Sunday, June 17, 2012


In honor of my approaching half birthday, I'm going to share with you the story of my golden birthday.

Growing up in Minnesota in the 80's golden birthdays were a big deal.  You got a better party on your golden birthday, you got better presents on your golden birthday, and you got to lord the fact that it was your golden birthday over everyone.  It's actually unclear to me in retrospect whether other kids actually got different celebrations for their golden birthdays or if it was just the talk of the playground.  But in any case, as children those of us with an especially early or late golden birthday bemoaned the unfairness of our plight in life.

Now, if you are not a Midwestern child of the 80's and you were not involved in the planning of my birthday shenanigans, you're probably sitting there wondering what the heck makes a birthday golden.  I (and Becky too) had assumed that this was common universal knowledge, until I started announcing that mine was approaching.  Both because I thought it was funny, and also because I probably have some subconscious childhood scars from all that playground bemoaning, I was pretty pumped that I was finally getting my turn.  That is until my announcement was met with blank stare after blank stare.  After many a conversation and many a google we learned that this is almost exclusively a phenomenon of the upper Midwest.  For the uninitiated, a golden birthday is when you turn the same age as the date of your birthday.  I turned 29 on the 29th of December. 

Whether my family remembered my complaints from childhood or just thought my adulthood bemoaning was funny is still unclear to me (well, clearly Becky is in the later camp as she sadly missed my childhood, but the rest are unclear), but for whatever reason they played along and created a great birthday celebration for me.
They ordered a custom iceberg cake for me from the baker my sister loves, and decorated it with penguin holiday ornaments that apparently my mother had been saving for years in anticipation of just such a cake.  You can of course see the number candles - I think 29 individual candles would melt the penguins' playground!
You can also see that most of my presents were wrapped in gold paper, plus there was gold plastic silverware and gold plates and gold Hanukkah gelt for snacks.  In addition to the awesome train tour (documented on a golden scroll) that we recently enjoyed, Becky gave me several golden gag gifts: gold batteries, gold handwarmers, and cheap golden Christmas ornaments.

They also may or may not have forced me to wear a tiara for the present opening and candle blowing out.
 In addition of course they took me out to a delicious dinner at a restaurant called 3.  I enjoyed filet mignon, and Becky ate lobster macaroni and cheese she's still talking about.  The rest of the family ate food they enjoyed too, but six months later I can no longer recall.  Although we love the little boys dearly, in order to facilitate adult conversation my family was even thoughtful enough to hire a babysitter for the dinner portion of the night.

Thank you Jen, Sean, Mom, Dad, and Becky for  planning and executing such a wonderful golden birthday celebration!  There will be no more bemoaning regarding this once-in-a-lifetime experience!  Now what will they do next year when I turn 30???  Muhahahaha. 


  1. That was a golden tiara.... And I could really use some more parmesan risotto.

  2. I know golden birthdays and I'm from Montana! :)

    Mine was almost two years ago, and it was surprisingly and sadly lame. I didn't do a good job with insisting that the people who didn't know me in this place I just moved to provide me with the awesome that your loved ones did. I need to insist on a good birthday pretty soon.

    Happy golden!

  3. Now what will they do next year when I turn 30???

    Drink. Heavily.

  4. Mm...parmesan risotto. Yum. Also drinking heavily. ;)

    Jo - good to hear that Golden Birthdays are not quite as isolated as previously advertised! But in the grand scheme of things Montana is probably not *that* far from the upper midwest, eh? Time to start insisting on a great birthday as a make-up!

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