At the exact stroke of midnight, Emily Fiumara celebrated her 27th birthday and began carefully harvesting enough attention to survive until next year.
“No one needs to acknowledge me every day of the year, but on this one day everyone must give me enough attention to store in my body’s fat cells for every day that is not my birthday,” says Fiumara. “I believe this is the sacred, unspoken contract of birthdays.”
“Yeah, Emily suffers from a scarcity of attention most of the year,” says Aya Davis, a friend of Fiumara’s. “So when she gets the chance to soak some up, I fully support her, even if she insists on wearing a tiara like some kind of…I don’t know, asshole?”
At the time of the interview, Fiumara could be overheard inserting mentions of her birthday into several different conversations, none of which were birthday related.
“It’s my birthday,” says Fiumara to no one in particular but also everyone at once. “Could anyone drive me to Olive Garden? I’m really craving endless breadsticks and it would be so nice for someone to take me because it’s my birthday. I’m 27 now because today is the day I was born – my birthday, that’s what this day is called. Anyone?”
Several friends volunteered to take Fiumara to Olive Garden, because it being someone’s birthday is an obligation to do whatever the fuck they want for a full 24 hours and pretend to like it. Fiumara was then gratuitously complimented on the drive over, and could be seen soaking up the attention and storing it to live off of for the next 11 months during which she would frequently be ignored.
“Seriously, can I just have this day?” says Fiumara. “It’s socially unacceptable for me to demand this much attention any other time of year, so I’m going to read and reread all these earnest social media posts my friends are making about what a great person I am, and no one can judge me. I’m going to eat it all up and store it in my heart and brain and fuel myself with it for the year to come.”
“One time we left Emily at Seaworld,” says Davis. “Like, we literally got on the plane and flew back across the country because we forgot her in the dolphin nursery. But today is her birthday and we will not let that happen, no matter how drunk she gets, so she should reap as much of our attention as she can possibly right now. She’s going to need it.”
At the conclusion of the interview, Fiumara could be seen hunkering down, ready to hibernate throughout rest of her attentionless, birthdayless year.