Aaah birthday… we meet again.
Birth·day noun (ˈbərth-ˌdā)—definition: an event to commemorate not doing anything particularly noteworthy in the past 12 months since the last birthday, and now being one step closer to death.
Or something like that.
In my family, as in many others, birthday tradition dictated that the birthday boy or girl got to have the cake of their choice and make a birthday wish while blowing out a candle. My parents always had an overabundant supply of cake mix and candles on hand for birthdays, including those annoying trick candles that continued to relight themselves after being blown out.
I really hated those stupid candles. Even with my face right next to the cake, forcing my breath to a maximum velocity, I could never trump those things. My family and friends also tried to help me blow them out to no avail. As far as I was concerned, blowing out trick birthday candles could have qualified as an Olympic sport.
We ended up having to throw the candles in a cup of water to keep them from relighting, and people didn’t even want to eat the cake anymore since the frosting was undoubtedly covered in a smorgasbord of spit and other projectiles.
I suppose it could have been worse. I could have gotten an Eggo waffle with a votive candle or a cigarette in it for my birthday instead, accompanied by a disappointing last minute gift such as a can of Campbell’s Soup wrapped in newspaper.
In retrospect, I’ve been very fortunate and thankful that my family made such a big deal out of birthdays.
The other night, as my birthday evening was winding down, I realized that I had yet to blow out a candle and eat cake. In anticipation of my birthday grand finale and years of tradition, I asked the hubby “Ooo, what kind of cake did you get me?!”
He looked at me with a bewildered, deer in the headlights kind of look and replied: “Yeeah. I kinda forgot the cake this time, but there’s a half a tomato in the fridge.”
I threw my hands up in the air, waved them dramatically, and exclaimed: “Wha- what?! Are you for real?! You’re putting my candle in a week-old Roma tomato?!”
And so the night went cakeless.
Don’t worry. Although he forgot the cake, the hubby did present me with a candle in a bowl of Ben & Jerry’s along with concert tickets to see Lady Antebellum, Thompson Square and Darius Rucker, thereby redeeming himself and saving all of us from having to split a moldy tomato.