What Wrinkle Cream Taught Me About My Birthday

I celebrated my birthday last week.

Never one to disappoint, my mother-in-law provided my most provocative birthday gift: wrinkle cream.

I took it like the champion birthday girl I am, with a smile and a thank you, but was instantly transported through a lifetime of birthday flashbacks, ripe with all of the unique, raw emotions another candle on the cake inevitably brings.

I remember feeling terribly anxious at birthday parties as a little girl. I worried excessively about fitting-in. The party games, my party dress, my present, even my shoes and those little white ruffled ankle socks that were a staple in little girl wardrobes when I was growing up, all represented bottomless wells of childhood angst.  

I distinctly remember the birthday party that changed everything.

I was about nine years old and this was the “school’s finally out and summer is here!” inaugural sleepover birthday party of the season. I was one of about 20 lucky guests on a...

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