February 17th, 2015
“Katie, an awkward sophomore who still boasts acne in equal proportion to her freckles, sighed in an overt and desperate sort of way while staring out at the Pacific Ocean from on-board a cruise ship. She was spending her sixteenth birthday away at sea, without her friends or siblings, just her and her parents and her godparents. (This is the part where you roll your eyes, add the appropriate “#firstworldproblems” tag, and lament at my ungratefulness.)
However, fear not, her adoring parents and godparents found a solution to her woe. They knew that her sixteenth birthday was a special time, after all, sixteenth birthdays are the quinceaneras and bar mitzvahs of white people. It was important to commemorate such a wonderful day. Yes, her parents and godparents had planned ahead of time for this special day. First off, they made Katie wear an obnoxious black and pink t-shirt announcing her special day, in addition to a plastic tiara and a light-up button that was more obnoxious than the Las Vegas skyline. However, it wasn’t enough for Katie to be decked-out, they needed to ensure that everyone around them also knew of their love and appreciation of Katie. What better way to show their love than to make t-shirts with Katie’s face on them? You read that right – FACE T-SHIRTS.
All day, the cruise-goers (aka AARP members) snickered quietly while sipping their gin and tonic. Through the day, Katie was forced to play cruise ship trivia games (“Excuse me,” her mom would reiterate to the crew-member-turned-Pat-Sajak, “our team name is ‘Kate’s Sweet Sixteen Crew’”). Finally, dinner arrived and Katie looked forward to the relief of dessert and ending this day of public embarrassment. As the waiter brought out the candle-adorned dessert, Katie spotted her parents and godparents stealthily reaching into their pockets in anticipation–could it be? Yes it could. Oh my god. KAZOOS.
Katie proceeds to tuck her chin in and stare intently at her dessert as she experiences the kazoo-rendition of “Happy Birthday.” As far as she is concerned, her parents and godparents are dead to her. But that night, while chatting on Facebook and avoiding genuine intellectual pursuits, she realizes that her birthday of face t-shirts and kazoos makes a damn good story. (And also a great submission to awkwardfamilyphotos.com!) And for that moment, she is at peace knowing that at some point in the future, she’ll repeat this story to her therapist or maybe her blog audience…”
(submitted by Katherine)