The first birthday that I actually remember having was my 6th. Mama had a party for me at the Edisto Dairy ice cream shop in the Five Points neighborhood, and all of my friends from kindergarten were there. I remember excitedly arriving at the store, knowing that I would be the star of the day, but then it’s all mush until the shocking memory surfaces of being told that I would not be allowed to win when we played Pin the Tail on the Donkey.
Mama kneeled in front of me and warned, “Now, you have to let your guests win, Tammy…you’re the host, and it’s polite.”
After shooting quite a few (newly 6-year-old) eye daggers at my obviously insane mother, I argued that there were prizes for winning…and it was MY party! On what planet was this even fair? I lost the argument and I’m sure my day was ruined…at least until I got lots of presents. When I recently asked Mama about this memory, she said that I got mad because I wasn’t allowed to cheat at the game, but I’m not buying it. To add insult to injury, I’m pretty sure that was also the year that my birthday cake looked something like this one.
Most of my birthdays (and there have been quite a few of them) since then have been pretty standard. There have been cakes (with the right name on them), flowers, gifts, getting together with friends, and once I even got a trip to Las Vegas. (Sadly that wasn’t one of the better ones, but that’s another story.)
My next birthday is in a few days, and I’m still figuring out how to spend this one. I’m at the age when celebrating it is optional, but I say screw that…it’s the only day of the year that I get to legitimately walk around all day in a tiara, and I’m not giving up on that! Who knows, I might even let myself win a game of pin the tail on…something!