What did you do for your 16th birthday? Mine was my second most memorable birthday. Number one was this one. I am NOT wishing for something more memorable.
The day I turned sixteen, I was a few weeks away from starting my senior year in high school. The science teacher I admired most had become a friend of mine. He was ten years older than I was, and working for one-third of a pittance at the Catholic high school I attended. He knew I was interested in applying to his alma mater for college, and offered to give me a tour of campus for my birthday.
Let me just pause for a moment to say that if this took place today, the guy would probably be arrested. But we grew up in the same neighborhood, went to the same parish church, and we were stupid.
Anyway, it was a gorgeous August day, and campus was equally beautiful. I really loved the feel of it, and the idea that it was 90 minutes from home made it just far enough to be independent, just close enough to come home on the weekends.
After lunch and the tour, we came home. He came inside with me so he could say hello to my parents...and as I opened my bedroom door to put my jacket away, two other friends of mine leaped out from my sister's bedroom to catch the look on my face as I saw what they had done. There were over 1,000 giant balloons in my room, filling it from ceiling to floor, wall to wall.
Science teacher guy had taken me on the tour to get me the hell out of the way when they assaulted my room. The only way I could get IN the room was with a safety pin, popping balloons as I went.
If you ask your older brother to help blow up balloons for your friend? And he's had a few beers? The smell of rubberized beer breath will linger for DAYS.
And the memory will last at least 30 years.