I wrote this post on my actual birthday, Thursday, but forgot to post it until today...oops.
Today I turned 33. Instead of reminiscing about this day 33 years ago (um, impossible), I started off today thinking about this day 17 years ago. Nirvana's Smells Like Teen Spirit came on the radio on my way to work, and I remembered my sweet 16.
I had failed my driving test that day and was devastated in a way that only a 16 year old can be about something like that. I cried, which always makes me really tired, and when we got home my mom suggested that I take a nap. I almost never take naps, but I was exhausted from the "trauma" so I agreed. Dad called me downstairs when dinner was ready, and when I turned the corner into the kitchen, all my friends were there waiting for me! It was such a complete shock, and it was so awesome.
We all sat around the table and ate the meal I requested every year for my birthday - spaghetti, garlic bread and salad - then my mom brought out the sheet cake she had made with a street scene painted on it in icing and a red lollipop as a stop sign.
After dinner, my friends gave me a few presents and I got my very first (and best) mix tape of all time, Ethal Mix #1. That tape has long since worn out, which is a sad thing. I know I could recreate it on a CD, but it wouldn't have things like "w-w-Y 107!" accidentally recorded from the radio in between Wild Thing and West End Girls. Gah it makes me so sad that kids today will never experience what it was like to spend hours waiting by the radio, ready to push the record button when their favorite song finally comes on. Anyway, the other gift I remember getting was from an unlikely source, my much more conservative friend Christina Gallagher: a cassingle of Smells Like Teen Spirit. In a weird way it meant more that it came from her because I knew she didn't like that kind of music but got it for me anyway because she knew I loved it Nirvana.
The next day my mom took me to a different driving test facility, I passed with flying colors, and life went on. Now I'm 33 and I still wonder if the day will ever come that I'll feel like a real grown up and not a kid playing dress up. I sorta hope it never does.