Friday, February 5, 2010

On Birthdays and Getting Older

For those who don't know, I'll just state it plainly: My birthday is this Wednesday. I'll be turning 22, and I'm hoping that I'll get to do something special to celebrate, like go out to eat. I already know what I want for my birthday, and, unless you're one of my immediate family members, I am not asking you to buy me anything. Still, this time of year gets me thinking about what happened on my previous birthdays: the presents, the celebrations, the fun, and, at one point, the tragedy. I will describe some of those events in this post.
The first birthday I remember with some clarity was my seventh. That was when I got my first Mac, and, man, did I love that thing. So many good things happened to me because I had it. I spent so much time on it playing games, doing homework, typing stories, fooling around with the settings, etc. It was so much fun.
I don't really remember my eighth birthday at all, but I do remember that I got a Magic School Bus CD-ROM game for my ninth birthday, and then another (different) one for my tenth. At that time, my family couldn't have chosen a better gift, because I was a computer addict, and I was obsessed with The MSB. I also got a sleeping bag for my tenth birthday, which was a little big for me, but I grew into it, and an art set.
When I turned 11, I had a Scooby-Doo themed party. I asked all my guests to wear SD shirts, and my mom and I had gone to Target and bought every party item they had with that cartoon dog on it. My brother-in-law brought over CatchPhrase, and we had a good time with that.
On my twelfth birthday, my mom and I had planned to take some friends and go see the movie Snow Day. However, a severe winter storm ended up hitting that day, and we weren't able to do it. I didn't even get to see the movie until a few years later, when my mom bought it on video. I did end up getting Mario Golf for my Game Boy Color, though, as well as an LCD racing game.
My thirteenth birthday was unlike any other. While we did celebrate, I also went and helped my Boy Scout troop sell candy bars to raise money. My brother-in-law told me that it was my day and I didn't have to do it, but I chose to anyway. The presents that year were Hoyle Board Games for my computer and an accessory kit for my GBC.
The only thing I remember about my fourteenth birthday was that I got a night-light set from my sister. All I remember about my fifteenth birthday is that my sister and brother-in-law took me out to Friendly's and that I got Pikmin for my GameCube. I do remember my sixteenth birthday very well, though. I got the ApologetiX album Adam Up on CD, as well as a Hilary Duff magazine, some CD-Rs and a CD labeling set. What I remember the most is that I was listening to one of the songs on Adam Up, and I was laughing so hard, my mom and sister both thought I was crying.
I will never forget my seventeenth birthday, because it was by far the worst birthday I ever had, and is probably the worst one I will ever have. That was the day my oldest sister--not the same one who got me the aforementioned presents--passed away. She was severely disabled, and we knew she probably wouldn't outlive us, but it was still a very sad day. I tried to make the best of it by going out with my aunt, uncle and cousin, yet it didn't make me any happier. Although it was probably insignificant compared to what happened that day, I got the A'X New and Used Hits CD, two GameCube games, and Spider-Man 2 and I, Robot on DVD from my family, as well as an MP3 player from a friend.
Thankfully, my eighteenth birthday was much better. In fact, I still talk about a funny story that started on that day: My sister and my niece were over at my house to celebrate my birthday, and my niece, who was just under a year old at that time, was upset by me blowing out the candles. We immediately decided not to have any candles at my sister's birthday three days later. So, when that came around, my sister, brother-in-law, niece, mom and I were sitting at the table around the cake, and we barely got through the first line of "Happy Birthday" when my niece started crying again. Somehow, she associated that song with candles being blown out, which upset her. My niece spent a few years being afraid of the birthday song. The gifts I got that year were a Sharper Image stereo and a book about the iPod.
On my nineteenth birthday, I got The First Garfield Fat Cat 3 Pack, which I had been wanting for a while. I received Perfect Strangers on DVD for my twentieth, which was interesting because the power went out on my birthday for the first time. Last year, I got money and gift cards to Borders and iTunes from my family, as well as a Star Wars DVD from a friend. Who knows what will happen this year?

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