A Birthday Memory....
My 6th birthday was the worst!
With good intentions, Mom reserved the birthday room at the Dipper Dan Ice Cream store in South DeKalb Mall. I got to invite about 20 of my closest little friends to the party and everyone looked forward to the party with great anticipation. Unfortunately, the party was ruined right at the beginning. All of us kids were gathering in the birthday room and the Dipper Dan staff were setting up the "all you can eat" ice cream buffet. Just then, my grandparent's preacher happened to walk through the mall with his wife. They looked inside the picture window into the birthday room, and spotted me and my family. Pastor Kendrick invited himself into the party to say a prayer in honor of my birthday-- I guess he felt it was appropriate. Now, Pastor Kendrick was a Southern Baptist preacher, and they don't know anything about a quick prayer. He went on and on for what seemed like an eternity. All of us had our eyes closed during the prayer, but I was able to steal a few glances at the ice cream buffet that was melting away as he spoke. Finally, Pastor Kendrick finished up and we were able to enjoy some of the ice cream before it totally turned to mush!
Then it was time for games! The one game that I remember to this day was "Pin the Tail on the Donkey". We were each blindfolded and lead to a poster of a donkey. We had to put the tail on the poster and whoever got the tail closest to the correct location would win a prize. We all took our turn-- but I was able to cheat. I could peek out of the bottom of my blindfold and I slyly walked right up to that donkey and put that tail on the exact location where it belonged. I don't know what the prize was-- it didn't matter. It was my birthday and I was going to win this game. However, when our blindfolds were removed, Mom announced that my neighbor Paul had won. Again, I had been peeking and knew that the tail that Paul placed was nowhere near the right place-- I think it was somewhere on the donkey's forehead. But, Paul was a blind kid, so Mom thought that he should win just for giving it an effort. I disagreed at the time and still disagree to this day. I won fair and square (except for the cheating part). I tried to reason with Mom that she wasn't doing Paul any favors-- he's going to go through life thinking that a donkey's tail grew from it's forehead. For his own good, Paul should lose the competition and I should win the prize. But, there was no going back-- Paul had the prize in his hand and I had a birthday memory that would stick with me for the rest of my life.