Ok, today is my birthday. I used to look forward to this as a kid and I'm supposed to dread this as an older adult. But, I'm 28 (today) and so I really am ambivalent. I know that it's a day where I'll have to thank people for remembering my birthday, most of them manage to tell SOMEONE Happy Birthday every day, but probably know less about me than anyone else. I'm not ungrateful for the attention, but I don't really know how to react. So, it's moderately painful. It's ok online because I can reply "Thanks" and mean it, because I don't feel pressure or anything. But, if you were to walk up to me in person and say Happy birthday, you would notice me becoming uncomfortable. What's odd is that I think I brought some of the attention on myself because I've been telling acquaintenances (people who don't entirely make me uncomfortable if they said Happy Birthday) what today was... Trying to see if I enjoyed having the day noticed as opposed to last year where I hid, and it was no different than any other day. (Including my own family, as we were too broke to do the gift and then dinner thing.)

I realized yesterday, yet again, how much "normal humans" make me anxious. I have a problem of noticing people walking around corners at the same time as me: I am either clumsy, unperceptive, or perhaps a combination of the two, or something else. It happens a lot. Anyhow, I've learned to dodge people as a result. I dodge a pretty lady carrying her dinner around the corner, as I am on my way out of work. I startled her slightly, but I kept walking with a muttered apology. (Sincere, not faked, but trying my best to be forgotten past that incident.) As I walk out, the guy who rode the elevator said, "Almost a head on collision there." Nervous, I look at his face, to see if it is some sort of insult, or something... I don't really know how to react. I reply, "Yes, I have to watch where I'm going better." He replies, "No, I think you would have won that one... She was kind of small." (I'm 6'4, 225 lbs) And then he smiles, honest and sincere. I walk the whole ways to my car trying to figure out, "Why was that so weird? Why am I going to remember for days that a stranger talked to me without any sort of insult to his tone."

So, birthdays are tremendous fun for me. Strangers will walk up to me at work and tell me "Happy Birthday," and I'll have to smile back. Then I get to go back home and take my daughter to Brownies (which isn't so bad, I get to sit in the parking lot and read a book), and then perhaps fool around on the computer. My wife is working, so I don't think we will go out to eat. But, later in the week my wife has told me that I can go out and buy myself a bunch of D&D books (which I was planning on buying anyhow, but now I can buy them in one shot rather than a book at a time.)

I just am utterly amazed at how much my "false extrovert" act has changed since high school. I did my best to put on that whole show back in high school, but I experienced frightening mood swings. Now, I'm relatively content almost all of the time, but terribly uneasy around strangers. Not really sure which is healthier.

Note, an oddity: A lot of my nodes were written on this day because of the everything 1 to everything 2 switch over on November 13, 1999. For the longest time, I was just convinced that a ton of people were noding on my birthday in 1999.