In less than a week, I will be 36 years old. So I’ve had a lot of opportunities to celebrate my birthday. 35, so far, to be exact. Now, I won’t go into the details of all of those birthday parties. Mostly because I just don’t remember them all. But here are the ones that stand out…
6. The McDonald’s Incident – 1986
I was in kindergarten for this one. It was my 6th birthday and it was happening at a McDonald’s that no longer exists. To be honest, it was kind of uneventful. The only reason I know we played a game stacking Styrofoam Big Mac boxes is because there’s a picture of me stacking the things. I used to imply that this was the beginning of my clown fear. I once told an elaborate story involving Ronald McDonald, his hair, and an unfortunate encounter with the lit candles on my birthday cake. The lie detector test determined that was a lie.
5. The Sleepover Battle – 1989 (?)
I’m actually not 100% on the year. Pretty sure it was ’89, but I could be wrong. Anyway, I got a bunch of guys to come stay the night at our apartment. We played games, we watched TV, we beat up my cousin. You know, typical sleepover stuff. I’m not proud of that last part. But we didn’t leave any visible scars. Only psychological ones.
4. A Kid Being a Kid – 2007
For my 27th birthday, I went to Chuck E. Cheese with a bunch of friends. Skee ball. Air hockey. Creepy animatronic anthropomorphic animals playing musical instruments. It was pretty awesome.
3. Karaoke Night – 2014
Dinner with friends followed by karaoke. Before that night, I had a bucket list that included performing Aerosmith’s “Dream On” in public. I was able to cross that item off my bucket list that night.
2. Roller Skating Laser Tag – 2013
Dinner with friends followed by roller skating and laser tag. Not all at once. But the laser tag and the roller skating were housed in the same building. It was pretty convenient. I kind of realized I’m getting too old for roller skating. My knees and ankles just can’t handle that strain like they once could. Oh, and as a bonus, most of the party attendees dressed as super heroes. Always a plus.
1. A Brazilian Birthday – 2002
During the college years, my birthday usually fell somewhere during spring break. Because, for some reason, spring break was scheduled to happen three weeks before spring actually began. Anyway, during my first senior year, I went on my first of two spring break mission trips to Brazil and, since my birthday fell during that trip, I got to celebrate with an awesome mission team and some pretty amazing Brazilian pizza. The local church that we were working with treated me to dinner at a local pizza joint where they sang Happy Birthday in Portuguese and offered to make me a pizza with any crazy toppings I wanted. I really didn’t want crazy toppings, even though they did offer chicken hearts and coconut as options. I just went with bacon and pepperoni. Seemed safer that way. Who wouldn’t want to celebrate a birthday with a cold glass of Guaraná?