Afternoon Inquisition

AI: Birthdays

Over the next week and a half I’ll be celebrating both my 10th wedding anniversary and my 36th birthday.

10 years seems like a long time to put up with me. And 36 years is a long time to do anything…. especially when that anything is being me. And yet, here I am, being me. And there’s my husband, dealing with it. And here we both are, reflecting and being nostalgic… and packing because I’m spending the entire summer in a separate state from my husband. Because that’s how we celebrate our lifelong commitment to each other.

I know some skeptics get all “blah blah blah arbitrary date”, and if you’re one of those, it’s adorable that you’re new to skepticism and are forcing yourself to question even having any kind of sentimentality. I toast your grumpy ways during the bi-annual Pedant Celebration week, which begins on New Years Eve and my birthday, June 15, every year. YOU’RE WELCOME.

36 is a pretty epic milestone, though. I’ve been 9 years old four times. I’ve been 10 years old 3.6 times. It’s all a big deal, you know. I’m not really sure what I’m going to do to celebrate. Other than literally fleeing Texas in the morning. But I feel like maybe I should do more than that. But what? How does one celebrate their 6th 6th-birthday? And being married to a man who thinks it’s a good life spending it with a woman who thinks she’s having another 6th birthday? Maybe buy the expensive box of wine?

How should I celebrate my birthday? How should I celebrate my 10th anniversary? How should I celebrate Pedant Celebration week? Do you celebrate your birthday/anniversary/pedants? 

(A serious gift request though… I really hate cancer and if you want to end that for my birthday, I’d appreciate it. And if you can’t end it yourself, maybe you could chip in and help fund some research. In return I’ll run a marathon for you. Deal? Thanks.)

The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.


Elyse MoFo Anders is the bad ass behind forming the Women Thinking, inc and the superhero who launched the Hug Me! I'm Vaccinated campaign as well as podcaster emeritus, writer, slacktivist extraordinaire, cancer survivor and sometimes runs marathons for charity. You probably think she's awesome so you follow her on twitter.

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  1. It is, in fact , my birthday as we speak.

    As far as how you should celebrate it, I’m a big fan of consciousness altering practices such as sleeping and drinking a lot. Beyond that, do something that you’re curious about but have never bothered finding time for, and funnel Pedant Week into being as knowledgeable about it in as annoying a fashion as possible. Then, for your anniversary, promise your husband you won’t mention it again unless he’s comfortable with it. You grow, everyone wins, and you get to be smug for an indeterminate length of time.

  2. Happy birthday, Luarien!

    Since we so often have had to work on our birthdays and anniversary, and with my husband’s birthday too often falling on Mother’s Day, we’ve developed the Birthday Week tradition. Whatever day we actually celebrate on with the full cake or pie and dinner or whatever falls somewhere in that week, and all days that week are centered on what the birthday person wants to do, watch on TV, eat, etc. We’ve never really done anything particularly exciting, though.

  3. Happy Birthday to Elyse and Luarien!

    My style of celebration usually involves just telling my friends they’ll find me in a bar if they want to come and tie one on with me, so I’m not the best person for advice on celebrating milestones. But, there ya go!

  4. I don’t know what ELSE you should do on your birthday, but I know for sure that you will celebrate by spending a large portion of the day looking at all the dumb GIFs I send you on the backchannel.

  5. Putting this part first in the hopes that I will be believed when I say with all sincerity: Happy birthday! I hope the day and the year to come brings you joy and fulfillment beyond your wildest imaginings. Donation made, that’s a great idea for celebrating.

    On to the contention: I think it’s adorable that you’re new to the vast diversity of human values and experience. But thanks for your condescending take on why someone might not make the same choices you do.

    1. Thanks for the wishes and the donation. I appreciate both. :)

      And it’s not the “I don’t care about holidays” crowd that I’m mocking. It’s the “RAAAAAHHHHHRR SKEPTICS SHOULD BE RATIONAL AND ARBITRARY CELEBRATION IS LIKE RELIGION RAAAAARR” people. I’m being condescending in response to their condescension.

  6. HA! I get the *other* Pedant Celebration Week!

    I intend to celebrate with drunkenness, and saying “Eeeeyeaaaaahhhh… shaddup” a lot. But this week is yours, so you can say whatever you like.

  7. Yay! Birthdays! Just have fun!

    My birthday is August 9th. On August 2nd, I’m going to Parker, AZ, my small home town to see one of my FAVORITE comedians, Gabriel Iglesias, who will be playing at the Colorado River Casino. WITH MY NEPHEW! I am going with my nephew. And my dad. My nephew LOVES Gabriel and is beyond excited. My dad bought the tickets for us. Gonna be one of the best birthdays ever. :)

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