The 18th March Project – Post 16

To a number of people I currently interact with regularly, my excitement leading up to my birthday was hard for them to understand.

It’s childish or childlike, depending on who you’re speaking to, and possibly also on how much they want to protect my feelings.

It’s not even a question of age – some of these people are younger than I am. Their apathy isn’t justified.

I just don’t understand why people don’t want to celebrate their birthdays.

Maybe they just aren’t doing it right.

A good birthday celebration to me has:

  • People: ones I like. I’ll take a sprinkling of the ones I don’t like, only because their remembering to wish me is a form of validation. It upsets me when people I love forget to wish me (but I’m getting better at dealing with that as I get older)
  • Cake: the more cake, the merrier I am. Chocolate, carrot, fresh fruit – any kind. Candles, a knife, and the perfect combination of cake and icing = bliss (and, possibly, a sugar high). I’ve sung for myself too, though it’s obviously nicer when you have other people to sing for you
  • Presents: If you’re getting me something, it doesn’t need to be expensive or large. It does need to be heartfelt and useful.
  • Peace: I will not entertain arguments on my birthday. It’s a day that is all mine – if you want to fight, let’s reschedule that to another day. Don’t even try to make the day about you, because it’s anything but.
  • Activity: I don’t think any of the birthdays I classify as good had me sitting at home by myself all day. I need some social interaction, I need the stimuli of different environments. Maybe this will change as I get older, though I doubt it.

Happy birthday, khuxall zolmdis, joyeux anniversaire, janamdin pe shubhkamnayein, parabens, tillykke med fodselsdagen, eid mawlid saeed to all those who share the 17th of November with me, especially Second-Cousin-Once-Removed, K.

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The 18th March Project – Post 15

A train of thought that keeps stopping in the station of my mind:

We think that if we don’t fight for our side, nobody else will. And we’re not wrong. But fighting for ourselves doesn’t have to mean destroying someone else, does it?

Brexiters, White Rights believers, Hindu nationalists in India – they are trying to protect themselves from an Other that exists, fully-formed with distinct characteristics, in their own minds.

No enemy is ever as bad as we think, no ally ever as good.

Everyone has a back story, a justification for the actions they’ve taken, for the course they’re upon and the cause they champion.

But some causes are unjust.

Some causes are cruel.

Some causes should be allowed to die, and those who champion them should be forced to watch them writhe with death pangs, and shudder into oblivion.

No one has the right to lynch someone. No one has the right to rape in retaliation. No one has the right to force their religion down someone else’s throat.

I can’t understand how we’ve reached the 21st century, and this isn’t common practice yet. How is it not par for the course that people treat each other like human beings?

How is it that I can steal your land because I have better allies, or bigger guns, or more money than you? How can I make you feel unsafe because of the colour of my skin or what’s between my legs?

We don’t need the dystopias presented to us by so many young-adult fiction authors today – we’re living in them already.