Every year when May 18th rolls around, I can’t help but reminisce about my childhood birthday parties. For some of you this may be old news, but none the less, it’s worth a laugh on my behalf. For those first few years of my life it was just about candles, cake and family. Those parties were relatively uneventful as I wasn’t really old enough to cause a fuss, just big enough to shovel cake in my mouth myself.
But, as I grew a little older the stories get a lot more interesting. As any respectable parent would, my mom used my birthday parties, not only as a celebration of my special day, but as a way to teach me good manners, cooperation and self control.
Not only was I the birthday girl, but my mother always told me I was supposed to be the hostess of the party too. I needed to make sure my friends were having fun while participating fully in the festivities. I know this will be a surprise to some of you, but even back then I was controlling and competitive. So, unfortunately, I didn’t understand why I couldn’t win all the games? I legitimately, without peaking, pinned the tail closest to the donkey’s butt, so why couldn’t I win the prize? I mean I was the winner, right? Well, that wasn’t the point, the party prizes were for the guests as I had received the gifts. Being greedy was bad and my parents would not allow such behavior! So, what came next? A lot of crying and a good old fashion spanking. How many parties and how many spankings? I guess we will have to ask my mom, as I blocked it out. But, eventually, I figured it out and made it through my celebration without being reprimanded.
As I got older, I got smarter and graciously convinced my parents to celebrate my May birthday at the Annual Birmingham Fair. A fairground is the perfect party setting, right? Where girls can run around outside, eat cotton candy, devour popcorn and enjoy the rides. I may not have been spanked, but I did spend my party barfing. I insisted on going on the crazy spinning rides, despite the fact that I suffered horrible motion sickness. Me, stubborn? Blame that one on being a Taurus!
Well 43 years later, I am still stubborn, fiercely competitive, a bit obsessive and terribly prone to nausea. Wow, that doesn’t make me sound too good on paper?! Yet, after many years of tough love, I did turn out to be a relatively confident, independent, well mannered girl, but I still lack a little self control. Oh well, you can’t win them all. At least this year I didn’t get spanked! That would not have been very “Chique”.