of time passes, the association stops seeming so stark.

Andrea said...

Do people still wince when a someone says their birthday is December 7th, the anniversary of the Pearl Harbor bombing? Not as much anymore, unless they were around when that tragedy happened. I'm sure with more time, your friend won't get that regrettable reaction.

It was his birthday before it was 9/11. He shouldn't be ashamed to celebrate it, nor should he lie about it. But if it feels awkward, maybe a day earlier or later would be okay, like Super Des said. It's not like he can help when he was born.

Meg said...

It's my brother's birthday, too.

He was a little thrown by it, but you can't change when you're born. It's not like his birthday caused the events of the day.

Lots of bad things have happened on most of our birthdays, because lots of bad things happen every day.

You just have to keep on keepin' on.

jennster said...

i don't think he should lie. my bd is 9/12... and it's weird for me. i think just as weird as if it was 9/11, but probably the 9/11 birthday people don't think so.

Mr Stapler said...

Realistically, he has a few options:

1. Move the date. But if he does, the terrorists win.

2. Celebrate even more on 9-11. Have a huge overblown birthday. The terrorists HATE this sort of thing.

3. Celebrate on the Terrorists' birthdays. They hate that the most! It's their birthday, but YOU'RE having the party. And they're not invited, so nah-nah to them.

4. Join the Military, kill all the terrorists, and have your birthday become a national holiday. That way, you can feel doubly good - sort of like you reclaimed 9-11.

5. On 9-11, fly to Crawford and stand outside Bush's ranch, and hold a sign that says "It's my birthday, You F*cking Idiot Chimp President." Probably not very fun, but I would feel a whole lot better.

As I see it, those are the only viable options.

Meg said...

Mr. Stapler's options leave me without a contribution, but I agree with everyone who said that time will make it easier. I was born the day the Titanic sunk, and my mom was born on Hitler's b-day. Surprise! No one cares. For now, I'd say either have a blowout to celebrate life, or save it for the weekend. Most of us don't do the full celebration on our actual days anyway...I don't think?

Eden said...

I believe Moby wrote a blog post about this once (it's his birthday as well). Maybe looking that up will provide some insight?

I wouldn't lie about my birthday and I wouldn't celebrate it another day. It's my day, ya know?

Then again, all that happened on my birthday was the Louisiana Purchase.

chirky said...

He shouldn't lie about his birthday - no way! He should spin it - he should invite others to celebrate something that is worth celebrating (his life).

It is even appropriate to toast or have a moment of silence or something for those whose lives were affected or lost on 9/11.

But he should totally still celebrate.

Anonymous said...

I would not lie. I'm not a fan of wallowing and I'm kind of sickened about how we reshow murders every year on that day and how the current administration is capitalizing on that.

Personally, I would like to think that if I knew someone who died that day, I'd want to get to a place in life where I could enjoy their memory more than I would mourn my loss. Maybe that sounds weird.

Chantel said...

I have a friend who's birthday is 9-11. We have a moment of silence in the morning and then we get drunk at night. Both times we pretend its for him and for them.

Celebrate away!!

Mayberry said...

What your friend needs is a good comeback to use anytime someone says "well that must really suck." Not that I have one to offer, though maybe some of the excellent suggestions from Mr. S. could be adapted in this manner!

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