My wife and I have the same birthday, though the actual dates are just a few years apart. It rapidly approaches, and I’m again confronted with people who discover this fact and exclaim something to the effect of, “Isn’t that cute?”
No. No, it is not. Not from the inside. You see, I cannot throw a surprise party for her or a party for her bringing just her friends or anything of that sort without sidelong glances wondering if they should be bringing me something as well. I cannot make it HER day at all – it’s another “our” day. We get plenty of special “our” days between holidays and anniversary and that sort of thing. Everyone should have (in my opinion) a day that is THEIRS.
And I get no brownie points for remembering her birthday. In fact… for me, a birthday isn’t that big a deal. For her, it is a reason for celebration. So though I don’t forget it, for the first couple of years (till it got through my thick head how stupid I was being) I really didn’t do much for her or myself. Not so much forgotten as “so what”. I’d have been better to have actually forgotten. This was worse – knew and (from her point of view) DID NOT CARE. That is NOT cute. (Oh, I did stuff, but it wasn’t anything close to special.)
There are souls out there who get this from similar experience without having shared birthdays. In particular, those who have birthdays on certain holidays. Christmas (eve or day) and New Years Day come to mind as particular examples, but I’ve heard comments from those born on Halloween and Independence day to know they’re not alone.
There are those who get it intuitively, as well. But usually people have to have it explained – and an unfortunate majority don’t get it. “But, it’s NEAT that you two have the same birthday.” If you encounter other souls who are in this, you can get some idea of how long they’ve been together by whether they agree or look somewhat pained at the remark. Because it doesn’t take long for “cute” to become “not”.
If you think it’s “cute”, take a moment to think of it from the other side. It might still be cute, but maybe…
Oh – Candlemas, and I’ll be 50.