Sunday, March 15, 2009

Officially The Best and Worst Birthday Ever

Ok, I'm going to bitch and moan and, at times, I'll probably sound like an ungrateful prick but, well, it's my fucking blog and nobody reads it anyway so fuck off if you don't want to hear me kvetch.

Last night my family gathered to celebrate my 40th birthday. My mother made a big fucking deal about throwing this party for me. Let me emphasize that - FOR ME.

So, she called my wife and asked what time worked for her. She told my wife she wanted to make sure she didn't interfere with any birthdays the kids might be attending and she wanted to make sure she didn't have the kids eating too late, out too late etc.

Then she called my younger sister and my older sister to confirm their schedules and see if the menu suited their needs.

Hello? I'm the one that doesn't eat carbs, does anyone want to check the fucking menu with me? Hello....hello....beuhler.....


I left the office, went uptown to get the family, got them all packed into a cab, took the cab to an amazing restaurant (Valbella) to pick up the napoleon they made for the part, for free. Fucking awesome stuff. Or so I'm told. I don't eat that shit anymore. Get to my parents' place, head up and the fun really begins. My kids immediately go nuts. They are like feral animals around my younger sister's kids. My son makes her kids cry a dozen times during any gathering. Not like it's an arduous task. Her son, who might be gay (not that there's anything wrong with that) even though he's about to turn 7, cries all the time. So does their daughter. For no reason whatsoever so, when young Drugan McNoogin (not his real name) plays a bit rough with these kids who are 1 and 4 years older than him, he winds up hurting them physically, if not emotionally.

I figure I should start drinking immediately, get a nice buzz going and I'll make it thru the night a bit easier.

I saunter over to where the drinks are. Coke Zero, good. Bourbon? Whiskey? No. No. Ok, Stoli Orange? No. Stoli Vanil? No. Any flavored vodka? Stoli Roadkill eve? No. Grey Goose. Plain. Blech. What the fuck am I going to mix that with? Coke Zero and vodka is fucking nasty so I'm drinking 3 times the amount I normally would. It's like I'm downing one glass of soda for a dropper shot of vodka. The caterer's assistant (yes, my mother felt it was necessary to cater a meal for just us) tells me there's only one coke zero bottle so I might want to ease up on it.

Great.


So, I get hungry. I head over to the rest of the grown-ups. they're shoving the usual down their gullets. My secretary knows of a russian caviar store and she, being russian, gets it for my dad at a steep discount. so, there's always caviar. And the adults are all eating it. On blinis. Can't eat that. Let's see, brochetta? Nope. Crackers? Nope. Carrots? Nope. Celery. I can eat celery. I can also fuck a donkey if I so desired. I don't. On both.

So, I guess I'll have to wait.

Then my other sister shows, everyone says hello, happy birthday etc. My older sister, whom I get along fairly well with, asks me if I had any issues with turning 40. I said only the issue of having to have a party. Other than that, just another day. She told me how hard it was for her etc. Understandable, she's wired differently. Some people, like my wife, react differently to birthdays.

My little sister than brings over bags of gifts. She hands my brother in law a present for his birthday, she hands my wife a present for her birthday.

Um, who's fucking party is this?

My wife opens up anothe cashmere sweater and she looks like she's one step away from institutionally insane. She doesn't like cashmere. Never has. She has expressed this many times and, yet, my mother and my younger sister always get her cashmere sweaters. This one came damaged. From a showroom - my sister works in the fashion biz, her friends work in showrooms so all the clothes she buys come from show rooms and will, at times, have a touch of damage. Can't return these items. Doesn't fit? Tough shit.

Ok, background time. My sistsers and my mom are of the "do it and move on school of thought." They seek out the path of least resistence always. Especially with gifts. They will walk into a 10 floor department store, buy something in the first department inside the door and leave. They could give a shit if it is appropriate, desireable or even nice. It was easy. That's what matters.

So, now, my sister hands me a box. It's from both of my sisters and their families. My younger sister had told my wife months ago that they had the perfect gift for me. She said she had it and loved it and, therefore, so would I. She wouldn't tell my wife what it was. My wife asked why? She said "what if he has it?" My sister said "he won't but he'll love it."

I unwrap the box. What the fuck? It's an apple tv thing. As I unveil the soon to be doorstop, my sister says "you'll love it and you don't even need an itunes account."

Of course you do dumbass. That's the whole fucking point.


So, I put the box down and open up the picture of my kids that the wife had framed for me. Nothing special, cheap frame, I bought it, along with the photo. I told her to get it for me so I had something I liked at the party. As I'm looking at the picture of my kids, I'm thinking about this pointless apple thing. I recall being at my sister's apartment a couple of months back and they are showing me the new gadget they got. It's this apple thing. I look at it, I tell them it's cool but something I would never need. I explain that I don't have itunes, don't want itunes, don't rent movies that much and, when I do, I go with on demand. I remember them saying "yeah but now you can buy the shows you like on tv" to which I replied, I record them whether I will be home or not so I always have my shows, all 3 of them, available, in case I am not around. I don't watch that much tv I tell them. I then asked my wife if she could remember the last time we sat and watched a movie, from beginning to end, on tv. She said she does sometimes but it usually is some crap on lifetime or something.

We don't rent movies. We don't have the time to watch a 2 hour movie. I'd rather read in bed for an hour or two than watch movies all the time.

I basically said to them, I like your new toy but it isn't for me.

So they bought on for my birthday.

They got me the cheaper one, which is a bit insulting. They cost $229 (I know because I plan on putting it on craig's list so I checked the price) for the small hard drive, $329 for the bigger drive. Not sure why you need that much memory space for movies you will, invariably, delete anyway but, whatever.

My mother in law, who has no money and is the cheapest woman on the planet, gave me a check for $400. she spent almost 4 times what each of my sisters spent on me. I spend more on their regular birthdays. My older sister hadn't bought me a birthday present in 3 years. You'd think they would have put a bit more effort or coin into this gift.

So, now I have this apple product that I can't return - no gift receipt. Even if I could return it, what would I do with a credit for $229 at the apple store? Try and sell the credit?

The only good thing going right now is that, when they ask me, daily, did you set it up? don't you love it? I can respond - no, I haven't had the time to upgrade my wireless router, move the furniture to access the back of the receiver and tv, sign up for an itunes account and then watch a movie. After April, I'll get on it. After my vacation. After the summer.

So, I am now totally giftless, other than the picture I bought for myself, the doorstop my sisters got me and the $400 my mother in law gave me which is already $300 because my unemployed wife tapped me for a c note this morning before I left.

And why was it the best and the worst birthday ever?

Because during dinner, which, by the way, consisted of soup I couldn't eat, some steak that the caterer lied and said was filet mignon (it wasn't and it was wrapped in undercooked fatty bacon) and some side dishes that all contained mushrooms, which I despise - fortunately, I wasn't eating the sides but, if I wanted to, I couldn't.
Anyway, where the fuck was I? Oh, right, the reason why it was the best birthday. During the meal, my mother got up and made some sad attempt at a toast and then my wife and daughter spoke. My wife wasn't going to speak but my daughter didn't want to go it alone. She had, originally, made up a song for me. My wife was telling me this last night so I have yet to hear it. Music and lyrics. She said it was really cute, really sweet.

My daughter chickened out on Friday so, Friday afternoon, they wrote a toast. My daughter wanted to take the letters in my name and say something about me for each letter. She told my wife she had to do it also. So, my wife said a line or two for each letter but my daughter, who just turned 6 in December, spoke volumes. She wrote her part herself, adlibbed a bit during the toast, and she typed it up for me so I could have it when it was over. My younger sister, who can't stand seeing my little girl do anything that upstages her son (he scored into the best school in the city for k-5, kid is smart but, a year older and his reading is nowhere near my daughter's and it drives my sister crazy) got up from the table a dozen times during the toast, usually when my daughter was speaking. My mother got up a few times to help my sister. My dad sat there, in awe. My little girl brought tears to my eyes. She is so damned smart, so precious, so cute and so fucking funny. My wife said something, then she did and everyone laughed. Then my wife said something and before my daughter started up again she stopped and said "you guys are supposed to all go "awwwww" when she reads the mushy stuff and you're supposed to laugh when I read the funny stuff. She had those of us willing to listen, in stiches.

I was going to retype the toast but I forgot to bring it. I'll have my 6 year old email it to me and I will repost it here. Yes, you will learn that Floogin is not my real name (shocker, huh?). Yes, I will divulge my real name. It is necessary for me to repost her speech and it is so worth it.

She made the whole affair worthwhile.

1 comment:

Trenton said...

Dude, that's what makes a birthday special; when the youngest of the bunch can change a rather shitty evening into a great one all by themselves. I do hope that you get her something good for her Birthday... :)

She deserves it.