A Birthday Tradition

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Jennifer Bell had just finished a leisurely Saturday breakfast when she heard the ding on her phone. And honestly, she hadn’t thought much about the fact that she was turning thirty in a few days until that text message arrived.

“Hi Jennie, big day coming soon.”

Even if Madison’s name hadn’t popped up with the message, she would have known immediately who it was – only one person other than her mother still addressed her as Jennie. At work, she insisted that people call her Jennifer or Jenn, which sounded more professional and serious to her. But she knew it was pointless to try to get her friend to change; somehow Madison always got her way.

And truthfully, there was something sweet about having someone who addressed you in a special way. After all Madison was her closest friend in college and the two had remained in touch ever since. They had pledged to the same sorority, roomed together for the rest of their college years, and even shared an apartment for the first two years after graduation. No one knew her as well as Madison – perhaps, Jennifer thought at times, maybe a little too well.

“That’s right. The big 3-0. And don’t forget you’re not far behind,” Jenn texted back.

“Always good with numbers aren’t you,” came the reply, which was a standing joke between the two of them. Jennifer was a math whiz and after graduating had gone on to work in corporate finance. Madison was the more athletic type, playing both tennis and volleyball in school. She had initially planned to work in public relations but instead settled into a successful career in sales, most recently working as a commercial real estate agent.

“Guess what? I’m traveling for work next week to scout out some properties near you. So I’ll be in town for your birthday. Got a long day planned on Friday but I should be free by 8:00. Let’s get together and celebrate.” There was a break in the text, followed by another message, “If you’re free.”

“Of course I’m free. Not much going on here,” Jenn replied followed by a frowning emoji.

“So it will be like old times, just the two of us,” came the reply with a big smiley face. “Perfect time to revive some birthday traditions.”

Jenn knew exactly what she meant and could almost feel her face redden with the memory. Madison really did know her too well.

“Think I outgrew that when I was 9 or 10,” she texted back.

“Oh no you didn’t,” came the reply with a devil emoji.

And no more needed to be said. Jennifer knew that at some point next Friday she was going to have submit to a birthday spanking.

“30 is an awful lot,” she texted back.

A smiley face with a tongue sticking out was the immediate answer.

“Best friends are the people who will always be there for you especially when you’re in trouble,” Jennifer thought as she ended the text and got herself another cup of coffee. “But sometimes they’re also the people who get you into trouble in the first place.”


The upcoming days promised to be exceptionally busy at work, with quarterly reports due at the end of the week. And Jennifer liked to have her work on them done by Thursday, which gave her all of Friday to complete the last minute additions and changes that would inevitably be requested by the head of her office, Ron Sunderland, before they were submitted to New York.

But this week the work would be a welcomed distraction. She had spent a large part of the weekend thinking about Madison’s visit. Of course she would be thrilled to see her, but she was unsure exactly what they would do to fill the time. Jennifer didn’t often have visitors, and at work she was a bit of a loner, always quiet and aloof. Even in her high school years, as it became clear that she was maturing into an intelligent and very attractive young woman, she had found it easier to focus on her studies and avoid the confusing world of social interactions and the sometimes overwhelming emotions of teenage lust.

Boys alternately teased her about her brains or aggressively pursued her because of her good looks. And on both counts, she was her own worst enemy. She never suffered fools gladly, so the catcalls and inappropriate comments were always met with withering stares and cutting replies. And there were plenty of occasions for the attention – her naturally blond hair and pale complexion, well endowed figure, and firm but ample butt were the envy of many of the girls in her class as well as the subject of the fantasies of most of the boys. But to her it was chiefly an annoyance.

Happily, sorority life at college had provided her with both a structure and a set of natural defenses during her time on campus. And Madison had quickly become her closest friend, someone who could help her navigate all of the social situations at school. From the start, Jennifer had learned to defer to Madison’s decisions and wishes, to the point where many of their sorority sisters speculated about the exact nature of their relationship. “Jenn will do almost anything Madison tells her to,” was bursa escort the standard line, sometimes delivered with a knowing wink of the eye.

So, with the talk of reviving a birthday tradition, Jennifer knew that she’d have to submit to the childish prank of getting one spank for each year of your life. “Just like a naughty little girl,” she thought to herself as she ran through the columns on the spreadsheet in front of her. She almost blushed sitting there at her desk – it was so humiliating and embarrassing every time Madison insisted on doing that, but to be truthful there was a part of it that gave her a bit of a thrill.

Looking away from her computer screen, she was startled to see that Alexis, one of her co-workers in the customer relations department and her only close friend at work, was standing next to her desk, waiting to get her attention.

“Sorry, Lexie, didn’t see you at first.”

“Let me guess. Already working on the numbers for Friday, right?” she asked as Jennifer nodded her head.

“Yep. Lots to get through.”

“Hey,” Alexis continued, “Abby just reminded me that Friday is your birthday.”

“How does she know that?” Jennifer blurted out, but then immediately regretted the accusatory tone of her words. Abby was her assistant, who had started in that position about six months ago, and it was only logical that she would have access to some of her HR records, including her birth date. Jenn had already come to value the young woman as a highly competent worker with great potential and also as someone who seemed to have great people skills – in other words, just the type of person to pick up on that sort of detail and eager to do something that might please her boss.

She swallowed hard, as if she were trying to take back the words. “Sorry, that was a stupid thing to say. Of course she’d know, and I’m sure she was trying to be nice.”

Alexis chuckled, shaking her head at her friend’s predictable reaction.

“Which is why I told her I’d talk to you about it rather than having her ask you. We thought it would be fun to get a group of us together and go for a drink and maybe a quick bite to eat after work on Friday.” She hesitated just a second, then looked directly at Jennifer and asked, “That is, unless your friend Madison is coming for a visit and you’ll be tied up.”

Once again, Jennifer almost launched into a blunt accusation, something along the lines of “now how did you know about that,” before she realized Alexis was just teasing her. She obviously couldn’t know that Madison was going to be in town. In fact, the two women barely knew each other. They had met only once before, completely by accident. Jenn had gone to visit Madison for a few days and the two friends stopped for lunch at a sushi restaurant attached to a big convention hotel. And there, sitting at a nearby table, were Alexis and her husband, Dan.

Dan was attending an academic conference of some sort (he taught at the local college), and Alexis had decided to join him at the last minute so they could have a weekend away. Taking advantage of the chance meeting, the four of them had shared a quick lunch and then went on their separate ways. Jennifer recalled that back at their office the following week, Alexis had asked her lots of questions about her college friend, so it made sense that she might wonder if Madison would show up for her thirtieth birthday.

But still thinking about her friend’s threat to give her a celebratory spanking, Jennifer decided to lie about it.

“Uh, no, she isn’t going to be visiting. In fact, I have no real plans.” She hesitated, then added, “So yeah, that’s sounds nice. I’d love to go out after work on Friday.”

“Love to?” Alexis said with a teasing tone to her voice, having come to understand Jenn’s natural shyness and tendency to avoid groups.

“Well, like to, anyway,” she said, smiling as she acknowledged Alexis’s point. “And it really is kind of you and Abby to think of this.” And then, she added as an afterthought, “just not too big a group,” with a pleading look in her eyes.

“Oh no more than a hundred,” Alexis said with a big smile as she exited Jennifer’s office and walked back to her cubicle.


The text message that Alexis received on Thursday was brief and to the point.

“All set for tomorrow?”

“All set. We’ll have a champagne toast in the office when work is over, then we’ll head over to the restaurant at 6:00. I’ve asked them to set aside the semi-private area in the back that seats 12. And there’s even a good chance our boss will stop by at 7:30.”

“Perfect. I’ll get to the bar around 6:30 so you don’t see me on the way in. And remember, plenty to drink and not too much to eat,” followed by an emoji.

“Looking forward to it.”

“Our friend is too. She just doesn’t know it yet.”


Jennifer chose her outfit for work carefully on that Friday. After all it was a special day, her thirtieth birthday. And she’d probably end of going from the gathering bursa üniversiteli escort that Alexis and Abby were planning directly to dinner with Madison at 8:00, so she wanted to be dressed appropriately. She selected a black business suit, a reasonably sensible outfit with a single button jacket on top. The slim fit pants had seemed a little daring to her at the time she bought them, but the saleslady (a very pleasant older woman) had assured her that with her short frame and curves, the bit of spandex in the material would serve her well. Looser fitting pants could make her look heavier, and these pants would be appropriate both in the office and for a night out with friends.

She decided to pamper herself by wearing a pair of pale beige silk panties, low waisted but of course perfectly modest front and back. Her DD cup bra was a matching color, and she decided to ensure a professional appearance by selecting a plain white collared blouse, making sure that only the top button was left undone.

“Not bad for a 30-year old gal,” she thought as she surveyed her 120 pound, 5 foot 4 frame in the mirror. The overall effect was stylish yet still thoroughly respectably, and other than the tight pants, did little to reveal the 37-26-36 figure that lay hidden behind the very corporate looking business suit.

And she was glad she had dressed in a practical, comfortable outfit, since her day was filled with last minute meetings with Ron and the various department heads as they went over and revised the quarterly report. Yet, thanks to her hard work earlier in the week, all was finalized by 4:45 when they faxed the report to New York and emailed a pdf of the document as back-up.

“Great job, as always,” Ron said as he poked his head in her office. “And I hear it’s your birthday,” he added with a bit of smile. “Going out to celebrate with some of your friends?”

“I think that’s the plan,” Jennifer replied. “Alexis and Abby have been organizing something.”

“Well, that’s great,” he went on. “I’m heading out now with the some of the department heads for a drink before I meet up with my wife for dinner. You’re welcome to join the group if you have the time before the party.”

“Oh, thanks, but I really can’t,” she replied. In fact, every time the invitation had been extended in the past, she had found some reason to turn it down. So her boss was hardly surprised by the rejection.

“Well, maybe next time,” he said. “And who knows, I might bump into you and your friends bar hopping later tonight,” he added with a smile.

Exiting Jennifer’s office, he tracked down Alexis to deliver a brief message. “Thanks for telling me where you’ll all be tonight and for recommending the restaurant. I mentioned it to Kathleen last night, and she thought it sounded great.”

“Well, if it works out, it would be fantastic if you can make a brief appearance at the party tonight for Jennifer.”

“Kathy made the reservation for 7:30 as you suggested, so I suspect we just may see you all there,” he said with a wink before turning to join up with his group as they headed out for drinks.

Not long after, Jennifer noticed that her able assistant Abby was breaking out a pack of plastic cups and putting them on the conference table in the middle of the area outside her office. And then, just a little after 5, Alexis came out of the stairwell holding a couple of bottles of champagne that she had had on ice downstairs.

“Okay, gang,” Abby called out as she roamed from cubicle to cubicle, “time to get together for a toast to my boss for her birthday.”

Slowly people assembled around the table. Two of the IT guys, Ryan and Kyle, were the first to show up, followed shortly by Haley, who had only recently joined the HR department. As the group was gathering, Alexis appeared in the doorway of Jenn’s office.

“Okay, girlfriend, all ready for the big celebration?”

Chuckling quietly, Jennifer replied, “Not sure how big it’s going to be, but yes, I’m ready.”

“Oh come on now, don’t be such a party pooper,” her friend gently chided her.

Jenn quickly ran her hands through her hair, pushing the long blonde strands of hair off her face and back over her shoulders. “Don’t mind me, it’s just been a long week. I really am looking forward to this.”

“I hope so,” Alexis replied with just a slight note of hesitation. She seemed ready to say something, then stopped and bit her lip. Instead she walked up to Jennifer and gave her a big hug. “You know, your friends care very deeply about you, Jenn, so we’ve really tried to plan a special evening for you, something you’ll always remember.”

At first, it almost sounded like a warning to Jenn, but she quickly dismissed that. This time with her work colleagues was going to be relaxing. She was much more concerned with what Madison might have in mind when they met up later in the evening.

“So, let’s get the party started,” she said, breaking from Alexis’s embrace and grabbing karacabey escort her suit jacket from the hook on the back of her office door. “Mustn’t keep the crowd waiting!”

As she entered the conference room, Jennifer noticed that the other members of her finance team, Vanessa and Luis, had joined Ryan, Kyle, and Haley as Abby carefully poured out the first round of champagne. And by now, the rest of the office had pretty much emptied as people hurried home to start the weekend. So, they had the place almost entirely to themselves when Alexis raised her glass to propose a toast.

“Before we head out to the restaurant,” she said turning to Jennifer, “I want to salute a wonderful colleague, boss, and friend. We all know her as an incredible financial genius who helps us all look good. But in case you don’t know, there are many other sides to Jennifer, and we look forward to seeing them all tonight. Happy birthday!”

Everyone raised their glasses, with a few shouts of “hear, hear,” as Abby stepped forward to hand her a card.

Jenn took it, blushing slightly at all of the attention being paid to her, read it and chuckled good naturedly at the sentiment expressed in it. “Thank you all,” she began after having carefully read every signature and message scrawled on the card. “As you probably know, this is a significant birthday for me, so I’ve decided it’s a good time to be a little more open to things and you know, live life to its fullest. So for tonight, let’s pretend that I’m not your boss or co-worker or whatever. You’re my friends, and I hope we can have a little fun.” And with that, she picked up her glass and took a large swallow of champagne.

The group signaled their approval by cheering loudly as Alexis nudged Abby in the side, encouraging her to refill Jennifer’s glass. “Keep an eye on that,” she whispered to the younger woman. “After all, there’s a long night ahead.”

Shortly after six, the group gathered up their bags, backpacks, and purses and headed for the door. It was a short three-block walk to the nearby hotel where the restaurant was located, and the outside temperature had cooled to a pleasant 60 degrees.

Jennifer had unwittingly consumed about three glasses of champagne, and as she stepped out into the night air, she could feel the alcohol catching up with her all at once. Her cheeks were flushed, and she made a mental note to pace herself better when they got to the restaurant. “Otherwise,” she thought to herself with a silent giggle, “I may not even make it to dinner with Madison.”

Alexis led them to the entrance on the street corner, going directly into the restaurant and avoiding the hotel lobby altogether. Abby checked in with the hostess at the door, and they were quickly escorted past the bar, through the main dining room to a smaller room at the end of the establishment. While not entirely shut off from the rest of the restaurant, it did isolate them somewhat, keeping them out of sight of the other tables and helping to ensure that customers dining in the main room wouldn’t be bothered by the birthday celebration.

The first round of appetizers, all pre-ordered by Abby, arrived along with a waiter, who took their drink orders. Alexis tried unsuccessfully to suggest a number of specialty cocktails, to Jennifer, all of which she politely declined.

“At least have a glass of wine,” Alexis pleaded. “After all, it’s your special night.”

“Okay,” her friend conceded good-naturedly. “How about a pinot grigio?”

“Very good,” the waiter said, scribbling a few words on his pad and stepping along to the two guys from IT and Haley just as she was introducing them to her boyfriend Cody, who had just arrived.

By force of habit, Jennifer had placed her cell phone in her suit jacket pocket, keeping it close at hand in case work beckoned. As the waiter returned with her wine, she felt the device vibrating, so she signaled to the guy to hold on for just a second while she checked the message.

“Just arrived in town. Can we get together now?”

She realized that what she should do is tell Madison where the group had gathered and invite her to join them. After all, Alexis’s husband had just shown up, and her friend had already met them once before. But a moment of panic seized her – what if Madison started talking about their birthday tradition. She knew her friend only too well, and it was entirely possible – in fact, almost a certainty – that she would find a way to introduce the topic into conversation in way that would totally embarrass Jennifer.

“Busy with a few last minute work details,” she texted back after a moment’s delay. “Let’s stick to the plan to meet at 8:00. My apartment?”

“You know you can’t escape this,” came the response, with no need to explain what “this” meant. “See you real soon,” which Jennifer hoped meant they were on for 8:00 at her apartment. But with Madison, you could never be sure.

The gathering was actually turning out to be fun. The IT guys were still talking in a corner by themselves, but Abby had just introduced her to her boyfriend, Nate, who turned out to be a really nice guy. He seemed pleased to meet her and quickly volunteered how much Abby had told him about her. “She said you are so smart that no one ever dares to disagree with you,” he said with Abby glaring at him.

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