Yesterday, Jan. 2, I turned fiddy. The big 5-0. Half a century. I don’t make a big fuss on my birthdays now, but I do want some fuss.
In the 1984 movie “Sixteen Candles,” Molly Ringwald’s character’s family forgot her birthday. Now I would invent some new cuss words if that had happened to me.
My best birthday ever was when I was at a very low point in my life and dear friends surprised me with a visit and a homemade card signed by other friends I hadn’t seen for a while.
My worst birthday wasn’t really mine; it was my friend Melvin Jungblut’s when we were in fifth grade. He told me all week long to just come to his birthday party and insisted over and over that I didn’t need to bring a present. I went . . . and discovered, to my horror, that I was the only giftless guest. I have never made that mistake again.
Others shared about their best or worst birthdays:
Tanja Duncan: My worst birthday was my sixth when my mother decided it would be a great idea to do a combo birthday with a cousin I didn’t even know. I remember the cousin got a lot of toys, but I got clothes. I was livid! My mother has a picture of me somewhere, pouting and giving major attitude during the entire party. That was the last of the combo parties.
Linda Ueki Absher: I turned 11 when Apollo 11 landed on the moon! We were living on Kadena Air Force Base in Okinawa at the time. I received a fairly large and hideous medallion commemorating the event for my birthday. I turned it into a necklace and wore it to school, wondering why no one wanted to talk to me.
Jean Taylor Hamilton: I remember my worst birthday, my 14th. I had to make my own birthday cake because my mom was sick, then we ended up having it for breakfast because my older siblings had plans that night and didn’t want to change them. On top of that, my dad said he’d taken an extra shift that night at the Sportsman’s Club. That night, I couldn’t even get my three younger siblings to play any board games with me. I guess I wasn’t very popular in our family (except with our mom)! Oh, well, glad my grandkids like me a little bit.
Doug Rodgers: My grandmother died the day before my birthday in 1980. I would spend a day every other week with her visiting in San Francisco – Golden Gate Park, the de Young Museum, Planetarium, Conservatory of Flowers, etc. I sure miss her. My dad is with her now, though, and that is a good thing.
Callie Walker Boreski: Oh my – the birthday when my mom cooked up a pound of bacon for me, all mine.
Tracy Vest: I had a Peter Brady moment on my sixth birthday. I invited 12 people and only one person came due to a heavy rainstorm and the newness of the neighborhood. At least that’s what mom said. My evil brothers and sisters teased me relentlessly for having no friends. My college roomies tried to make up for it on my 21st by throwing me a surprise party and inviting a ton of friends from home.
JoAnn Hinkson Beebe: My 12th birthday was one of my best. I found a “portable” TV (it would take a man and a few boys to lift it) at Smokey Cole’s shop on Texas Street. I had done baby-sitting, mowed lawns, and washed cars – saving every penny so I could have that TV. By my birthday I was about $50 short. Mom and Dad invited the neighbors to a birthday dinner for me at Dick’s Seafood restaurant. When it came time for presents, Dad disappeared and when he returned he was pulling a wagon with a rather large box in it – my TV. Best present ever. Of course, I got some mysterious illness and missed three days of school for the luxury of watching TV in bed.
Eddie Kim McGee: I never had a birthday celebration. When your birthday is Dec. 28, everyone is too busy and too broke.
Reach Fairfield writer Tony Wade at email@example.com.