Friday, March 23, 2012

You say it's your birthday?

I was brought up believing that your birthday was super-special. You were treated to presents, lots of attention, a party and a big slab of cake. If you went out to dinner that cake would usually be on the house.

I was also brought up believing that fake-birthdays were super-special.

Fake birthdays happened most nights that my family went out to dinner. Not on someones birthday, just like on any old Friday night. When the waitress would come over at the end of the meal to ask if anyone was interested in dessert my dad would say, “Well, we do have a birthday girl here...” The waitress would give my dad a wink and come back with a big piece of cake, candles, and a song at no additional charge. My family would happily pass the slice around the table, all giggling and shushing each other.

The fake-birthday celebrations went on into my teen years.

Stolen merchandise.
I remember coming home from college with my friend Erik. We all went out to the Spaghetti Factory for dinner and since Erik was our guest, my dad told the waitress that it was his birthday. I'll never forget the mortified look on Erik’s face when a heard of waiters, waitresses and busboys approached our table with the biggest piece of mud pie you ever saw singing the loudest version of Happy Birthday ever. The entire restaurant joined in the singing, praising Erik on his special day. Erik wanted to die and was in awe that my family would lie and do something like that on any sort of a regular basis.

I was in awe that every family didn’t take advantage of the free cake thing. It seemed like a no brainer.

I still get free stuff on my birthday, but today it’s a little more legit.

Did you know that you can get a free brow wax on your birthday at the benefit counter? Well you can, and why wouldn’t you? IT’S FREE. Just bring a few bucks along for a tip and you are good to go. You can mosey on up to their "brow bar" (cute) on your lunch hour and get a little mini-face-lift. And when you're done, they will apply their make up over the red left behind so when you go back to the office instead of having people ask you, "what happened - did someone hit you in the eyes?" they will say, "happy birthday beautiful, you look younger than you did this morning!"

Aveda will give you a consultation on what hair products would work best for your 'do along with some free samples of shampoo and conditioner to take home on your special day. You kind of have to sit and listen to their spiel to get the goods, like when you go and hear someone talk about time shares then you get a free dinner at a steakhouse, but hey, you get free stuff. Pretty small samples but again, free.

Last but not least is the queen bee of birthday surprises from my girlfriend Sephora. Being a beauty insider gets me free goods every year and this year they did not disappoint. I got two mini lip balms by sugar, one in the original, fruity pebbles smelling clear balm that I have raved about in the past, and one in their rose tint – so pretty and light and great for when I want just a blush of color on my pout. Yummy.

Have your cake and eat it too - whether it’s your birthday, or not.

Oh, but my dad would have been totally busted at the benefit counter – they ask to see your ID to prove it really is your birthday. They’re no dummies.

I don’t really consider it a lie to say you were born to get a free piece of mud pie. It’s more of a fib. You were born, you had a birthday at some point in the past year, right?

Yes, you did.

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