‘Honestly I feel robbed’: Pour one out for the people who have two lockdown birthdays
It’s a tough time for Aries right now
Celebrating your birthday is easily one of the best days of the year. Unless you’re one of those odd people who makes not liking their birthday a personality trait. Everyone has to be nice to you, you’re allowed to get away with anything because it’s your birthday, there’s cake, booze, sometimes presents and usually your mates.
But a year of lockdown means everyone will have had celebrated some form of lockdown birthday. A party made up of your household, Zoom quizzes and in bed by 10pm is essentially a lockdown birthday.
However it has to be said that some of us have suffered far more with lockdown birthdays than others. I’m talking specifically those born in March and April who are in the unique position of having two lockdown birthdays amid tight restrictions.
Those born in summer basically got a normal birthday and they will again this year. Yes it was shit for those in the winter months who were restricted with what they could do but hopefully everything will be pretty normal this year and you can have your big booze up in Winter Wonderland with all your mates.
But for us Spring chickens we’re destined to celebrate two birthdays in lockdown restrictions. Blowing candles out by ourselves, waving sadly to our friends through the computer screen and getting old without a big celebration. I started lockdown as an optimistic 22-year-old and leaving it as a 24 year old with roots that are potentially going grey.
Of course we are incredibly grateful to even be celebrating a birthday in year that has been marked with so much tragedy. But sometimes you just need to throw yourself a pity party.
Some people have loved the lack of pressure that comes with a lockdown birthday and for some, their celebrations haven’t really changed.
We spoke to six people who have two lockdown birthdays to see how they really feel about a restricted celebration:
I went back to my room and cried for a bit
My first lockdown birthday I was at home. I called some friends the night before and had drinks which was really fun. I called friends in the morning too and had brunch on call to make it a bit special. During the day I didn’t really do anything special with my family, I had asked to played board games or something in the evening when my parents weren’t working and I went downstairs and everyone was busy doing other things.
I went back to my room and cried for a bit. I think it was more disheartening because I had planned out my birthday to have at uni and obviously couldn’t even be at uni for it, let alone go clubbing like I wanted to.
Last year was my 20th and this year it’ll be my 21st. I don’t have too much planned this year because I don’t wanna be disappointed in case restrictions don’t get lifted when planned.
Plus my dissertation is due on my birthday so I feel a mix of that and being disappointed last year is just making me not feel too excited for it.
The only thing I can really do is stuff outside if restrictions are lifted as planned so then my plans will be riding on the weather which, well, its Britain so there’s no point getting my hopes up on that either.
I’ve decided that mentally I will remain 20 until I can go clubbing again
For the first lockdown birthday my family planned a Zoom birthday and they came from all over the world. It was sweet except when they sang happy birthday there was so much lag! This year my family have planned yet another ‘surprise’ Zoom call which they think I don’t know about yet.
On a normal birthday I would usually take some time to reflect, pray, and of course, go to Nando’s. It is what it is – I don’t usually make a big deal out of my birthday anyway. But I am a bit gutted about having my 21st in a lockdown.
I didn’t notice my 20th was happening because as sad as it is I was rushing to make a dissertation deadline and then the lockdown got announced, so my birthday was kind of the last thing on my mind.
Having then had a whole year to hope and pray things might be back to normal by my 21st and it not working out, I’ve decided that mentally I will remain 20 until I can go clubbing again.
It was all the usual lockdown stuff with no guilt
I worked for both – in usual times I’d be tempted to take it off but figured it wasn’t really worth it to sit on the sofa. I just chilled in the evenings and got a takeaway, nothing special. It was all the usual lockdown stuff with no guilt.
They’ve actually been really nice! But of course would have been good to see people and go for drinks.
But I can’t really complain, what I can complain about is that I was essentially two years younger when this bullshit started.
Honestly I feel robbed, I lost one of my best birthdays ever to a lockdown
My first lockdown birthday was tragic, we watched the briefing where Boris announced all the restrictions and lockdowns and what not. We stayed in the house and had a roast dinner and cake, although there wasn’t much veg on the roast dinner because of food shortages.
Lockdown two has been SO much better, my parents had way more time to prepare for this lockdown birthday so we had afternoon tea and an amazing cake and a fancy meal. They made a big effort to decorate our house and make it as special as possible because I was turning 21.
Honestly I feel robbed, I lost one of my best birthdays ever to a lockdown having already lost one the year before. I’m gutted because there are so many friends and family members I’ve been unable to celebrate with.
This year I celebrated my 21st in lockdown which is an occasion to be marked but obviously that’s been rather difficult in a lockdown. I think this year’s has been so much better so much more enjoyable. I’ve also kind of made my peace with lockdown life and accepted for all its not what I wanted my parents have tried their very best to make it amazing. Certainly a HUGE upgrade from last years tragedy.
I’ve just had my second lockdown birthday and it was significantly better than the first!
My birthday is 17th March so in 2020 it was just as the world was starting to end. I was at home with my parents and I had a very quiet day, baked some brownies, painted my nails, had a bath and that was it really. I remember crying a lot because I was so anxious about the pandemic and what it would all mean. Also, I’m 99.9 per cent sure I had Covid because three days later I was in bed for two weeks with all the symptoms. But obviously there was no testing at the time.
I’ve just had my second lockdown birthday and it was significantly better than the first! It’s funny how you feel better once you get used to world ending. My parents were at home and they made it such a lovely day, lots of balloons and cake. They made me afternoon tea and then in the evening we ordered a takeaway and watched my favourite film together. It was genuinely a lovely day and I didn’t cry once this year! I also went on a gorgeous birthday picnic that my cousin organised. It’s the only thing we could do under the current lockdown restrictions but it was genuinely lovely. It meant a lot to me that she wanted to do something special with me and made me look forward to seeing all of my family again.
Usually on my birthday it would be the same as my second lockdown birthday except I would get to see my whole family like my grandparents and aunties and uncles and cousins. We are a big family and the only reason I like my birthday really is because it’s one of the only times I get to see everyone all at once. So on my first lockdown birthday I was absolutely heartbroken and devastated that I wasn’t able to see my family. I also had plans for brunch and junkyard golf and some drinks with my mates which had to be cancelled.
If you’d have told me I was having two birthdays in lockdown in 2020 I would have genuinely given up because that would mean the pandemic had lasted longer than I originally thought. But now I’m fine about it. Don’t get me wrong, it is genuinely sad that I haven’t been able to see my family all in once place for my birthday for two years but I don’t mind too much as I know they want to be there, we just can’t. It is strange though as I went into the pandemic 21 and I’m now 23 and it’s still going on. Feels like I’ve lost two years.
My dad isn’t able to be there because of travel restrictions
For my first lockdown birthday, my mother really put the effort in to make it special with loads of cute paper decorations, surprise video montage from family and friends, a lovely homemade meal in the garden and playing cricket. It was superb weather too so at least it felt like the birthday gods were on my side.
For the second lockdown birthday (goodness, how depressing) I’m actually in Spain, as I am half Spanish and now allowed to go back to Spain from Italy where I’m doing my year abroad. It’ll be a family event of probably pretty much the same: paper decorations, Zooms with friends, homemade paella and being with my nieces (in Spain you’re allowed to be with family now). I hope that the birthday gods favour me again this year with the weather.
When thinking of having two lockdown birthdays in a row, I just think of how it’s such a depressing marker on the covid chronology. While I wouldn’t probably do anything widely different on my birthdays as it’s always celebrated with family rather than friends, just the mental fact that covid is still around is enough to taint the occasion.
It’s a bit overwhelming having two lockdown birthdays because I thought having just the one would be an anomaly and enough. My dad isn’t able to be there for my coming of age because of travel restrictions and I haven’t seen him in months between my year abroad and him not having an EU passport #screwbrexit.