Other than my 16th, 18th, 21st, 22nd…(okay, lots of birthdays)…13 was supposed to be the BEST BIRTHDAY EVER. And like most of my other birthdays, it wasn’t. On this particular birthday I remember waking up with the worst hay fever I had ever experienced. A box of kleenex’s was demolished within minutes. So, as if my lack of respiration wasn’t a wonderful jumpstart to my teenage years, this was also the first birthday since I could chew that I stopped receiving the “breakfast birthday cake.” This decadent pastry wasn’t just any cupcake with a candle stabbed in the center; this was THE funfetti cupcake topped with a magic everlasting flame candle surrounded by vanilla icing. Needless to say, I’m still not over it.


Turning 13 was rotten by 10:00 am, but I still had a chance to transform my day. And when I say transform, I literally mean “transform.” My mother, out of the kindness of her heart, booked an entire beauty make-over for my awkward tomboy self. Today was the day I was going to become a lady…and I absolutely hated it. I remember my “make-over” consisting of poking, prodding, and lots of peeling. First my hair was stained with color to “brighten up my face” then washed and cut to a “flattering shape.” Then the task of taming the caterpillars above my eyebrows began. Three hours later, my stomach growling and patience at an all time low, I was presented to the “new” me.

The horror I saw when I looked in the mirror immediately brought tears to my eyes. I looked like a the perfect mess between “the feminine touch” and a feline attack. The stoplight red rash and cuts underneath my eyebrows could stop a train in its tracks. This was the beginning of the never-ending “pain equals beauty” application of my life.

One personal pan pizza and large cookie dough blizzard later, I was over my transformation and ready for my party to start. I don’t remember time ever creeping as slowly as it did that day. From 3:30 to 5 I watched every digital minute change; 90 minutes of sitting, staring, and sighing was not healthy for my self-esteem. Finally 5 o’clock rolled around. My friends came at 6.

Thirteen was not a great day. Yet, looking back nine years I couldn’t be more happy it happened…and by happy I mean 100% amused. To put the icing on the cake (that I never had) my outfit this day was unforgettable; a red “Marvin the Martian” shirt accompanied by a pair of glitter embellished flared jeans.

At 13, I epically failed to transform into a lady. But it was a good start…thanks, Mom.


2 thoughts on “13

  1. My 13th birthday is also enshrined in the birthday hall of shame. We had just moved to California and I spent half the day in the laundromat doing laundry with my mom. When I bring this up, she will only say, “All our clothes were dirty.” SO? I love the tradition of breakfast birthday cake! Maybe I should start that with my kids this year.

  2. I wrote about my 13th birthday in my writer’s notebook because it was not as awesome as I anticipated. Mine was not as fun basically because I had just moved to Wyoming and did not have friends yet. So, I spent my birthday with my mom too. Not at a laundromat but instead, I was at home while my mom tried her best to make my birthday fun. Which I do love her for doing even if my 13th was not all I imagined it to be.

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