“Today is a birthday
They’re smoking cigars
He’s got a chain of flowers
And sows a bird in her knickers”
I remember my 15th birthday – I got a soccer jacket and the Green Day “Dookie” CD. What I really wanted was for the junior in my math class to notice that I existed.
Eighteen, I was a freshman at college, and I felt homesick for the very first time. I wanted to be home for my birthday, and looking back, I have absolutely no idea why.
Nineteen was my first birthday celebrated with a “Serious Boyfriend.”
“Only 730 days until you’re legal”, I remember him saying. He sent me a card, which acknowledged us as a legit couple. I was on top of the world.
Twenty was spent crying in my bedroom, while my friends celebrated downstairs with a keg of Killians. We had recently broken up, and it seemed harder on my birthday, than any other day.
“Forget about him,” they all said, “Come downstairs and drink.”
“Steal My Sunshine” played in the background…
Twenty-one, the offical date I could enter a bar and be myself. I no longer had to successfully recite the address, birthday, and horoscope sign of my legal alter-ego.
My best friend flew to Georgia to surprise me. We had frozen drinks at Mexicali; I wantonly tossed a shotglass in the parking lot.
I had just gotten over being sick – “If you drink hard,” the doctor said, “You’ll find yourself sick again.”
I could have been the designated driver on my own birthday.
Twenty-five was the birthday I’ll always remember – he tracked down my highly coveted silver Ipod mini (which was backordered for eight weeks), sent me the prettiest arrangement of flowers I had ever seen, served me my favorite birthday cake, and took me and five of my friends out to dinner at my favorite restaurant. I felt like a princess.
There is a part of me that wishes every birthday could be like that one, but another part of me looks forward to birthdays in the future, and the promise that each of them may hold.
“But it’s much too late, you say
For doing this now, we should have done it then
Well it just goes to show how wrong you can be
and how you really should know that
it’s never too late to get up and go…”
– “Doing the Unstuck”