Watching some of the new reality television shows where the parents or the friends are throwing a birthday party for someone, is so fascinating to me. I feel like I’m watching some secret and ancient ritual that only the privileged few were ever privy to. Guess why I find these shows so interesting!
Throughout my entire life, and I am now 56 years old, I can only remember having two birthday parties. Just two, and one I only remember because there’s pictures of it in my baby book. I kept the ceramic ballerina that was on my buttercream frosted birthday cake for many years until it broke in a move one day. I remember being surrounded by kids at that party and having a total blast! We even played Pin the Tail on the Donkey!
The second party I sadly remember. I think my aunt was wanting to do something nice for me because I was in a brand new school with all new children, and had no friends. School had just started and my birthday was a week away. She thought if I invited everyone from my classroom to my birthday party that would make me an instant hit at school. She decorated her house and patio in what was fashionable for birthday parties that year, baked a huge birthday cake and had all the trimmings. I hastily invited all my classmates and gave them directions to her house. It was going to be epic!!
One classmate attended.
I made the best of it and she and I became fast friends after that. We had two slices of cake each and popped all the balloons with glee. I was fine, though my feelings were a little bruised that no one else came, I didn’t want to hurt my aunt’s feelings. She went to a lot of trouble to make this special for me and I wanted her to know I felt special.
Since then my birthday has been celebrated quietly with birthday cards and thoughtful gifts. No one has seemed quite as enthusiastic about throwing a party for me, and I have never put out the energy that I might want one. In fact, quite the opposite is the truth. I’m just not in the mood anymore. I’m not sure I ever was a birthday party girl. I do like to have a cake occasionally and these days my husband takes me out for a nice dinner, just the two of us. Most years I like to travel for my birthday, but I still try to avoid the fanfare.
I guess you could say that I’ve had 55 really nice birthdays and maybe one lesson.
The lesson was that if you have to have parties and be showy in order to make friends or have your friends celebrate who you are to them, then you might be disappointed many times during your life. People don’t always show up. They don’t always keep their promises. Most of the time people will only show up for the free food. And sometimes the world will let you know just how insignificant you really are to the rest of us. That is the truth about birthday parties. Those are the times you dust yourself off, pop some balloons, eat an extra slice of cake and laugh with the Universe.
The most important person always shows up, no matter what.
That person is YOU.
Happy birthday, to YOU, wherever you are in the world, you are loved by this writer! ❤ and many more!