I turned 34 today. On any other date on the calendar, today would have been a nice day. I had a quiet, relaxing morning alone at home with a cup of good coffee. My afternoon classes were canceled for a guest seminar so I got paid for two hours just to sit and watch a seminar for an hour. I didn't have to talk to anyone and no one had to pay attention to me. Then I went to a cafe and had a simple lunch and another cup of coffee by myself. It rained really hard but I had no place to go anyway, so I just sat and relaxed in the cafe. When the rain stopped, I went home and had a delicious home cooked meal that I made by myself. Usually, the one who cooks doesn't have to clean up but I guess my wife forgot about the cleaning, so I went back down to the kitchen and cleaned it up by myself rather than remind her (she had a regular day at work already). I played my electric guitar and listened to it alone on headphones as I played by myself. It was a calm, stress-free day with minimal contact or interaction with anyone. On any other day of the year, that would be a nice break. Today, I really wished someone had gone out of their way to see me. I got some text messages from friends and some Facebook comments, but some people forgot when I was sure they would have remembered. A couple asked if I had any special plans, but no one offered to meet me.
My birthday happens to be a minor holiday in Vietnam so everyone says it's easy to remember. When I asked some people if they remembered what today is, they said "no". When I pointed out that it's the 26th of March which is special for some people, they said "Oh, I almost forgot... it's the Youth Union Day. That used to be special to me because I was in the Youth Union when I was in school but not anymore." I can't blame them for being really busy lately, but I still feel depressed that no one made an effort to do more for my birthday than tap out a "happy birthday" SMS.