20 years ago, on August 30th, 1993, The Late Show with David Letterman debuted on CBS. I was watching Dave for the first time that night, the eve of my 15th birthday, and I’ve been watching ever since. (WARNING: Obligatory but clichéd time-going-by-too-quickly sentiment coming up!) But that couldn’t have been 2o years ago. Yesterday, maybe, but 20 years?!? Man, I must be old or something.
I was up late that night 20 years ago as my birthday treat to myself, and it got me thinking about the things we do for ourselves on our special days. Whether it be a day of peace and solitude or a night of hard partying, everyone has something they want and feel they deserve on their birthday. (WARNING: Obligatory but clichéd I’m-a-sleep-deprived-parent sentiment coming up!) I think nowadays my treat would be going to bed early instead of staying up late, for there is no longer such a thing as sleeping in, even on a Saturday, even on my birthday.
Sleeping is thankfully not the only thing I’m thinking about on my birthday. There are other traditions. I always, always try to take my birthday off from work. I don’t care what I do, so long as it’s not work. I have on a couple of occasions traveled on my birthday, but really I’d much rather be at home.
I used to like to take my birthday as a guilt-free soda day, drinking as much as I wanted of the sugary nightmare and leaving the rest of the year to keep myself in check. But some of the unfortunate happenstances of getting older are not only understanding your body better but being less able to tolerate gluttonous treats. Now I realize if I overindulge, I will crash, and who wants that on their birthday?
For the last ten years or so, I have insisted on a birthday dinner at The Old Spaghetti Factory, a favorite haunt of mine. I can’t convince Shaun to go as frequently as I would like so my birthday is an occasion on which he can’t say no. This year, my dinner was marred by a long wait time thanks to a Taylor Swift concert at the nearby Tacoma Dome. The place was filled with cowboy-booted teeny-boppers carbing it up before rockin’ out.
Sometimes I try to drum up enthusiasm from my friends to dine with me or have a party, but after last year’s septic debacle, I decided to spend all of this year’s energies on Sonja’s party. Perhaps the time for parties ends when you have to throw them for yourself.
So this was a very quiet birthday celebrating with family, no stressing or housecleaning required. A pretty boring, old-person weekend day. And for that I think we can all be thankful.
What about you, dear reader(s)? What are your favorite birthday treats and traditions?