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milk the occasion Gritting your teeth for the daze of the birth week?

A perfect storm of lockdown boredom and social media narcissism has seen the rise of adults acting like five-year-olds in the run-up to their special day

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Celebrating your "birthday week" is apparently a whole thing now, and if you think for one second I'm going to miss out on the tragic attention-seeking, you've got another thing coming.

A perfect storm of lockdown boredom and social media narcissism has, in recent years, seen the rise of grown adults acting like five-year-olds in the run-up to their special day.

Not content with a mere 24 hours of festivities, the trend - as the name suggests - sees the birthday 'boy' or 'girl', typically in their twenties or thirties, milk the occasion dry over a full seven days, with multiple parties, presents and Instagram posts all marking their #birthdayweek.

Coincidentally, the annual celebration of my most spurious claim to fame - being delivered into the world by the infamous Dr Michael Neary at Our Lady of Lourdes Hospital in Drogheda, Co. Louth - rolls around this Thursday.

Under the new birthday etiquette, I must now soft launch the event several days out (tick), with a 'birthday week' meme for example, giving people a chance to note it in their Google Calendar along with the dozens of other Facebook birthday reminders they get every day.

Just to jog memories during the week, I should bring absolutely every non-event, positive ('yay, birthday week payday!') or negative ('boo, birthday week parking ticket!'), back to myself and the one in 7.8 billion happenstance of my birth.

Strategically dropped snaps of impressive balloon bouquets and piles of perfectly wrapped presents are now standard practice so that no one can claim the date escaped them.

But, to be extra sure, I'll have a subtle 'Thanks for all the birthday wishes!' post ready to go in drafts, before formally wrapping the me-me-me fest up for another year on Friday.

Of course, I'm not really going to do any of this - and I'm not convinced this self-centred nonsense didn't come about after someone accidentally forgot their missus's birthday, then tried to style it out by pretending they had a whole week's worth of fun planned instead.

Maybe let's just leave the 'birthday weeks', 'birthday months' and the even more teeth-itching concept of 'half birthdays' for those who are still in single digits.

A Polly Pocket Birthday Cake Countdown playset makes the ideal present for those aged 4+ this winter.

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If you're closer to an age divisible by that number, then the clue is in the name.

You get a birth-day, and nothing more - so enjoy it.

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