Off Topic: What's The Best Birthday Thing You Or Someone Else Did?

Today's off topic is pretty blatant because it's one of those days that gets its own spot on the calendar. It's a birthday. Not my birthday, but my girlfriend's. And she's turning 30! Which is awesome for her.

So naturally, my mind drifted towards celebrations and the things we do on them.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock

I'll always remember one birthday I had as a kid that somehow involved a lot of people, an awful lot of running around the backyard and nearby roads, and water pistols. Shitloads of water pistols. People were getting shot left right and centre.

I also remember people sitting at the dining room table and chowing down on lunch. We were then cutely interrupted by the bravest of my family's (who have since sadly passed away) ducks, who waddled up to the front door in a somewhat depressive state. There was a metric tonne of food being consumed that wasn't also being offered to her, a horrifyingly uncomfortable situation for the feathered feline*. The poor thing.

In any case, it was a good day. Buggered if I could remember how old I was at the time. It was fun though. But what about yourselves? What's the best thing you've done on your birthday or for someone else's? What birthday memories do you have? Update: Ducks, as Freja pointed out, are not actually felines. Even if this one behaved like a cat (including coming in the house, accepting pats, sitting on the couch and randomly chirping at humans for attention).


    I turned 40 last year. I spent the day curled up in a little ball in the corner of a dark room, weeping quietly.

    I was really happy with my most recent birthday actually, as I had a themed costume party and everyone really got involved and went all out with costume ideas. My birthday is October 21, so this past year it was the day from Back to the Future 2 and everyone came in outfits from the scene in the future. I was naturally in Marty's future clothes, my best mate had a full Doc Brown silver visor getup, there was a Griff and several people came as the Jaws 19 holoshark! I was even given a recreation of the Sports Almanac with messages from everybody written inside.

    So yeah, that was a great thing everyone did for me. Was going through some rough stuff at the time, and it really helped me just leave it behind, even for just a single day :)

      That's cool! I did close to the same thing, but we widened the theme to include any time period from the movies: so the "present" era 1980s, the 1950s of Marty's parents, the wild west 1880s and of course, the far-flung future of 2015.

      We had a board full of printouts from the movies: "Save the Clock Tower" flyers, Wanted posters from 1885, various newspapers, Marty's disappearing photograph, "You're Fired!" faxes, the cover of the Sports Almanac and George's scifi book, and Doc's letter telling Marty he's in 1885.

      And we hung a clock (stopped at 10:04, of course) on the outside of the garden shed, then draped blue and white fairy lights, to simulate lightning, from that to a pole across the driveway. And on the ground under that, two parallel rows of red lights that looked like fiery tire tracks.

      ..... we might have gone a bit overboard with the theme...

    The best thing is when I ended up hospitalised before my own party could start.
    Wait, that's the worst thing that happened. My mistake

      Oh yeah, that is not fun. I managed to hospitalise myself at my daughter's first birthday, by severing my tendons trying to remove the doll she received from its packaging.
      Didn't help that I had also started chemo earlier that day, I am in a hospital bed, awaiting surgery to re-attach the tendons and my oncologist walks past, does a double-take and says "What part of avoiding infection did you not understand" and then promptly walked off before I could reply.

        "YOU HAD ONE JOB!'

        I hope you're better!

          Yeah, I was very...

        Chemo. So you had a type of cancer. Oncologist, so it wasn't a blood cancer. All I need now is outpatients appointments and my deductions will be complete!
        (My Mother had Chemo, but her illness doesn't go into remission, it goes dormant, so they need to keep an eye on it(=)

          Two different types of NHL in the one area, had radiation and chemo and am in remission.

            So you've had both variations of it. I'm glad you're in remission

    I'm turning 30 on March 29th. My partner promised me 30 presents for 30 days starting March 1st. Lol, quite exciting, probably the best thing anyone has thought of to do for me.

    Not like my stupid ex who always just offered sex on my birthday as the present...

      Hahaha! Oh god. I laughed at you ex's 'present' more than I should have. He clearly tried very hard

      Maybe sex is still the present, and you'll just have sex 30 times in 30 days? :P

        Geez, I must be getting old cos that just sounds more like work than fun hahaha....

          Welcome to 30. Just wait until you hit 40! :(

          I remember the guy who owned the unit next door to one that I used to own in my younger days, he once told me "The difference between your 20's and your 50's is that what you used to do all night now takes you all night to do" :P

          You're definitely doing it wrong then...

    Oh man I swear I had a story that fit this but totally can't remember what it might have been at all.

    "Mustn't have been that great then" :P

    Thank your mum. She suffered a lot on that day.

    The tip for the best birthday... take the day off. Dont go to work, dont have coworkers wish you a happy birthday with empty platitudes and a cheap cake fron the corner store.

    I enjoyed getting a friend really drunk on their birthday (insisted they drink every alcohol they got as gifts) that resulted in them throwing up in the toilet into the early hours of the next day crying for his mother.

    My 18th birthday was on the same day as my Year 12 formal. That was a pretty epic party.

    Oh, I almost had the best one but it was accidentally ruined.

    My 21st was shaping up to be pretty huge, with a whole load of net friends coming over from interstate to join the rest of us in Sydney. Unfortunately, my girlfriend at the time who lived over in Adelaide was unable to join in, apparently her mum wouldn't let her make the trip.

    At the time, what used to be the family computer had become my computer, as they'd all moved on to their own machines and wanted nothing to do with the old one. The ISP e-mails were still all being collected by Outlook Express on there though, and did this thing where sometimes the e-mails weren't properly sorted into their respective folders, and would just end up in the generic inbox instead. And the very bottom one would receive focus when the program started. And the one in focus would be displayed in the window beneath.

    And that's how I accidentally discovered that my girlfriend had secretly been colluding with my Mum to try and organise her coming over to surprise me, just by opening up the thing to go check my own e-mails. The instant saw that on screen I just had that "oh fuck" moment and wished I could unsee it. No such luck.

    I tried to play along, acting like I had no idea what was going on and still being disappointed that she couldn't make it. But I don't think I could properly feign the right reaction when Dad brought her home from the airport. Best I could manage was "what the hell are you doing here?" :P, and later when revealing to her the fatal mistake she said she'd figured I knew. Oh well, it's the thought that counts. Plus we had an awesome time.

    My 30th birthday was the same day as the opening ceremony of the Sydney Olympics, thats always been pretty hard to top.

    My 40th, I went lawn bowling. Got 40 friends and relo's, paid for some finger food, and put $750 over the bar, which lasted well into the night. People were pleasantly surprised at the bar tab, and rewarded me repeatedly for month after. Was such a good day, it still gets talked about 5 years later.

    Thats probably the best thing I've done for my own birthday - covered the drinks and food for everyone so people didnt have to worry about it themselves.

    One year I got Indian food from my favourite restaurant, a strawberry continental cheesecake and four litres of coke and spent the night watching Futurama and gorging. So good.

    I hate birthdays. Two years in a row no-one showed up to my birthday party. NO-ONE AT ALL. Now my birthdays make me as sad as can be.

    Last year, I took the day off work and took myself out for a quiet cafe breakfast and then went and then went and watched Star Wars at an early session opening day. Then spent an hour perusing the wares of the local JB.
    Later the family took me for Mexican food and I drank a little too much Tequila. Best birthday Ive had since I was a kid.

    I hate my own birthday. The best thing someone ever did for me was the nothing I asked them to.

    For the birth of my recent twins. I created a little Arkanoid style HTML5 game which I released as the announcement via FB. Friends and family had to play in order to get access to the photos and birth weight information. As you got through the single level and destroyed specific bricks you were granted ever increasing access to all the photos and birth information. Most people sucked at it. Some people tried over and over to unlock everything. No one found the cheat code and I still retain the high score. Eventually I added a 'skip the game' button after complaints from seniors...

      When you have another kid you should put in some microtransactions so they have to pay to keep playing to see those photos.

    Best for me is my 25th. Organized a big party and everything but instead of doing a normal speech I proposed to my wife.

    Drunkenly jumped my boyfriend at my 24th birthday. A year later and I'm still making excellent drunk decisions with him.

    This year my birthday hits the holy grail - EASTER! The Easter bunny will be arriving on my birthday, so that will be fun :) Last time it happened was 2005 and most likely not happen again in my lifetime (unless I live to 2050).

    So I think the Easter Bunny will be bringing me something extra special this year.

    For my 18th my parents rented a minibus, we took a group of my close friends up to Sydney (from Canberra) and we saw Wicked, went to a nice Chinese restaurant, and chilled out drinking in a hotel (well, I drank, my friends were mostly the sober type).

    When I was seven I got an empty box of cornflakes...

    Inside the box was a piece of string. I followed that string through the house, around the kitchen table legs, out the back yard, through the shed, around some trees, down the side of the house and onto the porch. It was attached to a brand new BMX. Best surprise ever.

    Last Friday my son turned 6. I recreated the same for him. This time while he was chasing the string I set the BMX up in the place where the string started and attached the other end to the handle bars. All went according to plan and the excitement on his face was totally worth the time it took to lead a piece of string around the garden!

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