About five years ago, I decided to throw myself a birthday party.
This is noteworthy because, until this time, I had never had a party on my birthday.
Cake with candles, yes. Gifts, certainly. But never in my whole life had I had a proper invite-my-friends-over-and-host-a-special-event type of birthday party.
This is what happens when your birthday falls on New Year's Day. It's a strange day for a birthday party.
And honestly, I've never really cared about the birthday part. I don't need more gifts or cake or special attention. I just wanted to have a day to surround myself with the people who mean something to me.
So that is what I do. Each year, on the Saturday between Christmas Day and New Year's Day, I invite everyone I know to come over. I offer refreshments, provide a comfortable space to gather and talk, then let the chips fall where they may.
Sometimes we break out glow sticks and strobe lights, bump some dance tunes, and have a rave.
More often than not, we smoke cigars outside in the dark and have deep talks about life.
Usually there is some highly competitive Wii bowling.
Once there were strippers. Amateur male strippers. Not kidding.
And one time we found the bottom half of a child-sized mannequin and shoved it into the snow bank outside my front door. That was a great night.
Last night's party was eventful in different ways:
- I held a precious four-year-old boy on my lap while he ate Nacho Cheese Doritos, then rubbed his head till he fell asleep.
- I baked and served about a hundred pigs-in-a-blanket, and could have used a few dozen more.
- I stayed up till three a.m. talking with a bunch of twenty-somethings about fatal accidents and dead bodies.
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