There was hardly a birthday party during my childhood that didn't result in buckets of tears from yours truly. It didn't matter how fun the party was (surprise trampoline party, slumber parties, etc.) I would end up crying.
The reasons for the tears are many and ludicrous. One year my two best friends wouldn't stop fighting with each other (didn't they know I two sides for each person to sit beside?) so after an hour or two of them bickering I locked myself in the bathroom and had a good cry. Shortly after everyone realized I was gone I heard them gather near the bathroom door.
"I should go in to her. She needs me. I'm her best friend," said Friend 1.
"No you're not! I'm her best friend!" said Friend 2.
Like clockwork, every year, someone would steal my new toy or say something mean or offend me in some unsurmountable way and I would storm off crying. Leaving my parents to deal with 10-15 girls who didn't seem to give a shit that they were ruining my birthday.
Why my parents continued to let me have birthday parties I'll never know.
As I got older the tears still came but for different reasons.
At my 17th birthday, the house was still under construction so we all thought it would be fun to have a cake fight (after cake got smushed in my face by my loving older sister). So, I'm chasing Julia around with cake in my hand and she's screaming and running away with a plate of cake in her hands. Then she stops abruptly, turns around, and chucks the cake, plate and all, at my face.
That hurt. And I cried. But I think I was validated in that one.
On my 20th birthday I cried because I was in Salem, OR (the darkest, gloomiest place in the winter), and I was 20. Which seemed really, dangerously close to 30. I hadn't even seen When Harry Met Sally yet ("And I'm gonna be forty!" "When?" "Someday!"), but 30 was out there like this scary harbinger of death.
Granted, I was greatly overreacting on my 20th, but, whatever, I'm pretty sure I was suffering from a mild case of seasonal depression.
As you can see, I am an emotional person. I cry a lot. Just ask Dan. I don't even try to deny it anymore.
I'm a crier.
This year I'm not concerned that 30 is quickly approaching, or that a plate of cake will leave a bump on my forehead. This year I'm mostly happy, but this morning I realized that it's my first birthday in 26 years that I won't hear, "Rachie, happy birthday! Oh, you're getting older." This is my first birthday without Grams, and, if I'm being honest, I cried in the shower this morning.