What a bizarre number: 31. It's prime, it's all odd, it's an icy mint green, according to my synesthesia. But since pretty much every year of my life has been better than the last, I don't think i'll complain.
Here is an attempt to remember my past birthdays:
1. No memory. I have seen pictures of me in nothing but a diaper and bib, stuffing my gob with as much chocolate icing as possible and later holding two stuffed bears. Sounds pretty good.
2. No memory. Was this the year my mom made a Holly Hobby cake? I think i've seen pictures.
3. No memory. I think my parents gave up on the whole "photographs" thing around now. I wasn't quite as cute.
4 - 5. No memory, no pictures.
6. I was in kindergarten, and I have no memory of my birthday party, but my mom took me to Richway to buy the first My Little Pony, which was a foot tall, made of hard plastic, and simultaneously winked and twitched an ear when you pushed a button under her chin. We went to my dad's work, and my Aunt Shirley gave me some old butterscotch that tasted like cigarette smoke. I thought I was the luckiest kid on earth.
7. I don't remember the party, but I do remember getting my first Cabbage Patch Kid, Sherri. They were so popular then that a woman tried to pry her from my arms as I proudly walked to the checkout line, and my mom almost decked her. What is wrong with people?
8. Second grade. I took 3 friends to go ride ponies at a ranch. I had mental images of my friends and I, dressed as cowboys, galloping around a field and jumping over logs and yelling "YEEEHAW!" In reality, a bored teenager led us each around the ring once on the back of a very bored pony, I cried inside while my mom paid them $50, and then we went back to my house for pizza. And then Jonathan Poister threw me a football, and I broke my finger catching it incorrectly and spent the rest of the evening with an ice pack.
9. Third grade. I had my first sleepover, featuring school friends, neighborhood friends, and the older sisters of neighborhood friends to pad the list so that I could brag about how many people came to my party because I wasn't very popular. After telling me for 3 months that I would not be receiving a Cabbage Patch Kids Cornsilk Kid TM, my parents surprised me with one, who had auburn hair and was wearing a yellow dress and black party shoes. My cake was from a bakery, white with a horse's head poorly done in sparkly brown gel icing. We watched the Care Bear movies.
10. Fourth grade. No memory. Was this Chuck E. Cheese? Or Showbiz Pizza? I think so.
11. Fifth grade. No memory. Probably another sleepover.
12. Sixth grade. Had a sleepover with people I thought were my friends who actually hated me. Terribly depressing to remember. Received a bike for either my birthday or Christmas, which enabled me to get exercise and drop some chunk.
13. Seventh grade. Had my room redone in shades of mauve. Got my first TV and VCR. Thought I was cool.
14. Eighth grade. Actually began to somewhat be cool, in that I lost 20 pounds over the previous summer, grew out my toupee hair, and quit hanging out with people who hated me. I think I had a party, but I don't recall. I'm sure I was very blase and vegetarian about it, whatever it was.
15. Ninth grade. Had a very cool boy-girl party, my first. My parents redid the house with a widescreen TV and pool table. I think I got a stereo for my birthday and began wondering, "Who is this Nirvana guy? He's kinda cool."
16. Tenth grade. Dad took me to get my driver's license and left me at school with mom's car, which I used to promptly skip school to go to the opening of North Point Mall with my boyfriend. My friends brought me a cookie cake at lunch, and when the school bully was cloyingly nice and asked for a piece, I laughed in his face and said no, so he told me we were going to fight behind the church after school. He didn't show, so I won by default.
To be continued...