Birthdays always have sucked for me. As a kid I hated that my mom would invite all these classmates I didn’t like anyway. As a teen, no one or at most 2 people showed up. As an adult, I love celebrating my birthday with my family and going out to a fancy dinner. Tasting menus are amazing!
Instead of a birthday party (which is almost always a disaster for me), I threw a Gender Repeal Party. I guess it was enough of a novelty and actual special occasion that it broke the birthday party curse; quite a few people showed up, and a good time was had.
This year, however, I might throw a different party on a different date. September 21st is the day that the court order establishing my new identity was signed. It’s much easier to have festivities at that time of year. Maybe I’ll do it.
My best was 40. My wife was pregnant for the first (and only) time. We had a party at our apartment, mostly organized by my wife and it was a nice and fun gathering. My mentor gave me a jade plant (he didn’t have much money, but was a wonderful mentor and friend) and we still have plants we grew from the original from 38 years ago.
Honestly, almost all of my birthdays were fraught with bizarre expectations and familial/ workplace stress. So I celebrate my Mirthday, on April 1, when we are silly and have fun (if I feel like being out) and there are no expectations beyond that.
17 for me. Things in my life were pretty good in general, and my girlfriend gave me a Scorch (the Beanie Baby dragon).
(The Beanie Baby bubble was still a couple years away from popping. That wasn’t what made it special, but that information will allow some of you to guess my age, at least to within a certain number of years.)
I don’t expect that to sound like an amazing birthday to anyone else, but it was meaningful to me.
I can relate to your problems except that I lived with my drunk parents until I was 28 when I finally bought my own house. Still had to deal with the alcoholism throughout my life until they eventually died.
It wasn’t a fun childhood growing up with two alcoholic parents. It’s the reason I hate country music and refuse to listen to it to this very day.
@lutopia@Star2236 I adopted my kid when she was almost 10 and she had significant issues. That happened to her once. I called the parent of one of the kids and told her to please send her kids down the street, I’d give them something wrapped to give my kid as a present, send all three of her kids. I told her friend’s parent across the street the same thing. In both cases they said their kids weren’t initially coming as they couldn’t afford presents.
I told my kid I had gotten calls that some kids would be late. So she had 4 who showed up, I secretly provided the gifts and then because I now had little to give her I told her my present to her was to go to walmart to pick her own gift which thrilled her. She never asked me where the rest of the kids she invited were but at least there were immediate neighborhood kids there.
How parents just not have their kid show up for a birthday party and not inform the birthday kid’s parent they are not coming is beyond me. Hurting little kids like that is unforgivable. I made future parties at the skating rink or the bowling alley (rather than at home) as kids tended to come to those because of the activity. I was in school at the time so I had to spend money I had been given for my birthday for her birthday, but at least my kid wasn’t hurt like that again.
16 for me. My mom took me in for my driver’s license road test on my birthday. It was beginning to snow a bit when we got there (it was December) and the guy at the DMV didn’t want to give me the OTR driving test, but my mom (knowing I would be a total PITA if I didn’t get to try) brow beat him into doing it. I did the test and, although he dinged me for several (what I considered) petty things, I passed and got my shiny new driver’s license.
My newfound freedom afforded by driving changed my life pretty dramatically after that.
I don’t celebrate my birthday much, it never really has been. It’s middle of January so right after the holidays and everybody’s trying to get back on track. 16 wasn’t a big one bc I didn’t get my license till 3 months after (first instructor slapped my hand really hard when I didn’t stop completely at the train track). I had a fake id at 16 and had to do home schooling on top of high school bc I spent so much time at the bar. There were one or two birthdays on a weekend that all my friends got together at the bar and were very fun. Also 30 bc all my female aunts and cousins took me out for dinner and drinks and I had no idea. That’s the closest thing I’ve ever had to a surprise party.
My 2 Best birthdays SO Far was when I was age 16. My oldest brother Dan & I were very close - best friends. We told each other everything! He sang Neil Sedaka’s ‘Sweet Sixteen’ & ‘Calendar girl’ songs & my parents surprised me with a gorgeous 14k yg solid charm bracelet with 2 big charms - 1 Sweet 16 with a ruby in it. They were not rich but bought that for me. And I did not like store bought cakes! Bc my mom made a homemade thick ganache icing & made yellow cake.
Age 19 - combination graduation & surprise bday party! All my friends were there about 60 from my church MYF/Choir group Plus my great Aunt Edna & Uncle Glenn!
49 was cool, my bff threw me a surprise party that I was totally not expecting.
59 was best. I celebrated by doing a cruise solo and even though I was traveling alone, I met many friends in the solo travelers group and one of them arranged a group dinner at the French restaurant
60 was kinda meh in a bad way. While I went on a cruise again, I had traveling companions this time. One caught covid and instead of spending my birthday in the French quarter I was driving the 10 hours back to dfw
@lonocat Turning 18 wasn’t about drinking for me (Although I could legally drink at 18 back then), it was more about being treated like an adult.
I could get a real job instead of a part-time summer job, I can get a credit card, I opened a bank account, I was able to vote, move away from my parents house and they cannot stop me (if I wanted), purchase dirty magazines, etc. . .