Birthdays are pretty neat. People get presents and cake. They get to spend time with their friends. If they’re over the legal drinking age of 21, they can get incredibly drunk without being a filthy criminal. It all sounds fun. But there’s one birthday ritual that I can never wrap my head around.
When they cake comes out, before anyone gets to eat it, people stick a bunch of lit candles into the frosting. It’s usually one candle per year but sometimes people just put in one candle shaped like the age the person is turning. But anyways, there’s a bunch of burning, melting candles jammed into the cake but everyone has to sing the birthday song first. Fine. It’s not a great song but I’ll play along for tradition. But then, the birthday person has to make a birthday wish and blow the candles out before anyone gets to eat anything. What’s worse, there’s absolutely no guidelines for what a person can wish for. They could wish to pass their exam next week. They could wish to be emperor of the universe. They could wish for every grain of sand to turn into skittles. No one knows what the person wishes for. No one can veto it. The birthday recipient gets near unlimited power and there’s nothing anyone can do about it.
I want to know where all of these birthday wishes go. I wonder if there’s some kind of Birthday Fairy who gets thousands of birthday wishes delivered to their desk and has to go through them. I’d like to know how the Birthday Fairy decides which wishes to grant and which to deny. I’m honestly curious if they have the resources to grant any wishes at all. I ask because none of my birthday wishes ever came true when I was a kid. Maybe the Birthday Fairy just has a huge backlog and is still granting wishes for people who died like 200 years ago.
Whatever happens to our birthday wishes, if anything at all, I think I have some ways to ease the whole wishing experience. It’s probably best to wish for something simple that won’t result in the end of the world or break the laws of nature. I also recommend wishing quickly. That way the cake won’t get covered in candle wax. Unless people like waxy cake. In that case, no rush.
Your editor in wishing for more wishes,