Birthday parties then and now.


I recognize the 3 people on the left side of the picture. One of them is my sister.


I found this picture and had to post it.  You would think I’d remember how hard my mother worked to make this the most memorable party in the world for her 7 year old daughter.  I can tell you the full names of 3 people in this picture and the fact that this dress was itchy. 

THEN:   It was a formal event consisting of a homemade dress, homemade cake, and cheap ice cream.  The presents were items like coloring books and cards with a dollar in them.  The most memorable words associated with a birthday party?  “Don’t you dare get that dress dirty!”

NOW:  Your choice of venue while wearing jeans and a t-shirt. 

  • The arcade with the mouse and lots of tokens,
  • playland with burgers and a plastic clown, or
  • running around with your friends in the backyard after eating a grocery store cake.  

THEN:  Kids sang “happy birthday to you.”  It was embarrassing because they were the same kids that couldn’t stand you the other 364 days out of the year.  They were there because they lived in the neighborhood and their parents made them come to the party. 

NOW:   Kids sing “happy birthday to you.”  You use your smart phone to make a 2 minute movie of Irwin, whose horrendous voice will have 200 hits on a video website by the end of the day.


When I have another birthday, I want it at the arcade with the lots of tokens so I can play skeeball until my arms fall off.  And don’t you dare tell me I have to wear a dress!