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Birthday parties were the norm for me when I was a kid. Then, after I started junior high school things changed.
My mother would whip together those classic parties with games like Pin the Tail on the Donkey and Drop the Clothespin in the Bottle. We'd have cake and ice cream and party horns and foil hats. The frenzy of fun and noisy children would end up with the opening of presents. The parties were the tradition and I came to expect them.
Then from thirteen years and on, those childhood parties were done and the concept of party took on a different meaning. For me they also essentially stopped.
At that time my family had moved from San Diego, California to Northern Indiana--a real extreme in many ways. The days of walking to the neighborhood elementary school and being in one class with the same teacher and students all day made for bonding and having more friends. Junior high meant riding a bus to a big school where students changed classes with different teachers and I attended alongside students who came from other neighborhoods--places that I didn't even know where they were.
Not being particularly outgoing, I did not make many friends. Most of my friends were the kids that lived in my neighborhood and even at that I wasn't very close to many of them. Junior high school was in many ways a time of alienation for me. It was also a time when I began reading, writing, and watching more television and movies.
Ever the caring parent, my mother always threw together something special for my birthdays, but no longer did I have the festive affairs that I had when I was younger. Then one year as my birthday approached I let it be known that I would like to have a surprise party for my special day. I wanted a party like I'd seen in the movies, where I would enter a darkened room and then suddenly the lights would turn on and everyone would jump out of hiding and yell, "Surprise!". That is what I wanted more than anything.
So, absurdity of absurdities, I provided my sister a list of the kids that I considered my friends at school. I pretended like I didn't know what was going on and she pretended like she was secretly delivering invitations to all the kids I wanted to see come to my party. I envisioned a gala affair where I would have many friends in attendance and I would be the center of attention--an important guy.
It was not to be so. I felt a bit foolish when not a single one of those friends showed up on the big night. There were a few of my close friends from my neighborhood, but we were a meager group. If it had not been for my sister inviting some of her friends it would have been a truly sad affair.
As it turned out we were able to turn the lights low and play the popular songs of the era on the stereo. At least we were able to awkwardly dance with girls about our age and have a small young teen party. It was not the event that I had imagined, but it was my birthday party--the last one that I would have until I became an adult.
What's the point of my telling you this story now? Well, we're giving a party of sorts in April and I wanted to invite all of the readers of this blog to join us. In case you haven't heard the buzz, I'm talking about The Blogging from A to Z April Challenge.
We're not concerned about no one showing up for this--currently we have over 700 signed up for this Challenge. But we'd like for you to join us if you haven't signed up already. It's great fun and such an excellent opportunity to discover new blogs, gain more followers, and become a better blogger. This will be the third year and nearly everyone who has participated in the past has raved about this event and most are returning for another year. How about you?
Our current sign-up goal is to reach 1000 by Thursday March 1st. Last year we had nearly 1300 participants and this year we'd like to increase that number. This is an amazing blog event that is sure to create a buzz for the rest of the year as bloggers look forward to the 2013 Challenge. Yes, we keep looking forward. If you are going to participate in any blog events, this one is a must.
Check out the links for the A to Z story, the sign-up list, and even a Twitter news feed.
There's also a Blogging from A to Z Video Contest that you can enter. Check out this entry from Kathleen at Living 2012:
Don't miss this party! You'll have plenty of dancing partners and fun galore. Are you signed up yet? If not, is there anything that is keeping you from doing this?