Throwback Thursday – #40 – Birthday Blasts

It’s my turn again. Happily, my brain is engaging more than it has for a week. Yesterday was my birthday. I honestly expected to be feeling down. It has nothing to do with my  age. I am happy to complete another trip around the sun. It’s all the other stuff going on in my world. I had a good joyful birthday. Phone calls and messages made me very happy.  This week I’d like you to think back to  the birthdays you remember.  This topic should again be one that everyone relates to in one way or another.

If you care to join us, it’s easy.

  • Write your own post sharing your memories and leave a pingback to this post in the comments.
  • You can use the photo above in your post to make it easier to find.
  • Tag it with #TBTMemory or #IRememberWhen.
  • If you do not wish to write your own post, feel free to tell your story in the comments below.

This week’s prompt is: Birthday Blasts

1) What’s your earliest birthday memory?
2) What was your favorite birthday and why?
3) What’s the best birthday present you have ever received?
4) Did you ever get money as a birthday gift?
5) What did you like to do on your birthday as a kid? What do you like to do now?
6) Did you have birthday parties with friends or family parties?
7) Did you get to pick the food for your birthday? Did you prefer to eat a home cooked meal or to eat out at a restaurant on your birthday?
8) Did your family have any fun birthday traditions? Did you continue those traditions with your own kids?
9) Did you ever get to take the day off school on your birthday? As an adult did/do you take the day off?
10) Have you ever had a surprise birthday party? Was it a real surprise, or did you know it was coming?

Bonus Question:
If you had a million dollars to spend only on your next birthday, what would you do?

My response follows* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * ** * * * * *

My earliest memory is my kindergarten birthday. My mom had the babysitter make a chocolate cake. It was waiting for me when I got home from school. I was allowed to eat a slice before dinner. I felt very special. My brothers didn’t get any until after dinner.  Oh, the fun things we remember.

My favorite birthday was in 8th grade. We were renting the house across the street from where I grew up. I was allowed to invite a few friends over to celebrate with me. It was the first time my birthday was more than a family affair. We did not do the whole house decorating thing back then. We ate snacks and ate cake. We played out front and sang silly songs together. I don’t recall if gifts were given. I was just so thrilled to have a couple of friends over, that it made my day super special.

My best present was the record player and LPs on my 13th birthday. It meant I could listen to MY MUSIC in my bedroom. I had to play 45s in the living room prior to that. It was scratchy compared to the music I listen to now, but it was great back then.

Our birthdays were always similar. We were able to pick out the dinner we wanted. Most of the time we ate at home. Then we’d eat homemade cake, blow out candles, and open presents. Through middle school and most of high school I wanted liver and mashed potatoes. (My brothers hated my birthday food choices.) Once I learned how bad liver is for you, I stopped eating it.

When we were older my mom found a restaurant a long drive away that had this new idea of “all you can eat buffet.” Marmack’s served the most delicious prime rib. (Mom made prime rib only once that I can remember.) The price of the meal was more than double what we had ever paid to go out to eat. I don’t remember what the occasion was that took us there the first time. I do remember that whenever it was a special occasion after that, we would request the prime rib restaurant. On the few occasions my mom could afford it, we went there. We kids were all tall and skinny. I’m sure the restaurant thought they were going to be ahead on the price of the meal. They were very wrong. We were known to go back and get seconds, thirds, fourths, and fifths (my older brother) on prime rib. We even loved the mashed potatoes and desserts.  Mom always got her money’s worth when we ate there.

As a child, my birthday was all about opening presents. Our presents were always clothes and one toy or nonclothing item. I was grateful for the clothes but hoped for some more nonclothing items every year. Being a May birthday child, I would get summer clothes and a bathing suit every year. It meant summer vacation was coming soon, so I was happy.

My mom never gave us money as a gift. I would get money from my grandmother every year. She actually sent cash way back in the day. It was exciting to have cash to spend.

Now birthdays are best when I can celebrate with loved ones. This year I heard from family and friends via cards, FB messages, text messages, and phone calls. I was able to connect with some amazing people. The universe blessed me this year.

We were never able to take the day off on our birthday. My mom worked and taking the day off was out of the question. When my children were in school, my mom would take them out for lunch and go shopping for their birthday present. She would often buy them things she knew I wouldn’t approve of. (She bought them crazy large earrings, short miniskirts, and tons of candy.)

I don’t think I’ve ever taken my birthday off work. However, it occasionally fell on Memorial Day so I would tell my students I was giving them my birthday off.

I tried to make my kid’s birthdays special. We were short on money through most of their young years. I made homemade cupcakes for their class when they were in school. Books were always on their gift list. When they were older, they were given the choice of gifts or special outings. My older daughter often chose to go to Disneyland with the family. We would often go on Super Bowl Sunday. It was before taping the game, so the park would be relatively empty. We visited amusement parks for birthdays often.

I never had a surprise birthday as a child. My first and only one was on my 50th birthday. My husband kept asking strange questions which piqued my interest. When a phone call came in about a 6-foot sandwich, the cat was out of the bag. I pretended not to know about what was going on. Bless his heart, he tried hard to keep a secret from me.

If I had a million to spend on just one birthday, I would fly my family and friends on the Concord (Yes, I know it’s not supposed to fly again until 2029.) to vacation in Scotland, Wales, and Ireland.



33 thoughts on “Throwback Thursday – #40 – Birthday Blasts

  1. I remember frequently receiving money, and even worse, vouchers. Which say, here is money but you are constrained to spending it in a certail shop.
    As a grown-up I thought that was terribly unimaginitive. I only ever gave proper presents.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Cute post Lauren, loved all your answers. My childhood birthdays sound similar to yours. Will have to see if I can answer some of those questions
    Happy Birthday for last week. My last birthday was spent in quarantine with my hubby who had Covid

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Happy birthday! I get the mixed feelings aspect. I like celebrating my birthday, but on the other hand now that I’ve had so many it’s only natural to wonder how many are left…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I got a record player for my 13th birthday too, that was special. My first “teenage” present. I was always told that liver was good for you but I didn’t like it and avoided eating it as much as possible.

    Liked by 1 person

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