Saturday, May 12, 2007
Haven't Done One Of These In Awhile
John Scalzi's Weekend Assignment #165: You've had your share of birthdays by now. Relate one or two that stick out in your mind. Could be a happy birthday, or an important birthday, or a birthday when something interesting but unrelated happened. Any interesting birthday works.
Extra Credit: What birthday are you looking forward to? Numerically, I mean.
NOTE: If you want to play -- click on BY THE WAY in my Other Journals.
Let me do this backwards, Extra Credit first. Since I turned 63 last October *COUGH COUGH CHOKE* I'm not looking forward to future birthdays of any numerical persuasion, except as proof that I'm still around.
So let's take a trip down memory lane to find a birthday I looked forward to. The only one I can remember anticipating was my 22nd. For a very strange reason.
When I was little, around six or seven, I went to a school fair in a gym for a fundraiser. There was the usual stuff you find at those things -- food stands, bean bag tosses, stuffed animal prizes, and a high school or college kid dressed as a fortune teller. For some reason I wasted a ticket having my fortune told. What was I thinking?
He must have been off his medication, because he got all hung up on predicting when I was going to die. My mother was walking around with my little brother and sister, so she couldn't point out that his predictions were for entertainment purposes only.
Being at an impressionable age, I naturally assumed that what he told me would be the truth. The whole truth. And nothing but the truth. Needless to say I was disappointed to hear that I was going to croak at 21, At 6 or 7, that birthday was still a long way away, relatively speaking. Plus when you're little, time passes in dog years. Regardless, I spent my childhood and teen years waiting to die at 21. Not every day. Not all the time. But the thought hung around like a dead elephant in the room.
So it wasn't until I survived to 22 that I finally got on with my life. Hey, what do you know, that pimply-faced nimrod was mistaken.
Now for a birthday that stands out. For good or evil.
My 16th and 18th were surprise parties. The only thing I remember is being surprised. My 23rd birthday was a month after my mother died, but somebody brought a new game to play -- TWISTER. My 30th birthday was a disappointment because nobody took my picture even though I whined and whined. My 45th was the last time I had dark curly hair and fake nails.
I share a birthday with Ivanka Trump and a couple of guys I dated in high school. Our dads were probably on leave at the same time during WWII. I still hear from one of them on OUR b-day.
One of my best girlfriends has a birthday just two days after mine. I wouldn't want people to think she's holding up better than I am, but somebody once asked if she was my daughter.
Another friend has a birthday two days before mine. So I'm often on the east or west coast to be with one of them.
Many of the other birthdays I've celebrated -- with a couple of notable exceptions, which modesty and the fifth amendment prevent me from revealing -- have been at a Halloween party somewhere, a result of my natal moment occurring around Pumpkin Day.
A guy I was dating showed up at one of those Halloween soirees in a head to toe pig costume, complete with pink tights. Except he wasn't wearing any shorts under his tights and everyone on the dance floor, including me, got a eyeful when he was sitting, well, like guys tend to sit. I don't remember much about the rest of the party.
Somewhere around here I have pictures from my 47th. I invited a bunch of friends and family to my favorite Italian restaurant for dinner, although I think it was actually a Sicilian eatery.. The owner, Giorgio, hired waiters who sang opera so occasionally they'd break into song, which I loved. I also love pasta. And tiramisu was the hot new dessert. On my 47th, I was in a happy place.
One of my guests brought silly noses and glasses to wear. Wisely, he decided against the fake poop and plastic vomit.
My recently deceased friend Greg brought me a toilet seat, along with a bunch of other really stupid and therefore perfect selections retrieved from the depths of one of his packed storage lockers.
There is a fine line between hoarding old crap and collecting antiques. Greg's wife didn't care as long as it was all off campus and not in their basement. The good news was that he had a really cheesy bust of Elvis that I took to a party for a friend who shared a birthday with The King. I always wanted to buy it, but Greg thought it was valuable so we never agreed on a price. The bad news was that for a long time it seemed like he'd never do anything with all the broken frames, old politcal posters, ugly lamps, and other detritus he'd acquired. Except save them. Then along came eBay.
Anyway, back to my 47th birthday party . There were about fifteen of us at the table, so I got a nice bunch of gifts, but that toilet seat is the only present I remember. I really should find those party photos. For now, you'll just have to settle for a word picture. There's a particularly fetching pose of me wearing the seat around my neck if I'm not mistaken. And several shots of me with a very attractive banana nose. Yep, that was a good birthday.
You would think I'd love birthdays more than I do, or at least remember them better, since they are all about ME ME ME ME ME.
Hmmm, I suddenly have a taste for some chocolate cake with raspberry filling and buttercream icing with roses, topped with a scoop of Oreo cookie ice cream.