Ashley Peterson
2 min readMay 15, 2022

My birthday is on 9/11. If you live in America you probably realize that was kind of a significant day. I always like to joke that my birthday was an omen for the rest of my life. While sometimes that can be true, my actual birthday has typically remained a day of bliss among my more often than not frustrating experience.

I think my birthday recaptures the nostalgia of my childhood more than anything else. Whether it was a party or just a sleepover with me and a friend, my mom always went out of her way to make it the best birthday she could. She would buy us little mementos to paint and put out cute homemade decorations. For my sweet sixteen, she crafted a slew of decorations to capture the 1950s. But the best part of any birthday in my house were the cakes. My mom had taken a cake decorating class at our local career center and each year she’d ask my siblings and me what we wanted her to make, and she’d do it. I’ve had everything from a cake she shaped into a purse to one that looked like a steampunk top hat. Since my siblings and I all have birthdays in the August/September months we affectionately name it “cake season”, after which we are sick of cake until mom’s birthday in February.

Now, being without my mom at school during my birthday certainly takes some of my fun out, but my friends have often risen to the occasion. Just this past year they celebrated by nearly giving me a heart attack. I was just resting in the living room of our apartment after a long day. I could hear their whispers and giggles from back in the bedrooms but thought nothing of it (it’s not exactly uncommon to hear). As I continued whatever I was doing at the time, let’s make me look good and say reading, the opening notes of Happy Birthday blasted through the speaker beside me, so loudly I practically catapulted myself off the couch. I know I make a lot of jokes about wanting to die, but they took that a bit too literally. Along with my near-death experience, I also received Cards Against Humanity, my friend was very proud of this one, as well a deck of kpop photocards of one specific idol. So, I now own 54 pictures of a random Korean celebrity, not weird at all. Regardless, it’s nice to know that my friends will always make my birthday special.