My Best Birthday Memories

My Best Birthday Memories

Welcome to my virtual birthday party! This month, I’m celebrating three important dates: my birthday, the six-month anniversary of my “book baby,” Hereafter, and the feast of Parentalia (February 13th-21st), an ancient Roman celebration to commemorate one’s ancestors and placate the spirits of the dead.

Today I wanted to share with you my best birthday memories. Over the years, my birthday has been a mixed bag, sort of like Forest Gump’s chocolates—I never knew what I was going to get. Despite all the bad birthdays (there was a long stretch of time where I was always sick on my birthday), there have been some really fabulous ones. Here are my top five favorite birthday memories:

The Year of the Best 80’s Power Suit Ever

The year I turned nine, I was taking skiing lessons, which never went well and were pretty much sheer misery. I had a ski lesson on my birthday that was pretty much par for the course, and I came home with a terrible migraine. I immediately lay down on the couch and went to sleep, proceeding to sleep through my birthday. I finally awoke and sitting on the edge of the coffee table, where I would be sure to see her, was my favorite Barbie dressed in a brand new outfit, hand crafted by my mother—skirt, jacket, blouse, and stylish hat constructed out of felt. Though my mother was an amazing seamstress, this outfit was incredible even by her standards, given the size/scale she had to work with. Barbie looked AH-MAZING. Even more awesome, sitting beside her was my very first Ken doll—with stylish real hair, to boot! I still have Barbie, Ken, and the outfit to this day.

The Year of Balloons

A very large number of my birthday memories involve my husband—he always goes out of his way to make sure I have a great birthday. My first birthday with him was no different. We were in college, and I lived off campus. I would catch a ride to the train station with my uncle as he left for work, which usually had me arriving at school around six-thirty in the morning. I would head to my locker—in an isolated tunnel that ran under the campus—and then head to the student center to kill time until my first class. My then-boyfriend-now-husband would often meet me there, breakfast in hand. On this particular day, I arrived at my locker to find the area covered with balloons and even more balloons stuffed into my locker.

bestbirthday balloons
Like this—only happier…and with more balloons

It was balloon-a-palooza! I love balloons, so this was an amazing surprise. The sad part, however, was that when I next returned to my locker, a few hours later, the balloons had all disappeared (::cough, stolen, cough::), which puts a slight damper on the memory; however, this still remains one of my best birthday memories.

The Year of the Tiara

bestbirthday tiara
My birthday tiara wasn’t quite as fancy as this...and it might have had fur and blinking lights

The year I turned thirty, I woke up to find a tiara sitting on my pillow. Yes, that’s right—my husband gave me a tiara to wear. It being a workday, I, of course, wore my tiara to work. Now, I happened to work in human services as a career counselor at the time, but I did not let that daunt me in the least. My boss, walking by my cubicle, did a double take and stopped to stare. “Why?” he asked with a look of utter bewilderment. The fact that it was my birthday didn’t seem to clarify the matter at all. “Yes, but…why?” he asked again. The entire day, whenever he walked by my desk he just shook his head and muttered. However, all of my clients and coworkers did not find anything odd in the least about this. That weekend, to celebrate my birthday, my friends and I went bowling (my first time since I was six) and…you guessed it: I wore the tiara. No one at the bowling alley seemed to think it weird in the least.

The Year of Pink Roses

My mother passed away January 16, 2009. Needless to say, my birthday, falling less than a month later, was extremely painful and just served to accentuate the fact that she was gone. My sister, anticipating this, sent me roses, at work. So did my husband.

bestbirthday roses
Pink roses are my favorite

My sister always remembers my birthday, but the extra touch of sending me flowers and a note, at work, of doing her best to make sure I had a happy birthday despite the crushing lost we had both suffered so recently, got my through that day.

The Year of Cake
bestbirthday cake
Who needs cake to be pretty, anyway? Taste is all that matters.

By far, I have to say that my favorite birthday memory is the year I came home from work to find the kitchen cabinets, the kitchen ceiling, the kitchen walls, the kitchen floor, and my husband covered in chocolate cake batter, the sink piled high with dirty dishes, the counters littered with trash, dishes, and cake batter, and my husband nearly in tears. He had attempted to bake me a cake. My husband has never baked anything in his life. AND, God bless him, he couldn’t remember if Black Forest or German Chocolate cake was my favorite so he had attempted to make both—a daunting task for even the most seasoned baker. He did manage to put together a rather dubious looking—but delightful tasting—Black Forest cake, which is, in fact, my favorite kind of cake (in a close race with carrot cake).

And there you have it, my favorite birthday memories. What about you—what are some of your best birthday memories?

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