“The grass is always greener on the other side” from The Secret Language of Birthdays by Gary Goldschneider & Joost Elffers

Image by Cyndal Lorch

An Interview with Stefanie

Q. What is your best memory/moment from one of your past birthdays?

A. The birthday that immediately came to mind was my sweet sixteen. My parents took my four friends and I out for dinner to The Keg, which was already a big enough deal as it was.  After dinner everyone came back to my house where I was surprised by a basement full of friends. It was so overwhelming and unexpected that I burst into tears! Even though I don’t speak to half of those people anymore, I will always remember how happy I was.

Q. How about the worst? And why?

A. HA! It took me a second to remember this one (How, I don’t know why.) It was my eighteenth birthday when my friends and I went to Milestones for dinner. It was during this dinner that my super courteous ex-boyfriend made it Facebook official that he was now in a relationship with the girl he “didn’t cheat on” me with. A week prior to my birthday I found him at her house after he had lied about where he had been, of course he denied it and post-pones the announcement until my birthday. At the time, I was devastated. What a gem! (I clearly know how to pick ‘em)

Q. What was the present you’ve received for your birthday that most surprised you?

A. Is it sad I can’t remember a specific moment? (At all)

Q. Is there one food or dish that you insist in eating during your birthday celebration?

A. I find this a hilarious question because usually when you’re a kid you usually have a huge pizza party. I’m twenty-two and for the past three years after a night out with friends it is more than likely that I will have a slice (or three) of cheese pizza in my mouth. You know you’ve had a good birthday when it ends with pizza and waking up in the bathtub.

Q. What do you believe is the most important aspect of celebrating a birthday?

A. What I’ve learned about birthdays (God, I sound old) is that it doesn’t matter what you’re doing or how many people are there. What matters is the feeling you get being surrounded by people that you love and that are important to you helping you celebrate. I know it’s supposed to be “my” birthday but it would mean absolutely nothing without having those people there. Also, pictures are important. So important. I find it helps slow the time down even if it’s just for a little bit. 

Q. Do you/your family/culture have any traditions/rituals/ceremonies that are performed to celebrate birthdays? What is it?

A. Unfortunately, not anymore. Although, being a kid I distinctly remember always insisting on having bowling or outdoor mini-putting birthday parties.  Becoming older makes it harder to get the family all together, as I have two other siblings as well. When we can all get together we go out to dinner to a place of my choice.