Monday, November 14, 2011

Why I Don't Have Birthday Parties Anymore

When i reached my tenth birthday, my parents insisted on throwing me a huge, impromptu party. They made a big deal over me reaching double digits. I was excited, too, but got the distinct impression that they were more excited. I didn't understand why until several years later, when my mom was telling stories about what a weird child i had been.

Apparently, when i was very young (maybe two), i told my parents that i would not live past five. I don't remember this, nor do i have any idea where that notion might have come from.

You hear stories from time to time of a child with an "old soul", wise beyond their years, and not long for this world. The child is generally aware of their limited time on earth, and often drops hints or gives warnings to their family about this. The child's predictions generally turn out to be tragically spot-on.

So, understandably, my parents were nervous. They awaited my fifth birthday with fear and trepidation, and my sixth with inexpressible hope. By the time my tenth birthday rolled around, they were beside themselves. I guess they figured they were out of the woods.

Well, joke's on them. I'm still going to die one of these days. Probably.

Damn. No wonder they didn't want to homeschool me.

After that my parents pretty much gave up throwing me birthday parties. I guess they figured that the mere fact of my continued existence had been celebrated enough.

I would get together with the same group of friends for pizza and junk food every year, but it was never anything more elaborate than a sleepover with presents. I had one "real" party when i was fifteen. We ate flan and i got my first cell phone. I worked on my sixteenth birthday and then i went to New York for the weekend (with my mom, Agelseb, and Agelseb's mom). My seventeenth birthday came right before my big Europe trip, so i don't think i did anything. For my eighteenth birthday, i pierced my bellybutton. For my nineteenth, nothing. And for twenty, i got my first tattoo.

I had one more birthday party, when i turned twenty-one. I got together with Agelseb and our old friend "Fay", and we bought lots of alcohol and watched a movie and then took our drinks out to the hot tub. And then Fay got very drunk and began complaining, in a very bad fake British accent, about how much her life sucks. When Agelseb and i tried to comfort her, she told us she was tired of us treating her like she was dumb (we weren't) and that she knew more about the Real World and Life After College than we did (she doesn't), and that there was nothing she could do to fix her sucky life (bullshit). And then she went to bed, leaving the next morning before either of us woke up. And then she didn't speak to either of us for the next several months, until her boyfriend broke up with her and she needed someone to hang out with again.

So, yeah. This year i will be working on my birthday again. My boyfriend is supposed to cook me dinner or something. Whatever. As long as i can avoid either Jersey Shore-style drama, premature death, or awkward social interactions, i'm happy.

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