My Introverted Birthdays, or 30 is the New 70

old lady I have a birthday coming up, and I've been asked by many, many people what I'm doing to celebrate.

"What are you going to do?"

"Anything special planned?"

"We should have a party!"

The short answer here is no. But while I admit that I'm a textbook introvert with some social anxiety, sometimes I just have to wonder... am I just an old lady in a young-ish body? Well, from a certain biological perspective, yes I am, but that's another blog.

If you know me, you know I'm not a big party person. I find them very overwhelming. When I was a kid, I was thrown so many birthday parties. From what I remember, I just wanted to have cake and then go inside. All of my parties were outside. Why? It's still hot in October. I didn't invite all these kids—I don't even know half of them. I had plans to watch Aladdin at least two times today, Mom and Dad. Why are the other kids crying at Aunt Betty? She's a birthday clown, she's just doing her job. These people are weird, I’m going inside to hide in the bathroom...

As I got older, my parties got smaller and smaller. The parties became dinners and movie dates. And later, when I realized October is where they dump all the bad movies, I upped my game and asked to see a touring musical as my birthday present. I was an old lady treating myself to a birthday at the theatre by 15 years old. I'm still surprised that I didn't have a mink coat and martini glass by 18.

Not to say I don't like my birthday—I love it. It's my favorite day of the year. I can be egotistical just like anybody else. And the benefit of being an adult with just enough friends and a set of divorced parents means that it becomes a week-long ordeal. My husband is very confused by this.

"A birthday is one day," he said. "One. You can't say it's your birthday five days later."

"My dad just told me happy birthday and gave me a present," I said. "Therefore, it's my birthday."

"That's not how time works!"

"Are you mad you never had a week-long birthday?"

"A little bit!"

It's the way I prefer it. No parties, no shots, no loud music. Just quiet dinners with drinks and comfortable conversation, and a bit of silly entertainment, maybe a board game night. All over a seven-day period. That's my ideal birthday.

So... yeah, I'm an old lady. And I don't have a problem with that anymore. Like my older sister says: "30 is the new 70."

KC Ryan is an improv graduate turned Sketch Writing Level 2 student. When she’s not working at the day job, she is a writer and podcaster for everything that combines feminism, comedy, theatre, and nerdery. She also performs in the puppet improv troupe Empty Inside.