Columnist’s magical 22nd birthday

Lauren Fitz and Lauren Fitz

On Friday, a very special thing happened to me. It was my birthday and I turned the magical 22. Sure, it’s not the super magical 21, but there aren’t many birthdays that share their age with the title of a Taylor Swift song. I turned 22, and just like birthdays of the last few years (with the exception of 21), it was a fairly blah occasion. Listening to “22” at midnight was fun and having breakfast with one of my old roommates was fun, but once those events were over, it felt like an ordinary day.

Which led me to think: when did birthdays stop being fun?

I mean, 22 is still an age at which birthdays should be a little fun, and I should still want to celebrate my birthday in some way. Instead, when my family called me to ask if I’d be going out for my birthday, I told them it was too cold (if there’s one thing people should know about me is that I hate the cold) and that I had laundry to do instead.

Wow, what a special way to spend 22.

The lack of birthday fun took me back to my youthful days, when I could barely sleep on my birthday and would look forward to baking my birthday cake with my mom and bringing candy to my classmates to get obligatory “happy birthdays” from everyone, making me the coolest kid in the school for a single day.

Instead, I’m already looking at birthdays like Penny Hartz from “Happy Endings” and wanting to neglect the fact that my birthday exists, or even to start lying about my age. Okay, maybe I’m not quite at that stage yet, but still.

So, at what age do birthdays officially suck? Because, like I said, with the exception of 21, my last great birthday celebration was probably when I turned 15: my best friends and I went to the movies and my mom treated us to dinner afterwards. I didn’t get a super big sweet 16 party (I had three hours of ballet instead). My 17th birthday, the birthday I’d been looking forward to since I was six years old, because 17 is my favorite number, was one of the worst birthdays I ever had. At least for 18, I spent the whole weekend with my mom and we ate at my favorite restaurants for every meal because my dad and brother weren’t in town.

I had figured that I had a few more fun-ish birthdays left in me before I started disliking them. Then again, for all I know, maybe having a planned-out birthday party is what makes everything so much better for birthdays.

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