Happy birthday, be mine

Being born on Valentine’s isn’t all roses, but gifts are often chocolate

By: MICHELLE PRESSÉ
@michellepresse

For the average person, making a dinner reservation for your birthday is no problem.

But if you’re born on Feb. 14, the likelihood of spending your special night at a restaurant is slim.

Teri Boates is turning 21 this week, but as a Valentine’s Day baby, she knows she won’t be the only one getting flowers on her big day.

For Boates, birthday celebrations always come with a little heartbreak.

“It really sucks when your friends can’t make it out to see you because they’ve got a date,” says Boates. “I have to deal with that every year.”

She says having a party on a day other than her actual birthday is the best solution.

But when it comes to dating, things aren’t always so simple.

“If I’ve got a partner, they always feel obliged to get me two gifts,” says Boates.

“It’s never a requirement, but it always feels like it has to be. I usually end up feeling guilty, but I don’t mean to complain.”

Boates says she normally gets Valentine’s Day-related gifts for her birthday, making it more romantic – but also more predictable.

“If I don’t get chocolate or roses on my birthday, it’s like … ‘Is my birthday on a different day this year?’” Boates says.

“There’s one thing people should know if they’re worried about getting me something predictable … I will never say no to chocolate.”

Rachel Millar, a business student at Nova Scotia Community College’s Waterfront campus, says having her birthday on Valentine’s Day gives her two reasons to celebrate on Feb. 14.

“Whenever people wish you happy birthday, it’s like everyone’s celebrating anyway,” says Millar. “And I always have something nice to say back to them, because they have something to celebrate too.”

Despite her birthday being dedicated to lovers across the world, she says her friends still make time to see her on her birthday – even if they’re in relationships.

This year, Millar plans to spend her 19th birthday with friends after their dates with significant others. She says her ideal Valentine’s Day would be to go on a date with someone she likes enough to spend it with.

“I’ve been in two relationships, and both times I’ve broken up with them before Valentine’s Day,” says Millar.

“I was going to break up with them anyway. But it’s my birthday – I’m like, ‘I don’t want to spend time with you.’ Heartless, I know.”

Millar says having her birthday on Valentine’s Day causes people to label her a “love child,” and automatically peg her as a people person. But Millar says her birthday isn’t a fair representation of who she is.

“I’m pretty cold,” she laughs.

Amaan Kazmi is a first-year student at Dalhousie University. He says he plans on throwing a dinner party at home in celebration of his 19th birthday this Sunday.

“It doesn’t change a thing, to be really honest,” says Kazmi. “I’ve never had a girlfriend and Valentine’s Day isn’t that big a deal where I’m from.”

Originally from India, Kazmi says he hopes his friends will be able to make the party, but knows they might have plans with their significant others. He says it doesn’t matter either way.

Steve Large disagrees.

The fourth-year journalism student at the University of King’s College is celebrating his 25th birthday this Valentine’s.

He says there couldn’t be a worse day to be born.

“The holiday always overshadows my birthday,” says Large. “And if I’m in a relationship, I have to buy them a present as well.”

He says his friends who are in relationships make plans with their significant others, and his friends who are single don’t want to go out drinking to celebrate for fear of seeming desperate.

“I’m stuck in a rut,” says Large. “Everybody thinks they’re super clever giving me those awful candies as presents. They’re so abundant on Valentine’s Day. You’d think people would at least spring for a chocolate or something.”

If Large could have his birthday on another holiday, he would choose Christmas. At least then, there are actual gifts being marketed beyond candy hearts.

“If you’re lucky enough to have cool parents, they might give you double the presents,” Large says.

While there are no statistics that reveal how many people are born on Valentine’s Day, a 2012 study by Harvard University public policy professor Amitabh Chandra revealed Sep. 16 is the most common birthday in the U.S. while Dec. 25 and Feb. 29 are the least common.

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