17: Broke a molar trying to bite through a lollipop late in the evening and had to find an all night dentist in Fargo, ND, because I was leaving for Germany the next day.
18: Graduated from high school on my birthday, so I got lots of presents but didn't actually have a party.
19: Spent the majority of this birthday in an airplane flying to Singapore. The airplane trying to land immediately after mine crashed and burned, killing everyone on board. At least my birthday was better than theirs.
20: Spent this birthday handcuffed to a radiator in an unknown building in Tehran. Was eventually traded back to the Midwest for a couple rusty shotguns and some corn.
21: The girl I was infatuated with at the time decided she'd rather go see Dave Matthews Band play a concert rather than come to my birthday. Most of my friends went with her instead. Me and my friend Mark, who has the same birthday, wound up drinking a pitcher between us, going home, and watching American Beauty by ourselves. Definitely a low point in my life.
22: I graduated from college on this birthday. Dozens of people showed up for our party this time out. THe party itself lasted approximately two days. This is a bright spot in a long and crappy birthday history.
23: No party whatsoever. I was in Ireland, with no friends, and wandered the streets of Cork, drinking a bottle of Jameson as I went. It wasn't unpleasant, but nothing special.
24: No party again. I'd just moved to NYC, and had no friends except my roommate, who kept saying we'd go out for a birthday party with some of his friends. When we finally did a week after my birthday, I had to buy all my own drinks, and wound up drunk, alone, and wandering around on the wrong side of the West Side Highway with no real idea how I got there or how to get home.
25: Having just managed to get home from my previous birthday, I didn't have much time to plan this one. Almost no one came to the party, since I still didn't know many people, and a couple of the people who did know me weren't currently talking to me at the time.