It’s pretty well documented that I don’t like my own birthday much.

Some people do their best anyhow. Take Floor 12’s efforts three years ago, for example. And when people put an effort in, they usually succeed in getting me to change my mind about my birthday, at least temporarily.

And then you’ve got my family’s efforts this year.

Look, I’ll defend my family to the grave, but sometimes even I can’t muster any defence for their actions.

The only reason I came home for my birthday this weekend is because my mom asked me to. Otherwise I’d have stayed in Kingston. But my mom wanted me to come home so that we could have a family celebration.

Well, the family celebration is currently in progress, and everyone’s watching the hockey game and screaming. Me, I’ve retreated to the basement for a bit because it’s annoying me and stressing me out. My dad doesn’t even watch hockey, but when my uncles are over he’s suddenly a diehard fan, yelling at the TV about biased officiating. And then there’s my ex-uncle, who arrived late wearing a Leafs jersey, shook my hand, and the plopped down on the couch to watch the game. My mom then attempted to round up the troops for cutting the cake, but she failed and ended up sitting on the couch too. That was the last straw for me. I had to get away before I said something rude. I’ve been here 20 minutes or so now, and no one’s even noticed.

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As soon as I typed that last sentence, my dad called me. Evidently he had looked around the room during a commercial break and noticed my absence. He then had a go at me for being anti-social. He claimed that everyone was there to see me, and that disappearing like that was rude.

It takes a lot to rile me up, but my dad very nearly accomplished the feat right there. I kept myself in check, albeit just barely. Through gritted teeth I pointed out that no one had said so much as a word to me for the last hour, and that I had absolutely no interest in watching the game. If people were in fact there to see me, it sure didn’t seem like it.

The game ended moments later when Montreal scored in overtime. From then on, things were better. Cookie-cake was eaten, presents were opened, and general merriment was had. Still, it was an exasperating evening. I love hockey as much as anyone, but I sure as hell wouldn’t watch a game during someone’s birthday celebration. To me, that’s just rude. The Flames played immediately after the Leafs’ game ended, but I didn’t watch any of it until after the guests left.

Was it rude of me to go off downstairs? Perhaps. But sometimes you just need to get away from people, and this was one of those times. And to call me anti-social is a little hypocritical when the only communication in that room was between people and the TV screen.

It wasn’t a complete disaster or anything, but a good chunk of the evening was stressful and frustrating, and those are two adjectives that I shouldn’t be using to describe my own birthday party.

That’s #23 in the books. Here’s hoping #24 is a better one.

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