Birth: My mom was eight days past her due date when she finally felt like something was happening. She told my dad not to go to work and they headed to the hospital. I was born about eight hours later, early the next morning. My mom said she already knew I was a girl from the dreams she had, and exactly what my name would be.
One: My grandfather was recovering from open heart surgery and my mom was too worn out and emotionally exhausted to plan a party. From the pictures I’ve seen it looks like there was a cake and I still had very little hair.
Two: Looks like we had some family friends over to my grandma’s for cake.
Three: I was sick, we didn’t really do anything.
Four: I was sick again, but my mom was tired of me not having a proper birthday party. A bunch of people came over to our house, but in every photo I look feverish and miserable. Most of the kids have given me a good three feet of space since they can tell I am an incubus of plague.
Five: I had pneumonia and missed a month of school, but I got some new Barbies for the Barbie dream house I received at Christmas.
Six: We had cake and a small “party” at my kindergarten. I was healthy enough for school, which was nice.
Seven: I had pneumonia AGAIN and missed about a month of first grade. Kids from my class sent get well notes.
Eight: My friends Amber and Ashley came over for cookies after dinner. We were sad about the Challenger explosion the previous day and were scared from all the news footage that was shown every two seconds.
Nine: Straw Hat Pizza Parlor party with classmates and friends. I didn’t like traditional cake or frosting or chocolate so my mom got me a cheesecake with fruit on the top, which was the best thing I had ever tasted in my life.
Ten: Elisabeth got to spend the night and we watched Sixteen Candles for the first time ever. Needless to say, it was a life-changing experience.
Eleven: I think Elisabeth and I were on the outs or something at this point…But my friend Chalis got to spend the night and my parents took us to the Hard Rock Cafe in San Francisco for lunch. Chalis gave me a crimping iron.
Twelve: I do not remember this birthday at all.
Thirteen: My grandpa had died a month earlier and I refused to celebrate. My mom finally convinced me to sit down for dinner with her, Dave, my dad and Grandma. I spent the meal being a petulant brat. Welcome to the teenage years. My mom gave me a beautiful garnet necklace. This did little to raise my spirits. I’m still in shock she didn’t ship me off to boarding school on the spot.
Fourteen: I think there was a small surprise party and sleepover at Elisabeth’s house? I don’t remember.
Fifteen: Elisabeth, her mom and her Nana took me to see Guys and Dolls in San Francisco. We went to Coit Tower that night to look at the view and I knew at one point in my life I would live in the City.
Sixteen: My mom pulled a completely serious, unintentional Sixteen Candles and forgot it was my birthday until halfway through the day. Much like Samantha Baker, I was less than amused. She made up for it with gifts of jewelry, so we were good to go. Elisabeth and I were allowed to take the train to San Francisco by ourselves and spend the day up there. We shopped, ate root beer floats at Ghiradelli Square, rode a cable car and took a terrifying cab ride. That night my friends and I went out to dinner and had a sleepover while most of our high school went to the Winter Formal.
Seventeen: Went to a midnight showing of Rocky Horror Picture Show dressed up rather…provocatively. For still being underage and all that, I mean.
Eighteen: Spent about two weeks celebrating this one…My mom and Dave took me to a fancy-pants dinner and gave me a pair of diamond earrings. Various dinners and movies out with friends, culminating in a surprise party for me at my friend Martha’s house. I was so excited and touched I almost cried.
Nineteen: The first college birthday! My roommates and friends took me to Pizza and Pipes, where the organist made me stand up while he played Happy Birthday and everyone sang. We requested “Ragdoll” because thought we were hilarious. Come to think of it, we kinda were.
Twenty: My roommates took me to the one decent Mexican restaurant in Tacoma, the Tortilla Factory, I think? I’m sure at some point we ended up at Sigma Chi, getting drunk.
Twenty-One: Went to the Family Tavern for my first legal drink in a bar at midnight. Free drinks on my flight from Seattle to San Francisco. Cable car barhopping party complete with bartender ON THE CABLE CAR. Almost got kicked out of a biker bar for being too rowdy. Threw up all over the inside of a cab and Eileen had to pay the driver extra to let us stay and take us back to her place. Woke up the next day and couldn’t find my pants. My mom and Dave gave me a Hawaiian heirloom ring with my middle name, Kaaihue, on it. I didn’t wear it that night out of fear of losing it. (See aforementioned pants incident.)
Twenty-Two: Went to karaoke with friends and drank myself illiterate. Long Island Iced Teas+Microphone=Idiot. My mom was this age when she had me. Weird.
Twenty-Three: I threw a surprise party for a friend…not knowing another friend had arranged it so that it was also a party for me. Surprise! Brought my new boyfriend to meet my gang of friends and got the thumbs-up. Elisabeth sent me a gorgeous scarf from France.
Twenty-Four: Got food poisoning a few days prior, so I was remarkably slim after days of puking. My dad and stepmom met up with us after dinner and my stepmom bought us a round of tequila shots. This guy I had a crush on showed up and hung out for awhile. He is married now.
Twenty-Five: I had a cold and my mom and Dave took me to dinner. They gave me a pearl necklace. It was my first birthday without my grandma, and I had just gone back to school at CSU Chico.
Twenty-Six: Zero recollection of anything remotely remarkable happening, which leads me to believe I probably had another goddamn cold.
Twenty-Seven: Went dancing with some friends in Chico. Almost fell off the stage at LaSalle’s. Not because I was drunk, but because I am THAT uncoordinated and spazzy.
Twenty-Eight: Accepted a job offer at Edward Jones in Pacifica. Jumped at the chance to work and live near my new baby brother.
Twenty-Nine: Freaked the fuck out over turning 29. No idea why.
Thirty: Eileen came out from New York to celebrate, which is kind of shocking (see Twenty-One) but was so touching nonetheless. Took a trip to the wine country with friends and felt like I was on the brink of an exciting beginning to a new chapter, rather than a sad end to one.
Thirty-One: I didn’t wake up needing Sudafed or antibiotics, so already I’m feeling pretty good. I spent the last evening of 30 scaling a fence after locking myself out of the house, and I am surrounded by wonderful people and good wishes. But I kind of miss getting Barbies.
UPDATED: Katie called me at my desk to serenade me, and is taking me to La Comida for lunch. La Fucking Comida, bitches! Oh, hellooooo chimichanga with extra sour cream and guacamole. Come to Mama! I have also managed to flash my bra at half of my office, despite wearing a camisole. It’s official: I am a special type of spazz.
UPDATED UPDATE: No chimichanga, but I thoroughly enjoyed my enchilada. The server tried to give me Diet Coke and I think it’s a sign of my maturity that I did not pull a knife on her. Also, Katie alerted Campus Police that’s it’s my birthday and one of the officers announced it over the radio. Fantastic.