Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Birthday parties are for assholes, not dickheads.

Let me begin by saying I am sometimes an asshole. Never a dickhead, but an asshole, sometimes.
Dickhead=top. Asshole=bottom. I'm a bottom.

Let me continue by saying that only a dickhead wants to party like an asshole, but an asshole is the only one who can enjoy their own birthday party.

Dickheads throw frat keggers. They have sweet 16s at nightclubs intdended for salty 21 year olds. When they were 18, their parents rented a penthouse for graduation. They wear tiaras covered in tiny plastic dicks to their bachelorette parties, because they're dickheads. They invite DJs from London to celebrate objects because the British are dickheads. They get married on yachts they don't own. They coined the French acronym "rsvp."

Assholes host "marathons" for shitty TV shows. They celebrate adult birthday parties at Chuck E. Cheese's. When they were 8, their parents made them spin around blindfolded swinging aluminum bats at pinatas and identically shaped children who were rapturously following the papier mache effigy, waiting for it to explode into cheap candy. Assholes hire karaoke DJs because assholes like to sing out loud. They get married in houses they own. They coined the American acronym "BYOB."

Another wholly anonymous breed of person chooses never to throw parties. I guess that person doesn't fit in the dick-butt dichotomy. Maybe they're pussies or twats. More on that later.

I've never felt badly about throwing my own birthday parties. If there was ever a day one was allowed to revel in their self, to be totally self-absorbed, I think it's the anniversary of my birth. But, and with full psychoanalytic disclosure, I admit that having birthday parties as an adult has everything to do with having been denied birthday parties as a child. You see, my dad was a twat. Big time. No birthday parties. No Christmas presents. When the phone rang, he'd pick up the receiver and drop it back on the phone. One time he told me he'd take me to a friend's house to hang out, and instead drove me with him to work. Said later that he wanted to use the carpool lane during rush hour later. He was a real winner.

My parents were separating/divorcing as I turned 16. It was a tough time, not because I wanted my parents to stay together but because my mom was so fucking miserable contemplating how she'd fare as a single mother. Note: after a couple years in a one bedroom apartment and no car, she bootstrapped herself into the family business and sent me off to college. By all counts I think she did swell.

Meanwhile back at sweet sixteen... I was so bitter at all the kids with their quincenieras and adult-mimicry that by the time my birthday reared around I was hell bent on out-enjoying myself by spending the evening after a field show competition, with my loyal marching band mates, at Denny's eating beef barley vegetable soup and french fries. Just as we'd do after all our competitions.

That night, one by one, each of my friends defected. "Sorry man, I gotta go home tonight." "Hey, maybe next week we can go to Burger King. I'll buy you a Whopper." "Oh man, it's your birthday? Sorry, I can't hang. I'm gonna see Jennifer." I was so dejected and sad. I really thought long and hard about the meaning of friendship and life concluding only that I may as well resign to being a twat, just like my dad. Fuck parties. Fuck celebration.

Mike Martinez offered to drive me home that night, on his way to pick up a girl. He just needed to stop by his house to change clothes. And I'll never forget these details, because my truly, sincerely, epically bummed-out depressed ass was like an etch-board to the world. Not even Mike, my asshole best friend, was going to let me third wheel for the sake of my own self.

We got out of his car and headed toward the house when Bruce Watanabe happened to drive by in his rice rocket and said "hey, is this where Anne's party's at?" Mike gave him a clear zipper across the mouth gesture, eyes wide open. I looked in shock at Bruce, who said "oh hey. I guess it's already started. Happy birthday!"

Mike walked into the house ahead of me and screamed "Bruce fucked it all up!" and I heard the loudest collective moan ever. When I got into the house I saw dozens of friends' faces, and my mom in the back laughing hysterically. I hadn't seen her laugh in years.

Mike explained to me that my mom had been organizing this surprise birthday party for me with him for weeks. I don't know how else to depict the joy I experienced on that night, except to say that I vowed never not to have a birthday party after that. I guess that doesn't make me so much an asshole as a sucker, but depending on who you ask, it might be the same difference.


Michelle said...

This just made me so happy. I'm happy I got to spend your birthday with you last year, and that you got to spend yours with me. You did have to cook your own birthday dinner though. One day, I'll cook you one - and it'll probably have just as much dirt and animal hair in it.

St. Paco said...

GREAT post.