Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Captain's dancing with me : Day Eighteen

Day 18 – Your favorite birthday

Unlike some people I know, my birthday was always a HUGE occasion in my family, much like all of my other family members' birthdays.  When I turned four, there was a huge party with another little boy who shared my day of birth.  My mother thought it would be hilarious to put the re-light candles on our cakes.  Of course the second or third time they re-lit and both of us started crying hysterically.  This still remains as the one time my father was "right".

I had parties at the local rollerskating rink, where they would let us do the limbo and the hokey pokey, all on skates.  I had slumber parties.  Sleepovers with ten or more girls camped out in our living room.  As I reached the double digits is when these parties REALLY started to get interesting.

The topic of conversation always centered around boys.  We would watch movies with our favorite "boy" actors (mainly Jonathan Taylor Thomas, and Brad Renfo) and oooh and ahhh over how dreamy they were.  We would stay up until the sun started to peek out in the early morning, and of course wake up a few hours later seemly completely rested, only to then spend the remainder of our Saturday afternoons in bed, catching up on sleep.

My 5th grade birthday party was shortly after we had adopted Angel, the barn cat.  My mom let me rent Arachnophobia, and the tiny little kitten would attempt to eat our faces during the most nerve wracking parts of the film.

The year I turned 14, was my best birthday.  I had always been friends with boys, but this was the first year my parents had decided to let me have boys over to my party.  The only stipulation was that they could not, under any circumstances, stay the night.  The three boys who were my best friends, C, M and J instead decided to have a sleep over of their own, and that they would stay at my house as long as was allowed, and then they would go crash at one of their houses.

C showed up with his package wrapped with a napkin taped to one side, and a scrap of wrapping paper taped to the other.  I know I still have photo evidence of this, but still thinking about his shoddy wrapping job still makes me laugh.  J was the resident comedian, and C and M just would feed off of him.  (I feel like I need to point out that I've talked about M before, he was my first kiss, about a year after this.)

Among the ten or so girls, these boys were the life of the party.  They stuffed balloons up their shirts, pranced around like porn stars, and just made us laugh.

As the night was winding down, the cake was eaten, the presents were opened, and the three of them presented one last gift for me.  A video cassette.

On this tape were a series of one acts, created, directed, and filmed by the three of these budding entertainers.  In one of them, they were selling pies.  In the next, it was a News program.  At the end of the video, they all sang seductively ala Marilyn Monroe "Happy Birthday."  And we laughed.  We laughed so long and so hard that we fell down to the floor with tears streaming down our faces.  My mother laughed so hard she cried.  Then we watched it again, and again, and again.

After that night I made a copy of that video, and I still have it sitting on a video shelf in my bedroom.  It has been watched so many times that the tracking is off on it, and little white lines will come through the screen.

These boys and I stayed close up through freshman year of high school.  M followed his own group, went to school in California, and is doing photography and graphic design out of Omaha.  J, I believe went to film school.  C and I still talk on a semi-regular basis.  He's in San Francisco and living a life that I'm envious of.  C is the only one who has ever met Aiden, and he was just a baby then.

My birthday, celebrating the start of another year of my life, lucky number 14, and I have photos and a video to remember it by.

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