Birthdays are for women and kids - True or not?

I wasreading this thread where a poster is expressing his regret that his birthday is not more overtly celebrated by is friends and one poster chimes in for him to more or less get over it in that “birthdays are for kids”.

While askeptic’s response was brusque edging into rude I had to ask myself if he was really incorrect. I gave up getting anything substantive on my birthday besides a few scattered cards and phone calls or emails decades ago. I’m a single man so I’m sure that plays into it as the social circle of mainly male friends I’m plugged into don’t track each others birthdays, and my kids ( 18 & 22) don’t even have it on their radar ( they do get lots from me though) . The driving force behind birthday’s (and social obligations and celebrations in general) are women, and if you don’t have a woman in your life as a relative, SO, or close friend it’s unlikely you’re going to get any sustained recognition of your birthday.

Big event in our family, *especially *for the men. Favourite meals, family gathering etc - but we save Christmas mainly for the kids, so birthdays are the only time the adult guys get to be made a fuss of (Father’s day is for the cheapest, tackiest gag gift we can locate - Mother’s day is chocolate).

A single mate of mine throws large drunken birthday parties for himself, because his family don’t bother.

If it weren’t for my family, my birthdays would pass without so much as a stroke through the calendar date. Everyone’s mileage will most likely vary.

The cake and balloons and party games stuff is pretty much for kids, but we still usually manage to at least go out for a birthday dinner when my siblings have a birthday. I also usually get them a small gift. I don’t think you need to stop acknowledging or celebrating your birthday just because you turn 18.

Sounds correct to me; as a rule, men do not put much store in birthdays, or other similar events.

As an example: I worked in the same industrial field, petrochemical labs, for ~40 years. It was all male until about 25 years ago. Up until women came into the workforce, birthdays were ignored. Afterwards, every birthday, anniversary, and any “significant” date seemed to warrant a celebration of some sort.

I have always been a big fan of my birthday. It is the one day of the year that I want some attention. I love to give presents and such on Christmas and don’t care if I don’t get any in return. Valentines I don’t mind not getting anything. Pretty much true the rest of the year. But on my birthday, I want a fuss made.

I’m male and 47.

For a while it wasn’t important but then I noticed that while everyone else wanted a big deal made of their birthday, I had to make do with a keychain or something. Now I have no problem (and enjoy) making sure my wife and kids have a good birthday and I don’t really have any interest in a birthday party for a 40 year old guy, but it would be nice to get some attention. Birthday sex, at least.

I’m a female adult and I’ve long held on to the notion that birthdays are for kids, so I don’t think it’s an exclusively male attitude. I wish all my friends and family happy birthdays but few of my friends even know when my birthday is and it’s never been observed by anyone but my immediate family - and even that observation is lumped in with my sister’s birthday, mother’s day, and now the anniversary of my father’s death. Truth be told, I feel the same about Christmas gift-giving, and thankfully so does my family.

I still give my son a gift of some sort for Christmas and his birthday, but of course he’s my precious little delicate flower, so I have to. :smiley:

Still acting out your username?

Put me in this camp (okay, I’m single, I’m not expecting the sex…). I try to do nice things or get fun gifts for people on their birthdays. In general, I might get a card on mine. Might. It’s aggrivating. Birthdays are for celebrating- I’ve always believed that- but giving a lot and not receiving gets old fast.

Timely - my birthday is Sunday the 4th ;).

I ceased paying much attention to my own birthday sometime in my late teens/early twenties. It was a passive thing for years and really everyone in my immediate family ( mother excluded ) is more or less the same way, so I came by it naturally.

But when I first started getting involved in online communities I took it a step farther and started getting a bit neurotic about it. It was sort of a schmuck-reaction. One of the first online communities I became active in made a big deal of birthdays - a list was kept and the birthday boy/girl was universally wished a happy birthday. And this very vaguely bothered me, because I didn’t like some of those people and didn’t want to wish them a happy birthday, but the board culture made it seem so de rigeur and automatic that it seemed kinda rude not to. It was a scrolling forum - no seperate threads. So I would end up avoiding posting on those days to avoid my little internal politeness dilemma. Sort of dumb, granted, but it was my first time participating online and the etiquette of the whole thing was new.

But the upshot was that I decided I really disliked the mechanistic nature of obligatory birthday celebrations. So I became rather reclusive about the whole thing and for awhile I wouldn’t even admit my birth date to newish friends ( which at that particular time I was making mostly from that community ). I’m far less weird about it these days, but having made such a fussy point of it for so long, now nobody celebrates my birthday but my mother, much to her annoyance :cool:.

Just for kids? No, not at all. I try to participate in that of my adult friends. But I don’t really have them myself.

As a 28 year old female, I find it really tacky when anyone over the age of 21 makes a big deal over their birthday. My husband and I take each other out to eat someplace nice on our birthdays and that’s it. I call my mom on her birthday or send a card. I’ve been invited to some birthday parties for friends, and I always feel weird about it.

My family never made a big deal about birthdays–there’d be a cake and ice cream. No gifts past 10 or so.

As an adult (female) I don’t make a big deal about my birthday. My husband and I’s birthdays are 10 days apart, so my sister and her husband usually take us out to dinner on the weekend in between. We return the favor on their birthdays. I work with a guy that shares my birthday, so we wish each other a happy birthday. I made a mild big deal about my 30th birthday, in that I told people it was my 30th birthday and my several of my students made me cards or gave me small gifts, and a couple friends took me out to dinner. I don’t see doing even that again until 40.

I think big deals should be made out of everyone’s birthday… regardless of sex or age. The only reason, in my humble opinion, one should forego the hoopla is at the other person’s requests. Other than that, make everyone feel special at least once a year! It’s the least we can do. :slight_smile:

That’s how I feel too. I make a big deal about my boyfriend’s birthday. It’s always fun to have another excuse to celebrate. :slight_smile:

I don’t care much about my own birthday any more. It would be nice if I was taken out to a restaurant, but there’s usually something awful falling out of the sky on that day. My mother’s birthday, we hit the nearest Chinese buffet (she’s a widow and will go out to eat at the drop of a hat). My husband invariably gifts me with a cat-related item: T-shirt/sweatshirt/calendar/mug. He still expects presents on HIS birthday, and this has always been a problem because you can’t buy him anything! it’s near impossible.

Put me in the camp that birthdays are for kids. I’ll probably get a phone call from my siblings and dinner out with my wife.

I worked in a very gender-balanced software company but happened to be on a management team that was all male except one female. We never mentioned birthdays, ever. They weren’t missed.

A few reorgs later, same department but the management team was all female except one male (me), and not one damned weekly meeting went by without cards, balloons, sparklers, brownies, and general carrying on.

Yeah, there’s a difference.

My husband expects something to be done for his birthday, including gifts. I’m happy with a hug and a “happy birthday.” And it seems to work, because he tends to forget mine, but he makes sure to remind everyone that his is coming.

Frankly, I don’t get the big deal. It’s not like you do anything to be born - you pop out wet, nekkid and screaming. Party on…

I think everybody, no matter the age or gender, deserves a happy birthday, whatever that is to them.

Um, Happy Birthday Tamerlane :smiley:

My husband’s birthday and mine are 5 days apart, and our wedding anniversary is in between. We both think it’s kind of silly to spend our shared money buying each other gifts for those occasions, but there’s always some kind of recognition–a card, a cake, a special dinner.

Two of my brothers were born right after Christmas, so during our childhood they celebrated their birthdays on my parents’ birthdays which were at a less, uh, festive time of year. I was really confused when I found out other parents didn’t trade birthdays with their kids.

I avoided this when I worked in offices by refusing to tell them when my birthday was. Office birthday parties are akin to having one’s bikini area waxed.