As an Oct. 21 baby, I have the distinction of sharing my birthday with model-actress-Slutwalk champion Amber Rose, the late, great actress and writer Carrie Fisher (may she rest), and the entrepreneurial juggernaut, selfie-taking reality star known as Kim Kardashian. But while we share the same birthday — this year Kardashian turns 37, while I am turning an age that’s none of your business — the way we celebrate our day is decidedly different. To wit:
Our birthday wardrobes
As helpfully detailed by People magazine, which did a retrospective of Kardashian’s birthday ensembles over the past 10 years, Kardashian likes to get pretty dolled up in honor of her special day. Witness the red bodycon dress she wore to party at Tao nightclub back when she was still BFFs with Paris Hilton, the black bandage dress she sported 10 years ago at another Vegas birthday celebration, and the striking silver number she donned in celebration of her 30th back in 2010.
Conversely, I tend to go a bit more relaxed in my birthday attire — and, no, not so relaxed that I wear only my birthday suit. Though I did don a leopard-print bodycon number for a house party I threw back in 2011 when our birthday coincided with the rapture, my general birthday aesthetic is pajamas. Possibly with footies. Probably with Disney characters on them (Mickey is acceptable, Tigger is preferable). Though if pressed to go out, I’ll usually throw on something acceptable like jeans and a cute top — the typical going-out-in-L.A. uniform.
Our birthday activities
2012: When Kardashian turned 32, she went on a tour through Italy — Florence, Rome, and Venice — with her future third hubby, Kanye West, where they skipped art galleries in favor of shopping and generally enjoyed the hell out of themselves.
Meanwhile, I spent mine at Disneyland wondering what the f**k I was doing with my life. Don’t get me wrong — running around the park with three friends was a grand old time. But an onslaught of personal and professional turmoil has a way of making you feel like the good days aren’t that great. Plus, Italy remains on my bucket list. Sigh — I’ll get there some day.
2013: Kardashian turned 33, and it was arguably one of her biggest birthdays ever — as that was when boyfriend Kanye became fiancé Kanye, after the rapper rented out Pac Bell Park in San Francisco and proposed to Kardashian with great fanfare (and cameras).
That year, I was decidedly more low-key for my birthday — as you can imagine — and had a small dinner with friends at a vegan café. You will be shocked to learn that no paparazzi showed up, so I was left in relative peace. There was also no surprise proposal — though I’m not upset about that. Being married was more work than I was ready for at the time.
2014: For birthday 34, Kardashian took a private jet to Vegas, where she, her friends, and her family all partied at Tao with a huge cake and all the bells and whistles. Kardashian tends to spend a lot of birthdays in Vegas — witness her celebrations when she turned 30, 31, and even 33, when she had a delayed birthday shindig after the grand proposal.
After a job that required me to go to Vegas once a year for four years and operate on maybe an hour of sleep over the course of four days, I avoid Vegas. Just thinking about it makes me tired. Instead, I drove to the desert in a 20-year-old Honda I borrowed from my landlord, went to the Integratron, where they do a sound bath with crystal bowls over a supposed healing vortex (yes, I’m one of those), and soaked in the hot springs, all by my lonesome. It was wonderful — even when the car battery died on the way home.
2015: When Kardashian turned 35 two years ago, she was super pregnant with son Saint, so her birthday was different from Vegas bashes gone by — but was in no way more low-key. West rented out a movie theater to screen the Steve Jobs biopic that had just come out, and everyone dressed up as their favorite version of Pregnant Kim.
I too went to the movies on my birthday that year (and I think it may have been to see the same Jobs biopic), but wound up sitting in front of one of those jerks who talked through the whole thing and overexplained the film in a not-so-quiet stage whisper to his seat mate, despite me asking him to kindly shut up several times.
2016: Last year, when Kardashian turned 36, it was right after the horrors of the Paris robbery, so she kept things pretty quiet — as did I, with another low-key dinner with friends. Perhaps I was doing so out of instinctual solidarity with my co-birthday celeb, I don’t know. Either way, I’m a firm believer that flashy birthdays can be fun, but the nonflashy ones are just as good (if not better).
Our birthday gifts
Kardashian’s 35th brought out West’s signature rose wall bouquet, along with a massive artisan cake — the likes of which have popped up during many of her birthday celebrations in the past.
Me? I get gifts too — clothes and trinkets and homemade treats that come from the heart. And, sure, I’ve gotten bouquets of flowers from boyfriends and friends, but I prefer to buy myself flowers on my birthday. Mine are decidedly less fancy — and they don’t come in wall form. And I often grab them from Whole Foods or some like-minded grocer. This ensures I’m never without flowers on my birthday. (It’s also a form of self-care, because why not?) It may be less flashy, but at least I know they’re fair-trade.
Our social media celebrations
Even though Kardashian had a quiet birthday last year, Kanye pulled together a sweet gift of videos from her childhood and posted them online:
Mama Kris shared a snippet of it too:
My sweet girl Kimberly, I remember this day like it was yesterday…. you are a slice of heaven, then and today!! pic.twitter.com/XMpb4r2nBQ
— Kris Jenner (@KrisJenner) October 21, 2016
And on her 35th, countless friends and family posted throwback pictures, shots from the party, and other assorted birthday madness in tribute to Kardashian.
I know social media is supposed to make birthdays awesome, because that little Facebook nudge reminds everyone you know to post a note on your wall, and it tends to spill over into Twitter and all the other social platforms. But nobody posted about me on social media. Largely because I’m not on social media anymore. Who the hell wants to be on social media these days!?
Our standing heading into this year’s birthday
Leading up to the big day, MSNBC took a quick look at Kardashian’s net worth as she prepares to turn 37. Spoiler alert: She’s worth a lot. Let’s just say my net worth is … a bit less at the moment. But I’m not bothered. You never know what’s right around the corner.
We don’t know what Kardashian is doing for this year’s birthday, and you know what? I don’t know what I’m doing either (and, yes, I know it’s practically tomorrow). But I’m pretty sure whatever we do, it’ll be special. ‘Cause Oct. 21 babies are awesome. Happy birthday to us!
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