Oops! I'm not good with birthdays. I get anxious about my own every year. Perhaps it is because I had only one birthday party as a child, and somehow invitations got the dates wrong and everyone showed up when my parents and I were gone. That, at least, is the thinking of my Life Coach who talked a lot about "trauma." Maybe. But I don't think my parents grew up with big birthday parties in their lives. I don't think there was much celebrating at all. My mother doesn't have any childhood photos of herself. She said there was never a camera in the house. Consequently, she never thought much about taking my photograph when I was a child, either. Hereditary sins, I guess.
Yesterday was Tennessee's birthday. I had already given him a present, one of the big prints he wanted, but early last night a small group of gymroids met up at the Irish pub to celebrate. The four of us sat at a small table. When Tennessee showed up, he said, "nice shirt." It was one I had ordered from a company he had suggested. Then he looked down. "Let's see if you are wearing cargo shorts." WTF? I guess I will have to burn all those fuckers so that I am never tempted. But I wasn't. No, ma'am, no sir. I was wearing a new pair of linen shorts cut just above the knee, not too baggy, not too tight. But I didn't get a chance to crow as the last of our party was just showing up.
Banter. Always banter. After awhile, though, one of Tennessee's buddies happened to walk in and was invited to join us. And then another. Now our table was too small so we moved, and as we did, yet another friend of Tennessee's walked in the door. I was now the only hippie sitting with the Billionaire Boy's Club. The last fellow to show up was a buck of 39, a known bad boy from a family who owns a very popular national restaurant chain. Slim, handsome, and confident, if not cocky, he garnered attention with his picaresque tales of. . . not quite romance. He is a well-known "swordsman." He is engaged, but the table was talking the over/under on his marriage. I am such a wank, I don't know a thing about betting and was trying to figure out what was "over" and what was "under." I am not part of this world though I've brushed shoulders with it for a very long time. Still, it makes me uneasy the way not doing your homework makes you hope the teacher does not call on you in a math class. I mean, what could be my defense against their jibes--throwing back smart literary quotes?
But I am quick witted and can jab and parry, and so it went. Two Black and Tans, several orders of fried Reuben rolls, and plates of bbq chicken wings later, and I was back home. The sun was just setting.
I hadn't taken my phone into the bar, so when I got home, I checked my messages. Just then, the phone messaged me that it was Q's birthday. WTF? Had I put this in my phone at some point? Maybe. I keep thinking I should do that for the people I know. Quickly, I texted Q.
"Is it your birthday?"
I felt terribly. I felt guilty. What could I do. I sent him happy birthday wishes and dumb electronic birthday cards. I sent him his horoscope for the day. But he was off celebrating, I reckoned, and I didn't hear back. I sent a final message.
"Today is my Tennessee buddy’s b’day, too. I gave him a big nude print. Want one? Boy or girl?"
Yeah, I know, but I had been out with smart ass republican brohemes and was still thinking like a decadent party boy.
Then another message popped up on my phone saying that it was C.C.'s birthday today. WTF? Really? I texted him. In a bit he wrote back and said no, his birthday was in November. O.K. So now I was wondering if it truly was Q's birthday. Did he just reply "Yes" sardonically?
I have no idea. I'm going to have to begin putting friends birthdates in my calendar.
I got in trouble a long time ago for saying my girlfriend's birthday was a day before or after the actual date. I think she hated me after that. She did at the moment, I know. I believe that was the beginning of the end of the relationship, though. My old, dead, ex-friend Brando always said that a woman's birthday was more important to her than Christmas. I guess he was right on this one. But I have to say I was goddamned proud to even be close. Hell, my own mother never remembers which date my birthday falls on. She gets in the general vicinity. Again, maybe it is an inherited trait.
When I was foreman at the factory, I hated going to work on my birthday because I knew there would be "a thing." Sometimes I would take the day off, but when I next came in, there was "the thing." So I decided that we would put everyone in my department's birthday on the department e-calendar so that we'd all know it was coming up and I would buy a cake and we would all sing songs and celebrate. Cool idea, right? Ho! Two people complained to HR and I was told to take their birthday's down. When I called IT to see how to do it, they told me it was not possible, that the best we could do was put "Cancelled" on the meeting date. So that is what we did. When their birthday's came up, it said "Cancelled."
I'm telling you, birthdays and I are not friends. I hate them.
So. . . Happy Birthday, Q. . . I think. Maybe.
I imagine somehow somewhere in all of this I have pissed him off. Get in line, buddy. . . right behind my old girl. This is something, apparently, that I am really good at.