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A Really Weird Birthday Party


When I was nearly 17-years-old, I moved from my Dad’s in CA back to my Mom’s place. She had just relocated from Colorado to Arizona and was managing a restaurant in Chandler called, Sideburns. I was in 11th grade and enrolling at Chandler High School, where I would be reunited with some of my old friends from 9th grade when I had lived there a couple of years before.

My Mom the Cheerleader

My mom was a very outgoing woman and people genuinely liked her. She easily made new friends anywhere and everywhere she went. She was a magnet so by time I arrived in Arizona she already had a posse of peeps.

She had also already arraigned a “surprise” birthday party for me.

When my birthday arrived, I was told to be at Sideburns at a specific time that evening and so I was.


I  walked into a packed restaurant all decorated in birthday fare. There were tons of people who showed up for my party, almost all of which were complete strangers to me. They were also all  adults of varying ages; none younger than 25.

I think my mom wanted to be sure something special happened on my birthday since I didn’t really know that many people locally and had only just arrived back. Mind you, this is all before we had this wonderful thing we call the internet, to connect and re-connect, so it wasn’t like I had sent out a FaceBook invite to all of my real friends.

Anyhow, it was a fun night, but what made it fun and quite funny was the fact that my mom got my age wrong and had told everyone I was turning 18 (not 17). Of course all of the decorations said “Happy 18th Birthday” as did the amazingly decadent Hershey Cake the restaurant’s cook had made me.

Zip My Lips

I kept my mouth shut [except to eat cake] and never corrected anyone at the party because I did not want to embarrass my mom, but when we got home…well, let’s just say that although I still had leftover cake to eat, my mom was eating crow instead.

My mom had so thoroughly confused herself about my age that year, that every single year that followed — up until she died, she always got my age wrong. Which, by the way, made her get her own age wrong as well because we were exactly 20-years apart! So unlike most people who say they are younger than they are, my mom always thought she and I were a year older than we were.

Did your parents ever celebrate your wrong birthday?

6 comments on “A Really Weird Birthday Party

  1. Charles Yallowitz
    February 8, 2014

    No, but my grandfather was led to believe he was a year younger than he really was for some reason. I think he was in his 80’s when he had to look at his birth certificate and found that the year and day were wrong. Then he milked it for two birthday parties that year.


    • Cheri
      February 8, 2014

      LOL Charles, you just reminded me that when I was 16, my aunt and mom doctored my BC to make it look like I was 18 so I could join the new gym they were going to. Hmm…maybe that is how/what got my mom confused…


      • Charles Yallowitz
        February 8, 2014

        Never had my BC doctored, but my parents always made me lie about my age to get into places cheaper. Most infamous was the opening of the USS Intrepid where I asked my parents if I could be 5 again in front of the ticket guy.


      • Cheri
        February 8, 2014

        LMAO ahhh yes, I remember THOSE DAYS! :p


  2. diannegray
    February 8, 2014

    Absolutely! Being number 5 of six children my parents were always confused about my birthday. Not only did they think I was born in a different year they also got the date wrong (only one day off). I didn’t realize I’d celebrated my birthday on the wrong date until I went to get my birth certificate for my driver’s license 😉 LOL!


    • Cheri
      February 8, 2014

      OMG! Hahahahaha GREAT anecdote! Love that. Isn’t it funny how much (for some reasons) it matters?


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