While reflecting the other day on the fact that my birthday this year might be a bit crap read about it here, I remembered my worst birthday ever. I am fairly confident it won’t be as bad as this one.
My 19th birthday. I got my bike nicked and I spent the WHOLE day – and I’m not exaggerating here – in floods of tears.
I didn’t get my bike for my birthday, it had been a present for doing well in my GCSEs two and a bit years earlier (7 As and 2 Bs, back in the days before A*s were invented and before people used to get those sorts of results). I thought it was beautiful. It was a purple mountain bike that looked like it had paint splatted on it (very 1980s). It had been pretty expensive, but, above all, it was my independence.
The day had already started pretty badly because I’d got next to no presents – I was just about to go to university so my mum and dad couldn’t afford much. I was stressed about going to university too. I was lonely at home because everyone was at work or school.
So I rode my bike to town. I locked it up stupidly. And it went.
There was no insurance, my mum and dad didn’t buy me a new bike and I didn’t buy myself one.
It was a truly miserable day. I cried and cried and cried. Cried for the loss of freedom. Cried for something that was precious to me. Cried for my stupidity. Cried for the violation. Cried because I couldn’t replace it. Cried because it was expensive. Cried because I’d had hardly any birthday presents. Cried because I was going to university and leaving behind the comfort and safety of my home and family and friends.
I didn’t have a bike until Christmas the following year when my boyfriend (now my husband) did up his old one for me.
Compared to that, I reckon one boy on camp and another playing football will seem like a breeze.