So my birthday is today. I always get a little uncomfortable on my birthday because I feel like it’s supposed to be a huge day, but every year it pretty much turns into a reenactment of Sixteen Candles. For some reason, I’ll get the occasional text or Facebook wall post, but no one really wants to go out or do anything. It didn’t help that my birthday fell in the middle of finals every year in college, so no one could really make it out to bars to celebrate. Try having your 21st when everyone is pulling all nighters and writing papers. I’ve never had a birthday party or been surprised by much of anything. That is, except for last year.
Not to dwell or anything, but I was randomly visiting school. It was some sort of super weekend, with my birthday on Saturday, the last day of classes on Friday, and an internationally renowned figure in the area. Basically, the stars had aligned for massive amounts of drinking to occur. Naturally, I was hanging out with my best friend and my brothers for three or four days. To be honest, it was one of the best weekends ever. The Saturday after classes ended was most likely the best time ever to hold Cinco de Mayo, as it was usually during finals, and the entire campus was celebrating.
A group of us went out to a Mexican restaurant (cliché, I know), and I had a few 32 ounce margaritas. My little brother and his girlfriend brought me to the grocery store to grab a few cases for that night. I was used to doing beer runs after taking care of this kid for a few years, so it wasn’t any big deal to me. He and I bought a few cases for that night’s festivities and took the beer out to the car, but she was lagging behind a bit. I asked him what was up, and he said she just needed to pick up some food for her apartment off campus. I didn’t think anything of it and took it as an excuse to drink another beer while we waited for her.
We got back to the house and I was milling about, making the rounds through several brothers and friends who were out drinking on the perfect Saturday. It was a pretty full house and we were all coasting into intoxicated territory, so spirits were pretty high. Eventually, I made it up to my little brother’s room, and was drinking with friends out in the hall. He threw on some Amy Winehouse, since I was the one who introduced her to the frat, and I ran inside to show my excitement. My little bro being awesome, he knew that playing the song would get me into his room, and he and his girlfriend had a cake waiting for me. “Happy 38th Birthday! We Love You!” was scrawled across the top in dark green frosting.* It was literally the nicest thing anyone has ever done for me on my birthday. They had even amassed my favorite brothers in the room to surprise me. I had never really felt so appreciated until that moment.
Call me lame, but I often look back on that moment with fondness. I only hope that today can come close to that moment. Here’s to another great year, and a year of huge change. I can’t wait to get started.**