08 September 2016

Day 8: Birthdays

Ann Dee Ellis 8-Minute Memoir writings continue.

Birthdays have always been some of my favorite things. My birthday is June 17th, and every year I look forward to it. I try to do something memorable every year, but it's hard to create a memory sometimes. This year I was in Chicago and most of my memory involved crankily wandering through a northeastern neighborhood of the city looking for a decent restaurant. We did eventually find one, and they made me the most delicious mocktails.

Last year I spent my birthday at Disneyland. If I had the means and opportunity, I'd spend every birthday at Disneyland. I wrapped up the night gazing at Sleeping Beauty's castle, crying because the day was over. Who knew a 29 year old could get so emotional about leaving Disneyland?

I'll always remember my 16th birthday party. I tried to make it a big thing in my parents' giant backyard, but only about 10 people came. It wound up being just about perfect though. One friend had made me the perfect birthday card containing every geeky 16 year old's dream: an Invader Zim drawing and cash.

When I was young, maybe 6 or 7, I threw a pool party at my grandparents' house. I remember hanging from the lion's head fountains that lined their grandiose pool and opening presents that came with twin presents for my sister, whose birthday wouldn't be for 3 months, and feeling pangs of jealousy that she got to share in my glorious celebration. I never did learn to share my birthday with anyone until I got married.

Casey's birthday is a mere 8 days before mine, and our first birthdays married, we threw a birthdays party between the two days. We packed our 525 square foot apartment with pizza, rock band, and some 30 people. It was probably the best party I've been to.

The thing that never fails to surprise me every year is how normal birthdays are. It seems like birthdays should feel different somehow. Like when the minute hand on a clock hits the hour and snaps into place, I think hitting your birthday should feel like you're snapping into the next year. Instead, most years just feel like any other day.

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