Birthdays

I had a birthday recently.  My birthday is December 29 so it falls between Christmas and New Years Eve/Day.  You have probably heard people talk about how much that sucks.  It does or rather it did.  Lately I don’t really like making a big deal about my birthday.  It’s not about getting older that bothers me but more the belief that I don’t think it’s worth people getting excited about.  I’m just little ol’ me.  I like the occasional happy birthday wish in person or on facebook but other than that I feel embarassed to celebrate too much.  It’s kind of a situation where I want to have my cake but not make the cake into a spectacle while I eat it.
There is a family tradition of not celebrating my birthday on the 29th which developed from the aforementioned bad timing of my birthday.  You see, I never really suffered from having my birthday so close to Christmas.  At least, it never felt like I suffered from receiving less presents.  My family always did a good job of delineating Christmas and birthday presents.  I never felt cheated out of any presents because my family was always very generous and I never really wanted too much.
The part that sucked is that when I was little, I wanted to celebrate my birthday with my firends.  On December 29, all of us children were still on winter break from school and a lot of the time my friends were either out of town or too busy with their family and could not attend any extra parties.  It was pretty frustrating having my birthday come around and not have a party.  Birthday parties were the only social events we had as kids.  Eventually we figured out that we could just have my birthday party in April or May before school ended.
I was remembering a pretty bad memory lately that did happen on or around my birthday.  It was the depths of December after a particularly bad snowstorm.  We had actually decided to do a party for me during winter break and miraculously we pretty much got the whole crew on board.  It was important to me that my best friends Arthur and Farris were there and it was equally important that my friend James (or he had another name. I forget.) from pre-school was there.
My mother got her station wagon (they were all the rage at the time) and agreed to pick all of my friends up and ferry us to the Sports.  Sports was the coolest place ever because it had a massive arcade, batting cages and miniature golf.  It had the X-Men stand-up arcade game (4 players!) based on the awesome Pryde of the X-Men animated feature.  It also had the Punisher stand-up which I haven’t seen anywhere else before or since.
Now, James didn’t go to my school so I didn’t see him as much so we had some catching up to do.  I was happy to comply but this started drama with Farris who wanted to know who the hell this other guy was who was pulling me away from my school friends.  I tried my best to appease both sides and felt kind of bad about it.  Then my mom got stuck in what must have been four inches of snow going uphill.  We all had to get out and push and I thought to myself what a crappy birthday this was turning out to be.
In the end we got cups of tokens for the arcade, ate pizza and played mini golf and everyone mostly got along fine.  The birthday party turned out great but in retrospect it was probably yet another reason we stopped celebrating my birthday in winter.  James (or whatever) and I eventually drifted apart and I spent more time with my school friends with much less drama.  It may not have been a perfect birthday but it was one of the only ones I can remember from back then.

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