It’ll be my 29th birthday on Friday.
The plan for celebration is simple, get together with my monthly poker buddies, drink craft beer, eat Youngstown pizza and play dozens of hands of poker all while trying to win a $7 trophy. There may even be cigars.
I’ve been trying for the last week to remember specific birthdays of childhood or just life, just to see what if any details my brain can pull out of the ether.
I remember putting on a magic show for one of my birthdays as “The Great Trubini”, and becoming a little upset that one of the kids at the party guessed the trick before I had a chance to perform it.
I remember crawling through tunnels and ball pits with my friend Chris pretending they were the Jeffries tubes on the starship Enterprise (remember those “discovery” play places, basically big versions of the play areas at McDonalds?)
I remember putting some of the stickers on my MicroMachine toolbox fold up city, and getting the river a little wonky and needing my Dad or my grandpa to fix it.
I remember when Don Pablos was pretty much the only Mexican restaurant in town and that it was fun to go on your birthday and get your picture taken wearing the huge sombrero.
And I remember year after year (including probably this year) of sitting at my parent’s kitchen table behind that years cake, taking a picture before blowing out the candles.
My early twenties are a little easier to discern because many of the best involve the little red haired girl.
My own 21st birthday is hardly worth mentioning, so I lived vicariously through my girlfriend (now my wife’s). I didn’t know what fancy drinks I should order (even something simple like a Jack and Coke) so I ordered a Manhattan (one of the only drinks I’d heard of and apparently something only Grandpas drink). I still order them, as well as Godfathers.
My 22nd involved a great surprise party thrown by my wife with all my friends and a video created by the talented Mr. Buckley (involving the song “What is love?” and an unspeakable amount of inside jokes).
A few years ago my wife and I drove to Dayton to hear Over The Rhine play in a bar, the way that band is best enjoyed, especially while sipping whiskey in a jazzy smoky room.
There was the “naked cookie day” year which I believe needs no explanation.
There were crazy candy cakes and lasagnas (mine and Garfield’s favorite pasta) and forcing my wife to watch really bad b-movies (knowing I’d pay for it half a year later on her birthday).
I was thinking earlier that I was happy that this was the last birthday of my twenties, that I was kind of an idiot in my early twenties and I wouldn’t mind putting some of that behind me.
But truthfully, I wouldn’t have missed it for the world.
And maybe next year I’ll get beaten up by a goat.