Staggering to think my sixteenth birthday was twenty years ago. I was still living with my parents and sisters, and while my home was in Canada, it was on the other side of the country in Greenfield Park, Quebec. According to the Wikipedia article about the town, that little anglophone community is now conglomerated with the Town of Longueil.
I suddenly feel very old.
The most prominent memory that comes to mind is not any type of present I received. In fact, the memory I have may not have taken place on my birthday, but was rather closer to Halloween. The events are both in October, so it’s likely that we decided to combine the two. I distinctly remember the Garfield cake that my mom put together, and how I divvied it up very disproportionately, giving favour to my friends, and I got very little in the end. I also recall it was close to Halloween, because it was a church function, and I had decided to do a cosplay as a Starfleet officer.
At the time I had not heard of cosplay, but I did know about costuming. You would have to be a fool not to know that you dressed up in costumes on Halloween, but my idea was a bit different. Using pieces of my limited wardrobe, I assembled a costume consisting of black pants and a shirt with the same style as the Deep Space Nine uniforms, albeit the coloured swatch was grey instead of the typical red, blue, or gold. My mom wouldn’t let me near the sewing machine, yet I don’t think I would have had the time – never mind access to materials – in order to make the proper uniform, but I didn’t let that stop me. I pulled the Starfleet insignia display base from one of the action figures I had, stuck some masking tape on the back, and slapped in on my chest. I was rather proud of my original character.
Awards were not won, but people noticed what I did. Some gave me words of congratulations, others were a bit surprised. Oddly enough, I don’t remember what my family thought of my invention. I’m not sure if I would have paid it any mind, but if I had my journal from the time, I might be able to tell truth from fiction.
Before I made this post, I tried to find a written account of the evening. I did find some written records from ten years ago, but anything beyond that was fruitless.
At least I have this record now.