I know that not everyone is as birthday centric as I am. Some like a small, mature dinner party, a few friends and a torte. Some will only accept a meager acknowledgement and a stale cupcake. Some lie to their posse and say it’s next month. And some pretend it never happened so the numbers don’t go up.
Not me. I live for my birthday. I embrace it and slather it with frosting and expensive anti-aging creams and then hug it out for at least five days. Strangers are accosted by my birthday announcements everywhere I go and neighbors know it is coming weeks in advance.
Now, with the advent of Facebook I can now bath in the quick, one-line wishes of friends far and wide and feel special while sitting in dirty sweatpants. This only fuels my egotistical nature and makes me want to blow Mark Zuckerberg like the lucky 21st birthday candle on my 20th birthday cake.
My husband and my son both know that birthdays have always been and will always be a big shit deal in my house. Whoever’s birthday it may be will have no duties to perform, no food to make, no mess to clean up and a crazy tasty cake to consume before the actual day is done. When the kiddo is asleep there will be a dinner out and/or drinks consumed or a movie viewed or a dance danced.
This morning, instead of sleeping in, I awoke very early and made Otto’s breakfast and put his lunch and snack bags together and then had a yogurt and read trashy celebrity gossip sites in my bathrobe. It was perfection.
Then a hung hard with my two teammates, went on a perfect, L.A. blue-sky hike with Dave and visited Brody’s rock grave at Runyon Canyon, which I kissed and talked to like a crazy lady who lives in the Ralph’s parking lot. I smooch that rock every time we visit, even though it is, no doubt, crusted with dried urine and coated with turd balls from ever mutt imaginable. I do not care. It is Brody’s last resting place. Besides, I may have kissed him once after he ate his own feces. Still not sure…
Moving on. Dave I then drove to our favorite thrift shop, a raggedy store front on a now hipster street filled with dusty dead people casual wear and terrifying throw pillows from the scene of the crime. We were feeling the love and looking around for something cool. After guffawing at the sales lady when she tried to tell me a broken ivory bracelet better suited for KMART catalogue sale was priced at $165, I knew my birthday luck was teetering on the precipice.
And then, my cool-ass, super fly husband, a man with exquisite taste and an eye for the rad and rotten, spotted a funky framed lithograph on the wall next to a cigarette stained Keane knock-off and a horrifying watercolor of a train to nowhere painted by an angry someone using only institutional gray paint and blood.
He pulled the litho off the wall, blew off the layer of mothball powder and mouse droppings and held it up for my birthday gift approval. Other than the film of filth and the nose hair collection collecting the nooks and crannies of the frame I thought it was cool hand Luke and a to-go order of awesome. He went over the disillusioned sales gal who earlier, had tried to sell me the dead elephant tusk for the same price as a three-month gym membership and asked her if she’d go down in price. Without batting a used, fake eyelash she giggled, “Yes!” and we got out of there for $40 and a coating of gross.
When we got home, Dave, of course, felt my present was “special” and Googled the litho, discovering that my new/old $35, 1960 Ben Shahn litho was, in fact, a $300-$400 treasure unframed. But, in its original frame, that we staring at, the total came out to around $500, give or take a buck.
It is now late afternoon and I can say this birthday is rocking the roadhouse. I just had a Mani Pedi and a girl’s lunch with one of my best pal-people ever, my boys are on their way home to help me eat a box of chocolate birthday cupcakes and I got to write a few paragraphs for this here f-bomb parking lot, a gift that keeps on giving in comments and grunts. I am staring at our newest family member, a court jester type fellow writing his own name in ink and clearly enjoying himself. He is my kind of Cohen.
So, the killer birthday marches on. Later tonight, after a shower, a shellacking and our shaman sitter Pickle, my man from La Mancha will take me out for an intimate dinner, drinks and revelry for two and every empty chair in the place will know that I just turned one year older and three times louder.