Learning about differences – in our cultures, the way we’ve been raised, linguistic quirks, etc – has always been an interesting thing to explore in our marriage. We’re always learning new things!
When it comes to birthdays, we come from VERY different backgrounds. Though my mother struggled to pay the bills, as a single mother with no support, birthdays were important in our family. What she lacked in budget, she made up for in creativity – and she went all out with it.
I remember making “grass skirts”, leis, etc for a Hawaiian luau party – she even used acrylic paints to design a wall covering. I think it may have been a sheet or something, painted with big, tropical leaves. One year, she made me an elaborate little 3 tiered birthday cake, covered in lattice work and a TON of meticulously piped flowers.
My husband, however, was raised in a religion that prohibits a lot of the celebrations that are pretty commonplace for most – including birthday parties.
That whole experience left him a dyed-in-the-wool Atheist… but more importantly, it left him an absolutely blank slate, as far as birthday parties go.
Coming from my background, I was horrified at the idea of him missing out on all of those experiences and memories, growing up. I mean, I don’t have many good memories from my childhood, so those birthday party memories are definitely bright spots, for me.
So, shortly after we met, I set about to rectify the situation. I would work to give him all of the typical birthday experiences that many of us would see as… typical. To date, he’s had a surprise party, a roller skating party (WITH bad, roller-rink pizza!), a sleepover with bad horror movies, and even a party at Chuck E Cheese. Yes, our group of adults looked horribly out of place, but fun was had by all!
Oh, and goodie bags. Yes. I make cheesey, sugar-laden goodie bags for his birthday parties. Why don’t more adult birthdays include goodie bags, by the way? Everything is better hopped up on sugar. Pixi Stix all around, baby!
This year, it was time for him to have the bowling alley birthday party.
Now, one of my absolute favorite birthday cakes of my childhood wasn’t even a cake! It was this colorful, fruity, “dessert pizza” concoction. I was a bit of a weird kid, in that I preferred fruit and sherbet over cake and ice cream, so it REALLY stood out to me. It was just so much fun, I decided to make one for his birthday this year. It went over so well, I’m sharing the recipe with you!