Happy birthday, Sasha Obama. Tell dad to keep the gas prices down.
Happy birthday, Elizabeth Hurley. Loved your work in “Austin Powers: International Man of Mystery.”
Happy birthday, La. Gov. Bobby Jindal. Look forward to visiting your state this summer.
Happy birthday, John Edwards. Enjoy this one because you may be spending your next birthday in jail.
Happy birthday, Hoku. Whoever you are.
Happy birthday to me.
Today, I’ve reached the magical age — 35 — which allows me to run for president of the United States of America, not that the position is remotely appealing. I take enough potshots from our Forum contributors. Plus, I wouldn’t want my Georgia birth certificate scrutinized. Come to think of it, I wouldn’t run for Whitfield County surveyor. (Yep, county surveyor is an elected position.)
Like many of life’s past pleasures, birthdays have become less consequential through the years.
Remember how as a child you were so stoked on Christmas Eve that you couldn’t fall asleep until past midnight? Now you pass out at 10 p.m. putting together your child’s new bicycle. Don’t get me wrong, Christmas is still a special holiday for my family, just for different reasons. The gifts are fine, however, the fellowship is paramount.
Now, my birthday doesn’t have the same shiny luster it did back in the day. I spent my 21st birthday holed up in the University of Georgia library cramming for a “History of Latin America Post-1879” final exam. Birthdays 22 through 29 blended together. Turning 30 wasn’t a big deal. I wasn’t granted any new privileges. It’s just a round number, and we love round numbers.
The milestone birthdays slowed down for me after the stirring trifecta of turning 16 (driver’s license), 18 (voting) and 21 (buying alcohol, unless you’re in parts of Whitfield County on a Sunday). The next birthday of significance is 62. That’s when I’ll be able to draw Social Security.
Stop laughing. I know there won’t be any money left.
June is a busy birthday month for my family with celebrations stretching from the beginning of the calendar to its end. The birthday festivities take place on June 5 (sister), June 16 (nephew), June 17 (brother) and June 26 (mom).
Happy birthday to them.
There are no milestone birthdays for anyone. Except for maybe my brother. He reaches another round number — 40.
As a child, having an early June birthday couldn’t be beat. School was out for summer so sleeping in was a given. When I finally arose from my slumber and slurped down half a box of Fruity Pebbles, it was time to check the mail. My grandparents always sent a thoughtful card and even more thoughtful folding money. I can still hear mom’s instructions, “Make sure you read the card!”
The highlight was the party. Being on a limited family budget, my birthday parties didn’t resemble an elaborate quinceañera. They were low-key. Usually cake and ice cream with a few friends followed by video games.
The cool kids had their parents rent out the local arcade, Funway U.S.A. in Bry-Man’s Plaza, and had all of the games set to maximum credits. You could play as much as you wanted to without pumping quarters into the machines.
Wow. Unlimited lives in Ms. Pac-Man!
Unfortunately for me, that was an expensive birthday bash. I begged my parents for a birthday party there. For one birthday party, we compromised.
First, it was a birthday lunch at Godfather’s Pizza, which was next door to Funway U.S.A.
With bellies full of greasy pizza, we moved the party to the arcade. Dad passed out a couple of dollars to each of my friends. It wasn’t unlimited video game play, but we still had a blast.
After our quarters were exhausted, we moved the party to Kay’s Kastle on the extreme west side of Bry-Man’s plaza for dessert.
Pizza, video games and ice cream.
Best birthday ever.
Today, I’ll probably mow the lawn then relax on the couch and watch the Atlanta Braves. We’ll have cake and ice cream. Nothing too monumental.
Maybe I’ll rustle up a few quarters and head to the arcade.
Anybody know where I can find Ms. Pac-Man?
Dalton native Jamie Jones is co-city editor of The Daily Citizen.