Face Off: I really don’t want a birthday sign

Tory+Basile

Tory Basile

Tory Basile, Reporter

Few things are more iconically Cathedral than students’ morning drive up the Hill — a drive that will almost surely be punctuated by the several happy birthday yard signs adorning the landscape. While several students appreciate the birthday attention, countless others can find the signs to be at least a bit embarrassing.

For students who would rather have their birthdays go by without much fuss or unnecessary notice, these massive yard signs can be a laidback student’s nightmare. Not to mention, these signs are often unfortunate surprises for the students who receive them, ensuring that almost everyone they know (or don’t know) at school is aware of their birthday.

If said student was planning on remaining under the radar for the duration of their day, they would inevitably be met with countless inescapable birthday greetings from friends and strangers alike. And of course, these signs will remain on the Hill for days past someone’s actual birthday, making the frequent “happy birthdays” not only a bit irritating, but eventually just inaccurate.

Furthermore, the companies that supply them start sign sales at an upwards of $50, and much more for the large signs that are so common on the Hill. This is an especially steep price to pay to merely say “Happy Birthday” — especially when you could do so in several ways that are far less expensive and far more personal.

Many students choose not to publicize their birthdays because they prefer to celebrate with the friends and family members who they’re genuinely close with, opting not for superficial attention, but rather to spend their special day with those who care about them. Hence the birthday yard signs, and their inherent publicity, can often seem at least mildly unsentimental.

Ultimately, while a yard sign, whether wanted or not, is usually well-intentioned, I think many students would be relieved to go about their birthdays in a more casual manner — there’s really nothing subtle about an eight-foot tall sign decorated with balloons and adorned with bright lettering.

Personally, I think birthdays can be less overwhelming, and much more enjoyable, when celebrated quietly.