Another year, another birthday. Funny how that works.

Today I found myself reminiscing about the sweetest—and yet utterly failed—gift I ever received:

My girlfriend at the time prepared me a variety of banana desserts, which she knew were my favorite. I’m not sure what happened, but each and every one was literally inedible. She felt awful, but I appreciated the earnest effort and, through our mutual embarrassment, we laughed about it for hours, eating fresh bananas and drinking chocolate syrup from the bottle.

While I didn’t receive anything special from anyone special on my special day this year, I wanted to hear from people who did. I asked, “What is the most romantic thing someone has done for you on your birthday?”

Read on and take notes:

kassoy bday

Me on my first birthday. The reason I’m not smiling? No bananas in that cake.


A boyfriend once bought me an N64 on eBay. When I was a kid we didn’t have the money for video game consoles, so I grew up playing at my friends’ houses but never had my own. He knew this and made all my childhood dreams come true with a 90s throwback gift. I fought back tears at the kind, sentimental gesture, then proceeded to kick his butt in Super Smash Bros.


This year my boyfriend surprised me with a dinner from the Flying Biscuit—my favorite restaurant—which was a bit of a feat, considering the Flying B is in the ATL and we are all the way in ATX (Austin, Texas).

He told me to be ready at 8, and when I showed up at his apartment, there was a Flying Biscuit sign on the door and inside there was a spread of biscuits, white cheddar grits, and peach butter with fresh berries and flowers. He had ordered the Flying Biscuit cookbook and made my favorite foods. Needless to say, I was blown away and teared up (not uncommon) and was even more surprised when everything tasted like it came straight from Atlanta.


My seventh-grade girlfriend stole me some cologne from Rite-Aid!


At midnight on my birthday this year, right as the clock turned 12, I got a text from a guy I’d been spending time with.

He asked if I knew about the meteor shower that night. I told him I did, but I didn’t have anyone to watch it with. We met up at my apartment and walked into the park at 1 A.M., following trails to a big open field. We had our first kiss lying down under dozens of shooting stars.

It may not have been intentional, but it was the best birthday surprise! (And he’s now my boyfriend.)


My boyfriend bought a mini-notebook and wrote 100 reasons why I love you. Some were funny, some were serious. All were true.


My husband surprised me with a trip to Chicago, where we went to the Shedd Aquarium and saw The Taming of the Shrew at the Shakespeare Theater on Navy Pier.

The absolute BEST part of the trip was when we went to a local place for breakfast (a grab-and go type of place—about a step up from fast food but with much better options). While I grabbed a table, he went to get our food. When I turned around to wave him toward our table, I got a wonderful surprise: He had packed one little birthday candle and it was in my breakfast muffin. I cried. It’s the little things.


Last summer when I turned 24, my girlfriend gave me 24 birthday cards—one for each hour of the day.

Their content ranged from silly and nonsensical to serious and romantic, and everything in between. In at least one of them, she simply drew a cartoon; in others she wrote several paragraphs or even had to continue her thoughts on the next card when she ran out of space. Some of them made me laugh hysterically, others made me tear up a little bit.

Every one of them was meaningful and sincere, and it was clear she had put an incredible amount of time and thought into making them all special in some way. She gave me the first card at midnight and had labeled each envelope with a specific hour of the day so I could (theoretically) open one every hour on the hour for the entire day.

It was such a unique way to say happy birthday, and it effectively maximized the amount of time I spent feeling loved and important on my birthday by spreading it out across 24 hours.


Chris Rock tickets. I’m not sure how “romantic” it was, but I’m not someone who generally wants a lot of material things, so it went above and beyond in terms of finding a way to get me something I didn’t know I wanted, but it turns out I REALLY wanted.


On my last birthday, I woke up to find my boyfriend gone. I was really mad…until I opened the door and saw my apartment decorated with streamers and found a note on my door that turned out to be a clue.

What followed was a scavenger hunt around my neighborhood. Each stop had a new clue and a gift (I was sent to Starbucks and got a free coffee and breakfast with the next clue, the Apple Store and got an iTunes gift card with the next clue, the salon and got a mani-pedi with the next clue, the movie theater and got a gift card with the next clue, etc.). The last clue led me to the Imagine plaque in Central Park, where I found him with a bouquet of flowers.

It was a pretty fantastic birthday.

__What’s the most romantic thing someone’s done for you on your birthday? Or vice versa? __