Concerning my birthday celebration
Last Friday was my birthday. Growing up, celebrating birthdays wasn't much of a big deal to me. To be honest, I used to be careless about it. I can vividly remember my elder sister, Edy, calling my phone on November 24 to wish me a happy birthday, and I replied, "Same to you" before I snapped myself out of my nonchalance.
I was like, "Oh, silly you, it's your birthday, for crying out loud!"
We sure had a good, long laugh before other banter followed.
But as I touched my mid-twenties, I became more introspective. I began to reflect more on life.
Then I decided to gather people on my birthday to talk about God, life, and purpose. The gathering blossomed into a group that was meeting frequently to reflect on life and our duty to God and humanity. The meetings served their purposes while they lasted.
My birthday ceased to be a quiet affair; it became a day people were looking forward to. As a result, I started writing a series of posts and captions, counting down to my birthday.
But this year's own was different; a year ago, I'd stopped hosting the event I earlier mentioned. So this year, I said nothing concerning my birthday to anyone. I just went through life as though I was expecting nothing.
Then November 24, 2023, beckoned. Since I said nothing about it, I was expecting the quietest birthday since my mid-twenties.
I woke up that morning, picked up my Bible, and started reading, meditating, and praying. Hardly had I finished when a female friend, in the company of my other friends, came in and forced me into a photo session.
It was a Friday, and I had little to do at the workplace. I went to work, and a colleague treated me to a free, sumptuous meal as a birthday present. It was way past midday by the time I got back home. My younger sister called immediately after I got home. It looked as though she had timed me. My mum and kid brother were with her; in unison, they sang the birthday song for me before taking turns to pray for me.
My kid sister emphatically mentioned praying that I married a good wife. I don't know why she emphasised that above all the other wishes she gave. Nevertheless, I gave a resounding amen.
As soon as I got off the phone, with her, Flow, my flatmate, came out dancing with a package in his hand. I knew that it wasn't from him because I knew the kind of treat he'd love to give.
I asked him who it was from, but he said nothing. I unboxed the package to discover a large bowel of 'fisherman soup', rolls of garri, a pack of yoghurt, and a pack of juice.
The soup gave out the identity of the giver. The thing is, I once made a post about fisherman soup on my birthday; my sister mentioned getting it for me but never did. She decided to do it this year. So thoughtful of her!
The party immediately began. In the evening, my friends took me out. I had a few thousand naira to spend, buying drinks for them and myself.
We went to one of the most popular bars in our city. Remember, it was on a Friday, and the whole place was filled up. But somehow, I became the main event. It turns out that my friend paid the hypeman to pour praise on me throughout the evening. The hypeman was mentioning my name every five minutes. I just laughed throughout the evening.
In less than a minute, our table grew larger. People were joining us—mainly friends and mutual friends. With the help of the mobile phone, words went around so quickly, and the little gathering of four escalated to tens of people.
Ordinarily, you'd expect the outing to pierce holes in my pocket, but that wasn't the case. In fact, I spent nothing, even though the drinks, food, and snacks on our table were valued at over a hundred thousand naira. People who felt that I had been of help to them cleared the bills.
I got home around 1 a.m. in the company of some friends. One of my friends brought home a bottle of wine. We popped it, and the party continued until we couldn't carry ourselves.
I needed a quiet birthday but ended up having the most explosive birthday celebration ever.