Yep, that’s right. Today’s my birthday for those of you who didn’t know. Seriously, where’s my present? Paying off a publisher to publish my book would be a nice gift, any takers?
I really don’t know what to write today. I’m at work, which is the second year in history that I’ve had to work on my birthday. Yes, yes, I know that most people have to work on their birthdays. But the majority of days in the year have a potential to also fall on a school day. So, all those people had to go to school on their birthdays. Whereas, with me, I never did (along with the rest of you with birthdays between December 20-ish and the rest of the year. A few of you have summer birthdays so no school then, unless you had nothing better to do during your summer. But then again, a lot of teenagers had summer jobs or went to summer semesters in college. The closer your birthday is to Christmas, the easier it is to take the day off. Well, last year I had just started this job and didn’t have any vacation days for my first 7 months here. Thankfully, my boss let me go early last year. This year, I’ll hopefully get to leave early again. But man, am I not motivated or what?
So, I hear two things when people here “Yeah, my birthday’s Christmas Eve.” I get the “THAT SUCKS!” or “I bet you got screwed” from about 75-80% of the people I’ve told that too. For the other 20-25% I get “That’s so awesome, double presents.”
Ask any member of my immediate family (and some extended) I was SPOILED growing up. (Maybe they’ll say spoiled rotten, but I hope I’m not rotten.) Yeah, I’ll admit it. My mom spoiled me. First, with her birthday being 11 days before Christmas, she knew how much it sucked being that close to an international holiday. (One of few I might add. It’s true. Did you know that England doesn’t celebrate Thanksgiving? Did you know that Belgium doesn’t celebrate President’s day? Did you know that there were American flags in a Barcelona Mexican restaurant on the 4th of July? That’s another story and I’m rambling…) Since my mom knew that, her goal was to make my birthday special and not let it get ruined by the fact that it so happened to be right next to Christmas. Also, anytime that I wanted something, say, in June, my mom usually got it for me. It wasn’t EVERY time. (No Dad and Apryl, it wasn’t EVERY time, she did say ‘no’ more often than either of you are aware.) So it was nice for my mom to do her best to separate my birthday from Christmas. In all honesty, I only remember one gift that I got for my birthday that my mom actually wrapped in Christmas paper and that was because she didn’t have enough birthday paper for it. But that’s ok. I can live with the occasional gift in Christmas paper.
Shoot, I honestly expect birthday gifts with Christmas papers or Christmas bags, whatever. Why else wouldn’t I? People don’t understand that. But one thing about my mom is that she did her best to celebrate birthdays. Chris’ birthday was always nice. As was Eric’s. Sorry Apryl, I only vaguely remember 1 of your birthdays. (Now some may speculate it’s because you’re so much older than me, but they should understand that it’s because you just stopped having them at one point and so why would I recall something that doesn’t exist? Seriously.) Dad’s wasn’t so special, but that wasn’t for lack of Mom trying. That was lack of Dad wanting anything besides being left alone on the couch to watch pre-season football or something.
Let’s see, anything else. Oo….let’s countdown some of my birthday memories.
10. Birthday #28. Yes, that is today. But let’s back up about three days to Monday night. So, out of kindness for my birthday, somebody decided to put candles on the Christmas tree cake for me. There were 7 candles. Well, I haven’t blown out birthday candles for a few years. (No, I’m serious.) I couldn’t do it for some reason. I must’ve done something wrong or they were trick candles or something.
9. Birthday #18. For Christmas that year, Mom and I decided to get Dad a necklace with a Jewish Star of David as a heritage symbol for him. Well, for my birthday, Mom gave me a nice necklace with charms of the letters T and J. At this time, I was always called Tim by people but my mom knew how much T.J. meant to me since that’s what my grandfather (her father) called me. It was a nice heritage symbol for myself.
8. Birthday #21. Yeah, still Mormon so no I didn’t go to Vegas and get drunk. Although, I did go to Vegas and meet my brother-in-law for the first time that day. I also had the awesome privilege of sitting in a 5 or 6 hour car ride from California to Vegas with my ‘godfather’. Well, the man is a major pervert (which we all know and accept). So during the car ride he got on my nerves with all the stupid perverted jokes about me being 21 and how we should go to Pahrump where the whorehouses are. Um….no thanks. But the awesome part was going with my brother, sister-in-law, sister, and brother-in-law to, well, the parking lot of an adult book and novelty store. My brother-in-law asked if I wanted to go in because, at 21, I could. He even offered me ‘last chance’ which my first thought was “Why, am I not going to be over-21 after this moment in time?” I didn’t say and truly wish I did.
7. Birthday #7. This was the only adolescent birthday party I remember having. And we held it on December 12th because no one could make it the weekend before Christmas. This was also the birthday that Auntie Stephie brought (us as a family but for my birthday gave) me Cinderella. Now, yeah, that’s a girly movie. But nothing’s funnier in that movie than Lucifer the cat happily pouncing on the mice when they’re trying to get Cinderella out of the locked room. Even though I watched it a lot as a kid, I still laugh at that part.
6. Birthday #23. Mary tried really hard to give me a surprise birthday party, which is one of my constant birthday wishes. Well, first, about 3 or 4 weeks before, my old roommate Landon called me up the day Mary gave out invitations to the party and said “Happy Birthday!” I was like “Dude, my birthday’s not for a month.” “Oh, anyway…” I didn’t know the invitations were going out, but I was very confused. Well, the day before the party I was selling back my textbooks and Mary went to go talk to one of our old neighbor’s Bill. Well, they were across the room, which was quite noisy with all the hustle and bustle of students selling back textbooks, celebrating the finale of finals. As Bill was leaving the building (I was near one door and he was on the opposite end near the other) he says to Mary “See you tomorrow!” I was quite confused because I didn’t know about any plans for the next day. So, stupid analytical me (after Mary tries to brush it off as nothing, next time I can give her a list of lies to use) figured out that Mary was planning a surprise party for me. The next day, Mary pretty much forced me to go see my old roommate Landon who was kind enough to give me a haircut. I told him I knew about the party and he made me promise to act surprised. (Yeah, Mary knows I found out thanks to Bill’s loud mouth.)
5. Birthday #27. Yep, that’s last year. (At this point, Mary’s trying to think what happened last year.) The day before my birthday, I got home from work and went straight to the computer. The website that was left up was for a Brazilian grill restaurant called Tucanos that is in Provo. I’d always wanted to eat there, something that many of my former co-workers raved about.Well, the next day I kept hinting to Mary that I knew what she was planning. She of course acted (a lot better than with the surprise party) that she was making me chicken patty burgers (a common joke since that’s our last-ditch for dinner meal). As I said earlier, my boss let me go home early that day. I got home and took a nice nap while Mary finished getting ready. Well, she of course took me to Tucanos, but I was very happy. They brought me a dessert (singing at restaurants for birthdays needs to go as one of my top pet-peeves, well, with this exception). Our waitress said “Attention Tucanos guests, we have a birthday right here for T.J. Now he’s going to stand up. (which I did) We’re going to sing (which they did) and he’s going to dance (which I did, but it looked like an entertaining drunk Indian rain dance).” It was a very nice birthday.
4. Birthday #9. For my birthday I wanted the WWF (WWE, whatever) Wrestlers. But my parents and brothers thought it’d be cool (and I still thought this was awesome) to have me go on a scavenger hunt for all the wrestlers. There were twelve in all along with a ring to make the ‘wrassle’ in. They were hidden all over the house from the kitchen to the bathroom to my parents’ room (they hid that under the sheets and I kept crawling under the bed). I love scavenger hunts, which is why one day Apryl and I will win the Amazing Race.
3. Birthday #8. This is special because it is the day that I was baptized as a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. In the Mormon religion, the age of 8 is also called the ‘age of accountability.’ Mormons believe that when we turn 8 that we are responsible for our actions. Anyway, it was kind of a party because there was birthday cake and all. Not many members of the LDS church are baptized on their birthdays. Mine just so happened to fall on a Sunday and in California we didn’t do ‘stake baptisms’ (which normally means more than 1 person is being baptized at a time). It was nice to have people come to my baptism as well as the nice little party. There’s a picture of me holding the cake with really dark hair and a really big smile looking all cute. Wow! I was a cute kid! What happened?
2. Birthday #20. The only birthday I’ve spent outside of the U.S. During the previous year, I had somehow managed to lose the J from my necklace and watch my nice ‘gold’ chain tarnish. I used to take the necklace off before I showered and my mom warned me that I would lose it or something. I guess she was right. Oh well. Anyway, I left the chain and T on my tv stand before I went on my mission to Belgium. While in Mons, Belgium (if any of you are wondering, that is where MonsMagic comes from for the majority of my email accounts) I had my birthday. My mom sent me the necklace. This time, she gave me a very nice chain (that is still gold) and a new J. I was very happy to have my ‘identity’ back.
1. Birthday #4. Ok, I used to say this was my 3rd birthday. But, I later found out through some documentation (i.e. my baby book) that this event took place on my 4th birthday. For months before, and I still recall them, TV had commercials for a My Buddy doll. Yes, a My Buddy doll. I really wanted one. Well, the eve of my birthday my parents placed my presents in the living room for me to find. Of course, that was a mistake. I woke up, walked out of my room and into the living and found it. I screamed “MY BUDDY!!!!!!!” so loud that my cousin Erika in L.A. heard it. Of course, at 5:30 in the morning, I woke everyone else up.
So, I guess that’s enough vanity for one birthday. Merry Christmas everyone. Oh, and Happy Birthday to me of course.