So. Today was my birthday. I've never made a big deal about my birthday. I think that comes from my junior high days. In junior high, there was obviously a great deal of importance put on birthdays. They were the social event of the scene, the age-appropriate analog of prom or the spring formal. The more popular you were, the cooler you were, the bigger the party. There were easy to identify gradations in the social structure. Not-cool kids had their party at home. Mildly cool kids had them "out," like at McDonalds or Shoneys or something. The better the restaurant, the better the party, going all the way up to Showbiz Pizza Place, which was fairly cool.
But the atom bomb of junior high birthday parties? Tarwheels. Yeah, that's right...the skating rink. I only got to go to these parties because *everyone* went to them. The whole class got invited. My friends and I (I had friends, yes. Two of them. We talked Transformers.) would collect our skates and go stand in the arcade. I remember that there was music, but I didn't know what to do with it. I played Rampage instead.
The point is, I didn't have cool parties, because I didn't have cool friends. Even if I had bigger parties, I wouldn't have felt comfortable inviting the cool kids because they would probably have declined. DEE-clined. And that sort of set in motion a habit whereby I didn't bother celebrating my birthday. I convinced my parents to not bother sometime in Junior High, and held steady on that all through high school. By the time I got to college it just wasn't something I thought about.
But this morning my wife gave me a balloon, and I thought "You know. I kind of miss birthdays."