My one and only Birthday Party

I believe I was in the third grade. Somehow I think it was a surprise birthday party. (My sister might remember). It was during a time when I was into “My Little Pony.” I can barely remember who was at my party, except for a few photos I still have of the day. The problem is I cannot remember who most of the people are around the table in the photo.

The strongest memory I have is also one that paints me as a brat of a kid. While I know that survival was most likely the reason I never had another birthday party (food on the table at each meal was more important than having the best birthday bash) the memory I have was one of ingratitude. Before I tell you I have one further side note. I was in third grade during a time of “name envy.” The butt of your jeans had to have the right name brand or you did not fit in. Goodwill, hand-me-downs, and non-name brands did not work. As a kid growing up in a poor household, having “Guess” on my jeans was definitely not an option.

For that sole birthday party my mom made a cake and shaped it like a pony. It was to be a “My Little Pony” cake. The problem was that my mom spent so much time trying to shape the cake (I rather doubt they had a pony cake form back then), she forgot one of the key elements to the cake. The decoration/icing. My favorite (and probably only) My Little Pony was light blue with a lavender tail and mane. All My Little Ponies had a symbol on their hind that signified which Pony they were. Mine had lavender bows on the hind. My mom however decorated the cake so there were literally bows on the entire surface of the horse.

I was MORTIFIED. No one made fun of me, but I assumed all my friends thought this is what I thought a My Little Pony looked like. My friends never mentioned it, and I never brought it up, but I do think after it was all over I said something to my mom in tears. I am sure she wanted to slap me across the face (not that she ever would have) but wow did I sound ungrateful. When really I was afraid for what I would be thought of in a world that teased so heavily, where I would never have the “Guess” triangle on my butt.

Was it too much to ask for at the time to not stand out and to just fit in? Now that is the last thing I want – to fit in. Bring on the bows!

2 thoughts on “My one and only Birthday Party

  1. i completely understand your point. I remember being disappointed over and over again by not getting what i asked Santa for and wondered why he could never get it right. my “little pony” moment was a Battlestar Galactica doll – i wanted Starbuck and i was given Apollo. i remember how i hated this toy because i had nothing in common with the character and that stuff mattered to me at least. the funny part, fast forward many years – post santa and introduce the internet, it still seemed to be an issue where no matter what you put on the secret santa list (including model number) my family still seemed to get it completely wrong and they would get angry with me when i asked for receipts so i could exchange the item. after a couple of missed targets, i pulled my family out of excessive use of funds as to focus on the kids.

    after much introspection, why i was so miffed at this stuff was that these mistakes were telling me that they did not care to take the time i did. the “shipped late” excuses along with the, oh that’s not what you asked for? questions (sorry – the model is on box and it is not the one on the email i sent you) just left me frustrated. what was even weirder was that they would go on for hours on how i always got the kids their most favorite toy but the simple fact of the matter was that i listened to the kids when they would ask for something from Santa. and if it was not 100% clear, i would pick and pick until i knew. I also did this as early as September / October so i could get these things in advance of the Christmas rush. what was most sad was that these little attentions to details did not take much time, they simply took care.


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