Today is my birthday. It’s crazy how much we love our birthdays when we are younger. Last year was the first time that I felt a little bit weird about it being my birthday. Here is my number, I’m 26! The way I see it, I’m almost 30! This year I’ve decided to have a party, mostly because I love parties and also because my best friend from high school is going to be in town and I want her to meet my friends and vice-versa. My party from here on out will always be an “Almost 30th Birthday”, that way even when I turn 30, 31, 32, 33, I can still say that I’m almost 30 and who will know? I will have had that same party theme for 5+ years!
Some of my insecurities of growing older come from my other best friend who doesn’t want to grow up either. My dad has always shunned his birthday. I’m pretty sure that my mom likes her birthday. I just like having a party for any reason and a birthday adds a new reason each year and now that I’m married, I have two reasons. If I have 363 kids, I can have a party everyday of the year!
My neighbors who can’t even spend a few extra dollars a month to water their lawn have the biggest kids birthdays ever. All of the neighbors and their children run down the street several times a year for a day of bounce houses, clowns, balloons, food and music. I’m convinced there’s an open bar for the adults but I wouldn’t know. I don’t have kids so therefore I am not ever invited. Instead, a few Saturdays a year I have to drive past their house, staring longingly at the bounce house (those are sooo much fun), watching as they play lawn games and kids run around the outside of the house dressed as princesses, screaming at the top of their lungs (did I mention that most of us don’t have fences around our yards?). I can’t stare too longingly because sometimes those kids just jump in front of my car. Luckily they are at a stop sign so I can stop and stare for at least 30 seconds before it becomes too creepy.
I think I know the reason that people are having such extravagant parties for their children: It’s personal. We all (for the most part) love a good party; we especially love a good birthday party. It reminds us of when we were the center of attention for one whole afternoon, a song was sung just for us, we tore open the colorful paper with pretty bows that housed Barbie dolls, bicycles, G.I. Joes and coloring books and we had a right to throw a fit if things weren’t perfect (it’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to – our parents know the song). When was the last time that someone bought you a Barbie doll? So, instead of continuing on having colorful parties with laughter and joy for ourselves, you throw those same parties for your children and settle for a night out at Sizzler, T.G.I Fridays or Oliver Garden for your own birthday.
This is all okay because at our age, we don’t have room in our lives or our homes for those toys and extras that birthday parties bring. Just as long as we get some cake! Have you noticed how as we get older, the cake gets better and we also become less picky about cake, even though more options are presented? How many five year old birthdays have you been to with cheese cake or chocolate cake with berry filling and a whipped cream frosting. Let’s not forget the ice cream cake! The array of dessert options at restaurants is quite overwhelming too! Choco-Lava Cake, Brownie Obsession, Chocolate Angel Swirl Cake, Sizzling Apple Pie a La Mode, White Chocolate Raspberry Cheesecake, Tiramisu, Black Tie Mousse Cake.
In order to take full advantage of all birthday opportunities you must celebrate at work, celebrate with your significant other, with your family and with your friends. Plus, at our age we’ve learned the novelty of the entire restaurant knowing that today is OUR special day and then there is that free dessert that they bring to you at a restaurant. Let’s face it; we’re all just in this for the cake anyway.