Friday, August 30, 2013

The ghost of birthdays past ...

In honor of my 38th birthday, I've compiled snippets of birthday posts from birthdays past. Some of these are from these here pages; Other are from the far naughtier blog I maintained -- then shuttered in the early and mid-aughts. (You'll know these from the lack of capitalized letters). 

This year I plan to sit on my couch with one breast dangling into the mouth of an infant, the other in a bowl of popcorn while I marathon, oh, I don't know, maybe Melrose Place. 

Every birthday for the past few years I've wondered what the future held. If, for instance, in the next 12 months, I would find myself with child. 

So here we are. I've nothing left to wonder. 

2005: 30th Birthday in St. Paul
i get the feeling that these last days of 29-hood will be spent readjusting to sobriety. my body seems to be under the impression that alcohol is an actual body part vital to my central nervous system. i wish i could liken the drink to my pinkie toe, but alcohol, you seem more like my spinal cord right now.

by the end of the night i'd been given a pointy hat and a noise-maker, which i repeatedly tooted at the bouncer as he tried to bounce us from the bar. he was being a little excessive in his desire for us to leave, and i casually mentioned that he should relax. i tooted the tooter.

he got a little more forceful. i told him i was going to write a letter to his boss. he told me he was going to have me thrown in detox. i laughed and lied and told him i wasn't even drunk. he kept saying "detox" and i kept tooting my horn. eventually he ripped it out of my mouth and threw it on the floor. i dove down and tried to put it back together. it made a sad groan when i tried to blow it again. the security guard led us from the building.


so, i guess if getting kicked out of a bar during your birthday party is a mark of success, i was wildly successful.



2006: 31st Birthday
"it's her birthday," jcrew informs the waitress. 

the "so what?" is understood in her sneer. 

"so how about some free stuff," i want to say. "how about a funny man in a red wig and size 19 red shoes chasing grimace? how about some hilarity, huh?"

jcrew and i decide to split an entree: 


"how about the gnocchi," i ask her. mispronouncing it noo-she.

she rolls her eyes, gives me a withering glace and says under her breath: "you mean no-key."

i proceed to say it incorrectly three more times and every time it triggers her snob nob. 


"how about you stop being condescending as a special birthday treat to me," i suggest. 

"i can't help it," she answers. 

it doesn't matter what its called, anyway. we both took four bites before considering a career in bulemia. i am so full that i qualify for a handicap parking spot. i've ballooned to the size of a township. my thighs are the mayor that my belly didn't vote for.

2007: 32nd Birthday at the Red Lion
hyperbole, my ass. i had the best birthday since the one where i came luging down the birth canal. i'm sitting here, swinging between "i love the '80s" and the food network, waiting for the wendy's dollar menu to alleviate the dull thud in my head, and wearing a stranger's jesus and mary chain t'shirt. this is absolute perfection.

we walked to coney island for lunch. it is a little early to make this bold of a statement, but i believe the chili-onion-cheese-slatered-hotdog may be my mouth's new super potato ole.

i received a bad touch from a stranger while standing near the stage. i forgave him the first time, when i assumed he touched my ass on accident. but when he literally stuck his hand up my skirt and grazed lower butt flesh, i understood that this was more than just a crowded-bar coincidence. unfortunately, i couldn't discern one pervy old dirtbag from another, so i didn't know who's eyeball to gouge at with my thumbs. i hope his probation officer is reading this.

on the other hand, this sort of bar anarchy came in handy when bubbles called. i tried to take the call on the deck, but the bouncer wouldn't let me take my beer outside. i ducked into the empty men's bathroom to chat. [here i have to ask, why all the lemons in the urinal, boys?] when i opened the door, chuck was standing outside and said my favorite sentence of the night: what are you doing in the men's bathroom?

2008: 33rd Birthday at Builder's Saloon
so i was only 45 minutes late for my birthday party -- which was a display of athleticism in itself. because at about 7 p.m., when i bumbled from bed still wretching and heaving and trying to make ammends with my spleen i was pretty sure that i'd not be able to sit upright long enough to get carted from duluth to superior, wisconsin.

some time around 3 p.m. i'd woken long enough to point to a shirt i wanted on the internet, and chuck found it for me at the gap. 

know what's gross? mich ultra light on a rancid stomach that is already stewing. i basically had to chew my beer to gag it down. 


2009: 34th Birthday at home

1. I read about Erik and Lyle Menendez, and the gruesome killing of their parents, then Google imaged them to see if they were cute. 
2. I chased that with a chapter of "Insomnia," a 700-plus page book I can't complain about reading because Chuck is reading "Infinite Jest," which weighs in at a cool thou. 
3. I woke after just 6 hours of sleep and pattered into the world, beaming like it was Christmas. Or, as I like to call it, Christamas.
4. I drank too much coffee. 
5. Chuck made me a cake.
6. Blow dried my hair.
7. Received a bouquet of carnations in the shape of a cupcake from Lil Latrell.
8. Got my drivers license renewed, Just. In. Time. Decided to be honest about my weight. (Well, at least in a suburb of honesty). 
9. Ate the Monday's Special from Subway, but almost had to ditch it in favor of bulimia when I saw a woman sitting at a table blowing her nose. Loudly. With obvious, gelatinous results. 
10. Received a Carmel-flavored iced something from Starbucks from JCrew. 
11. Immediately went Pixie Sticks crazy off the caffeine-sugar tag-team. 
12. Decided that every person should have a friend like Tuska, who can be on the receiving end of Bristol Stool Scale text messages that just don't translate well on Facebook or Twitter. 
13. Chuck woke up and took me out to dinner at Lake Avenue Cafe, where I did tongue laps around my plate until there wasn't any evidence of my falafel platter left.
14. Tonight: OJ Simpson and more "Insomnia."


2011: 36th Birthday at home
I haven't gone out wreckin' on my birthday for two years, but Chuck and I found another suitable way to damage our innards: The Dairy Queen Heath Bar Blizzard Ice Cream Cake. My slice was more like a slab. So delicious. I still wanted to barf. And it provided its own special variety of hangover.

So bummed that now I have to go back to it not being my birthday anymore. 

2012: 37th Birthday at Cloud Cult concert
I left Bayfield feeling like Cloud Cult looked when they poured their guts on that stage. It was such a great day and there was a big moon and this Katy Perry album. "What if every day of 37 feels like this?!" I thought, secretly convinced that it would.

Then I hit Superior Wisconsin at about 1:30 a.m. and got pulled over for speeding. The deputy asked if I'd been drinking and I panicked. I told him about the two beers I drank between 7:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. and the two pulls I'd taken from Fannie's Gin and Tonic during the show. I was just starting in on the nail polish remover I'd used at 5 p.m. when I realized that this was all very stupid. I obviously wasn't drunk and if I had been I wouldn't have been driving.

He asked me to step out of the car for a field sobriety test. I understand that when people say they had two beers five hours ago, they really mean that they had 12 beers an hour ago. I had to watch a red dot move from right to left, then up and down. I had to walk heel to toe for nine steps. I had to stand on one foot and count to 20 out loud. Then, because he said I seemed impaired, I had to take a breathalyzer.

This was all very humiliating, the thing a lot of people miss out on because they do this choreography when they're actually hammered instead of not at all hammered. But by then I was wondering if maybe I was drunk and just didn't know it. I don't process booze well. The smell seeps out of my body on impact and then lingers.

"Have you ever done one of these before?" the cop asked as he booted up the breathalyzer.
"Yes," I said, immediately cursing the fact that the first thing to fall out of my mouth was, again, honesty.
This must have some sort of cliche dad-was-a-cop root.

The last time I took a breathalyzer I was drunk riding and I had to blow to see if I could take over driving duties Fannie, who wasn't drunk driving but also wasn't 100 percent sober. I remember watching the number on the alcohol-o-meter rise to .17, rooting it along because I didn't really know what any of it meant. The policeman gave me a disgusted look: "You can't sub in for the driver, you clown, you're worse than her."

Last night  I peeked over to see the number on the reader.
"What is it?" I asked.
"0.00," he said.
Obviously.


I still got the speeding ticket -- though it was a reduced ticket. He said it was a birthday gift, but I hope it's because he felt like a dick for making me compete in the sidewalk Olympics. 


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