Today I turn thirty-five, so I would like to officially announce my candidacy for President of The United States! Just kidding. I actually have much simpler aspirations for my first day as a thirty-five year old – to take it easy, eat some good food, and maybe catch a movie. No matter what happens, however, it is sure to be better than my eleventh.
That year on my birthday I invited some kids from my class to go see a Golden State Warriors basketball game. First, however, we met at my house to eat pizza and open presents. The presents were pretty lackluster except for one – a thirty dollar gift certificate to Toys R’ Us that this kid, Greenberg, gave me. Hot damn, I thought! Thirty bucks to buy whatever I wanted! I could not wait to make the trip to the toy store the next day.
Except I didn’t get to.
When I got home from the game that night I opened the card from Greenberg to find that the gift certificate was gone! I searched everywhere for it – I even dug through our pizza crust crammed trash – but sadly the certificate was nowhere to be found. I felt terrible. Not only because I wouldn’t get to go on a shopping spree, but also because I didn’t know what I was going to tell poor Greenberg when he asked me what I bought with the certificate.
For years I was haunted by my bonehead loss of the gift certificate – until last year when my dad pulled out some family videos. My Dad and I, along with my sister, Monica, watched these videos for a good hour or two until footage from my eleventh birthday appeared. I cringed as my eleven-year-old self opened the card from Greenberg, then looked out the window, unable to watch.
“Woah!” Monica suddenly yelled. “Did you see that?” She rewound the video and hit play.
“Here,” she said as she pointed to Greenberg in the corner of the screen. “Watch this kid!”
I watched Greenberg as my sister instructed, and what I saw blew my mind. Greenberg, after my eleven-year-old self had moved on to the next gift, subtly opened the card he gave me, pulled out the gift certificate, and pocketed it!
“That little bastard!” Monica said, laughing hysterically. “We caught him red handed!”
Talk about solving a cold case. The crazy thing is I had watched that video at least a dozen times previously but had never noticed the crime. In any event, today I take solace in knowing it wasn’t my fault…but Greenberg, if you’re reading this, I want my damn gift certificate back – with interest!
emily bilbrey says:
that is SO messed up! but kind of amazing! hahaha! mystery solved after all those years, eh? what a little shit, that kid was! ;D
happiest of birthdays to ye, beautiful mama! hope it’s a delightful one!
wow! i love the fact that there is video evidence. Very CSI.
Happy Birthday Mike!! enjoy today- and eat lots of yummy food!
Jenny Grace says:
Happy Birthday Heather! (See you Friday)
Oh no way…NO WAY!!!!
That little twerp!
You need to FB search that guy, find him, and CALL him on it! Seriously.
On another note:
Happy birthday, Mike! And oh my gosh, is that hilarious! I love that you caught it on tape. I was fully expecting you to say that another boy had taken it…not the freaking one that had given it to you. Too funny, although not when you’re 11, I’m sure. Condolences to 11 year-old Mike, and kudos to 35 year-old one for solving the mystery. I guess the kudos go to Monica, huh?
That is so WRONG! LOL At least you got to clear your conscience, right?
On a happier note, you share a birthday with my daughter! Yay! Great day for a birthday!
Wow that was crazy what a little brat if want my gift back plus intrest too. Maybe we should Google him and find his 35 year old self and get you gift card haha. Anyway, I hope you have an amazing birthday!
Greenberg=what a butthead!!
Cough, cough, ahem….Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Miiiiike, Happy Birthday toooo youuuu!
Carrie P. says:
That little thief! What he did is wrong on so many levels! Was he a good friend of yours? I hope his guilty conscience keeps him up at night.
Anyhoo, on a brighter note… Happy birthday, Mike!! I hope you have a fun-filled day!
Happy Birthday Mike!
Happy Birthday, Mike! Enjoy your 35th year.
In this economy? The GC is worth probably $20 now. LOL. Kidding.
Happy Birthday, Mike!
Happy Birthday Mike! And man, what a great story…
first of all, OF COURSE his name is something like Greenberg,
and–weren’t his parents suspicious when he suddenly had a $30 Toys R Us gift card?
Uhhh, no comment on the Greenberg comment. Oh, I guess this is a comment.
Mike, you are the best! Way to go.
I’m not appreciating that “Greenberg” comment Amber, and what it implies. **Shakes head, disgusted**
What that kid did was pretty messed up though, and hopefully karma caught up with him. I hope he’s a better man now, than he was a child.
On a happier note, Happy Birthday Mike!! I hope it marks the beginning of a really wonderful year for you!
I love reading your posts- Happy Birthday!
but what’s with the Greenberg comment? I’d love to hear the explanation for that.
I had a similar thing happen at my daughter’s 7th birthday two weeks ago! While we were building our bears (at Build A Bear), some strange kid was going through her freakin’ presents! Behind the store counter! WTF!
Mary Ann says:
Happy Birthday Mike! That Greenberg kid sounds like a real jerk, I hope Heather takes you to Toys R Us today!
Whoa! That is awesome! You should track him down and show him just for the giggles.
Happy birthday Mike!
Mike for President!
that made me laugh out loud! hahaha…Happy Birthday!
When I was 11 some punk stole my rice krispie treat out of my lunch for an entire week at vbs. Grrrrr….I still fume about it. I’m glad you solved the great gift card mystery though…nice work and happy birthday, mike!
Today is my 35th too! Happy Birthday stranger!
Cathy K. says:
THAT DUMB ASS!!! What does he do now.. ROB BANKS!?!?!
HAPPY BIRTHDAY MIKE,
WISHING YOU A YEAR FILLED WITH LOVE, HAPPINESS, LAUGHTER AND GIFT CERTIFICATS TO TOYS R US!!!
Your Canadian Friend,
seriously. i was going to suggest that greenberg is probably doing time for burglary or something like that.
Happy Birthday, Mike!! Hopefully no one steals your presents this year
What I slimy creep. I hope he reads this.
Happy Birthday Mike!
Hope you have a relaxing, stress free day. I think as adults, that’s what we really all wish for. Well that and a pony.
Happy birthday Mike!!
Here’s hoping that sleezy little Greenberg got a nice dose Karma for his stunt! LOL
Wow, something like that happened to me a few years ago! My parents gave me a gift card and it just vanished. I searched the garbage and everything. And here I thought they loved me!
Happy Birthday Mike! Let me know how 35 treats ya, because I have just over a month before mine
And btw, you totally share a birthday with my mom!
Michelle H. says:
That is hilarious!!! I also didn’t realize how close in age we are! I turn 35 on Jan 7th… Sigh… I’m not taking it well. I hope time slows down for the next few weeks.
Happy Birthday Mike!
Today is my 40th birthday….I’m not sure how that happened I was just 20 a few years ago…yikes
HAHAHAHA!!!! What a great story!! You just can’t make this stuff up!!!
Allison Muhlbauer says:
That is a great story!!!
Happy 35th Mike!!
domestic extraordinaire says:
Happy Belated Birthday Mike! That totally stinks!
That is hilarious! In a “big jerk” kind of way! That kid apparently had quite a pair of balls!
Anyway, Happy Birthday Mike! Hope today is a great start to a wonderful 35th year!
OMG, that little jerk! (I would like to call him something that starts with a “b” and ends with an “astard”, but I’m sure he grew up to be a perfectly nice person. Oh, who am I kidding, he’s probably still a hooligan!)
Happy birthday, Mike! Welcome to the 35+ age bracket!
Hopefully karma has already caught up with Greenberg, and he’s selling pencils on a street corner somewhere. :p
enjoy the 2nd half of your 30’s!! i’m well into the 2nd 1/2 of my 40’s and it’s way more fun! kind of like being in my 20’s again, LOL!
Happy Birthday! And what a crazy story!! I can totally believe that, though.
This story is hilarious. From now on, I will make sure I videotape ALL my kids bdays and the present opening activities.
if there’s video evidence, I definitely think you should post it on here for all to examine.
Happy Happy Happy BIRTHDAY!!! I hope you have a great day, no matter what you do!!
Although that story is hysterical I wonder the explanation he had to give to his mom on how he got the gift card?
amy d says:
Mike, that is hilarious! What a little dirt-bag to take back his own gift!!!!
OMG!!!!!! That’s awful.
Have a wonderful birthday, Mike! Enjoy your weekend, and I hope you got plenty of great ideas for Heather’s gift the other day.
I agree w/ the poster above about tracking the little brat down on Facebook!
Hope you have a wonderful birthday! Maybe Heather will get you a TRU gift certificate to celebrate.
Happy Birthday Mike! (well belated now cause I just read this today)
I hope you had an awesome day and that no one teefed your birthday presents this year. Thats hilarious that you figured that out to many years later. I hope you had an amazing day with your special ladies
just realized this is from todays post. duh. happy non belated birthday!
Happy Birthday Mike!
What a punk for stealing your gift card.
I say hunt him down!
I don’t think you could find him on facebook…I’m pretty sure they don’t have facebook in PRISON!
Happy, happy birthday, Mike! I hope you get tons of presents that are way more badass than a toys r us gift card!
Happy Birthday! Have a fantastic one and keep those cameras rolling just in case…
I wonder if there were any other of his friends that also happened to ‘lose’ their gift certificates. My suspicious mind says this was an ongoing scam. *g*
OMG what a little punk! The line about solving a cold case totally cracked me up. Maybe he’ll read this and send you a new one.
Happy Birthday!!! I hope you have an awesome day! Eat something yummy and enjoy your day. ?
Happy Birthday Heather, and Have a great day!!!
that is awesome, please tell me you found this kid on facebook? I say that 30 dollar gift certificate is worth at least 60, imagine what toys Annie could enjoy for 60 bucks??
Trisha Vargas says:
LA could probably use a good CSI like your sister.
Happy Birthday Mike!!
Bobbi Janay says:
Happy Birthday and wow.
Happy Birthday Mike! Hope it’s great! and WOW to the 11 yr old… hope his “sticky fingers kinda way” changed for the better!
Alexis V says:
About half way through you story I thought…hmm one of those little bastards probably stole it when you weren’t looking. I didn’t, however, think it was the gifter… no wonder he never asked you how you spent it.
Anyway.. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!
Amber – “OF COURSE his name is something like Greenberg”. Seriously??? Was that really necessary??!!!
Happy Birthday Mike.
Happy birthday Mike! What a crazy, hilarious story.
I vote for posting the video! Happy birthday, Mike from a long-time lurker.
My first thought was I wonder what his parents thought when he mysteriously showed up with $30 to Toys R Us, or the toys you could buy with that amount of $$… and “way back then” that was a lot of $$. I don’t gift that much for my kid’s friends bdays! My second thought was the parents probably didn’t question it or care, which is sad… Third thought was maybe the parents taught him to do it, which is even sadder! (We’ll put this awesome gift in a card so bday kid thinks we’re awesome, then take it back so we’re not out any $$.)
Then after I read all the comments on him being a burgler or thief now, I thought I wonder if he works as a cleaner for an airline and steals laptops or other personal belongings left behind on airplanes. Sorry to bring that up again but it’s still bugging me that the airline didn’t find Heather’s laptop!
All this long rambling & I’ll end with Happy Birthday!
CLASSIC! I truly hope Greenberg hears of this revelation and suddenly appears. preferably out of the blue on Twitter.
seriously, this is one of the best stories I’ve hear in, forever!
it just made my day. (I please easily)
there was suppose to be a HAPPY BIRTHDAY in that last comment, i swear.
Happy 35th sister. May it hold all you wish it to.
That is the best story! Happy Birthday. Hope no one steals your presents this year!
Happy birthday, Mike! And wow — what a turd that kid Greenberg was. lol
What a little punk! Reminds me of the know-it-all kid from the Polar Express movie!
The bright side of turning 35? You get to check the box that says 35-44 rather than the 24-35!
That sneaky little snipe!
Rumour Miller says:
Wow is right! That’s hilarious… if you have him on facebook, you need to upload that bad boy and tag him.
At least you got redemption!! Now, go find that kid and demand yor gift back
I have the worst personality in terms of righteous indignation and mine is up in arms over this story. Kids are mean though so it doesn’t surprise. Good to know you have nothing to feel guilty over anymore though!
And happy birthday Mike!!
Happy Birthday!!! Hope it’s a great one!!
MIKE! It’s MY 35th birthday today, too! My worst birthday was 1992-I had to make my own dinner (mac and cheese) and never got a card or cake from my parents. Who knows what happened (I’m sure I’m forgetting some illness that had my parents down, or something).
Great detective work. Happy Birthday!
Also? (and this may just be me, but) Don’t you hate how few celebrity December 9th birthdays there are? Donnie Osmond, John Malkovich and Kirk Douglas. Although, I just perused IMDB and there are more than I thought…
Angie M. says:
sorry, that was funny!
BUT i can only imagine how traumatizing it was to your 11 year old self!
Happy Birthday Mike !!
Happy birthday to you!
michele wallace says:
Hope you had a great Happy Birthday Heather and a wonderful year to come!! 35 aint so bad
That is so funny! Well at least now you know what happened to your certificate!! Happy Birthday Mike!
Happy Birthday Mike…and too funny about solving the mystery.
Oooh most happiest of birthdays a little bit late! I’m still older than you, but I can handle that. Hehehe. I love that story, I know some kids who would totally be like that.
Wow…what a story. Well I hope you had a wonderful 35th Birthday, with no stolen gifts!!!!!! Here’s to a great year!!!
OMG! That is one awesome story! We’ve all had those “Where the hell could it have gone?” moments, and I love that this mystery was solved. Caught on tape!
Happy belated birthday!
You know, I suspected that Greenberg from the beginning. He definitely owes you! Hope you had a wonderful birthday. 35 is not so bad, men just get more distinguished as they get older anyway.
Happy Belated Birthday Heather!!
I’m totally late on this post, but I did wish you all kinds of happiness on Twitter and Facebook and I saw you this weekend, so that totally makes up for it.
Anyways, WOW, 35?!?! You’re so OLD, this coming from a newly turned 32 year old.
It was good seeing you in Vegas, hope you had a great birthday!
Jeni Couassi says:
Thats so messed up but on a better note… HAPPY BIRTHDAY HEATHER!! You share a birthday with my 3 year old daughter as well as my sister-in-law!! Must be a day for smart people to be born!!! Happy birthday again!!
BTW sorry late on the post!
Dude, I totally missed this post. Happy belated Birthday!
(I once worked with a girl who was a bridesmaid who got caught on video taking the cards out of the brides bag, she was NOT 11)