Tuesday, March 06, 2007

Another year older and deeper in debt

Not exactly the birthday weekend I had planned.

I'm now 34 years of age. Mid-30s. Wow. Don't look it. Don't feel it. Don't act it. Need a nap, though.

The weekend started off with a rousing trip to Bravo Bravo for the monthly MeetinDC Happy Hour. I got to see some friends, and I got to cock-block this little bugger named Michael. He was hitting on some girls, so I decided to be a royal arse and tell them the story of how he was so intent on hitting on a very uninterested MiDC girl that he ignored everybody else, to the point of forgetting that he'd met me 5 times in 3 months. I should have told the ladies about how he only dates women with Master's Degrees - I wonder if TESST College has a graduate program.

The night turned quickly sour when Jeff took me to the Science Club. Couple of drinks later, and I was done for the night. Thank God John found me and was willing to take my suddenly-non-rockstar ass home. I also found out that somebody I had always rather liked was a bit of a bitch. Actually, a lot of a bitch. I'll chalk it up to her having a bad night, but I'm also not above thinking that "she's changed, man."

I passed out in John's car. They say tolerance is the first thing to go...great.

Saturday was a waste of a day. It was supposedly gorgeous. I have no idea. Maybe it was. I didn't leave the house until I got dinner at 8:30pm.

Sunday was a hoot. Mom and Uncle Larry wanted to take me out for my birthday, so we went bowling. Mom didn't reserve lanes, and she chose an alley that's 1/2 duckpin, 1/2 ten-pin. So, you know what that means?

KIDS! Everywhere! Sugared-out, screaming and kicking, and running with abandon.

And, here's what I don't get - you ever heard of a bowling alley that doesn't take credit cards? In 2007? Of course, mom forgot to hit the ATM beforehand, so...I had to pay for my birthday bowling.

Uncle Larry, not to be outdone, tells the waitress at the tacky suburban chain restaurant we went to apres-bowl that it was my birthday, and asked what treat I'd get.

Um...Larry. Let me apply this lesson with a Cluebrick.

I hate birthday singing in restaurants.

Despise it. Rank it up there with Nextel cell phones going off in Church and screaming, sugared-out kids in bowling alleys.

Fortunately, I was able to prevent the server from gathering the rest of her cult and singing Happy Birthday to me.

Is it just me? Do people actually go to wacky chain restaurants for the birthday singing? What do they think? "Nothing reasserts my status in the universe than having a group comprised of 19 year-old single moms too stupid to use birth control, 21-year-old college students worried about midterms, 16 year-old hostesses wearing slutty dresses that would make Lil' Kim blush and 17 year-old busboys who can't wait to become waiters to earn the "big bucks", all of whom secretly hate me, sing 'Happy Birthday' to me in a suburban strip mall painted to resemble a Gulf Coast beach because I'm too lazy to actually travel to a real Gulf Coast beach for the real thing and too lonely to have any real friends sing for me?"

It's about the best I can come up with...unless people who enjoy the singing are the same people who delight in camping out for the inevitable "American Idol All-Stars" tours because they really felt their phone calls made a difference whether or not that plucky young hillbilly from Kinhump, Alabama with the 36D's and the 36 IQ got her propelled into the Top 8.

In any event, I managed to avoid the singing and the free calorie-laden dessert that comes with it. Some people like free desserts, but I won't suffer through the indignity of having a bunch of Sunday afternoon diners geegaw at me because 34 years ago today, I escaped from my mother's placenta-lined Gulag like a Stalingrad intellectual during Stalin's reign.

And, to make matters worse, Larry left my birthday gift at home.

*sigh* I guess I'll have to wait before I get a cast-mold statue of Eva Gardner made from old Campbell's soup cans.

My birthday proper was a cause of great joy. Awoken by chirping birds about an hour earlier than my normal wake time, I stumbled into my 34th year on the globe tripping over the ironing board, stubbing the hell out my toe and wondering what else could possibly go wrong?

How about a 30 minute traffic jam on my way to the property manager's office to drop off my rent check?

How about a basic "F-You!" letter from my very bitter ex-girlfriend, who has essentially figured out that all blame in the relationship lies on my shoulders? NOTE - I'm not perfect by any stretch, but to ignore her own failings in the relationship - and to drop the note in my inbox on my birthday - seems a little classless. I'll forgive her, but only because I expected some sort of vitriol from her sooner.

How about a whiny P-gon official who complained that we didn't have enough wireless microphones for everybody in the conference center? I did get an "atta boy!" from an Army LtcCol who heard my quick explanation that "we might have to wait until next fiscal year as the war budget is a higher priority than soft-talkers."

How about a nice letter regarding the outbreak of the Norovirus in Crystal City...after eating a catered lunch from Crystal City?

I did get some nice phone calls and e-mails. Gabe dropped a note on Myspace, as did Stef from NYC. Dana called, Melody in L.A. showed off her craptacular...I mean, SPECtacular singing voice. Notes from Brian, my dear friends here in NoVA, a call from Heath in NYC, Scottie K sent some love.

Hell, even my roommate's cat let me pet him.

And, my friend Gina, whom I haven't seen in nearly 18 months (something else happened 18 months ago...can't remember what...), took me out for a celebratory cupcake at Cakelove/LoveCafe' on U Street in the District. I can only describe Cakelove's offering as this - it's like dating somebody WAY too hot for you. You know you won't last long-term, but God they're fun to eat.

So, all-in-all, it was a birthday. I survived another year on this fragile globe, and despite my best attempts, am still optimistic for 34 and beyond.

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