Thursday, November 12, 2009

Ok, fine, you wrung it out of me - its my birthday

Folks are strange when it comes to their birthdays. People get secretive, try to hide the fact that it’s their birthday and should the news happen to leak, they get all embarrassed and urge you not to make a big deal, no hubbuh, please, no cake with candles and definitely no presents. I guess it has to do with the fact that once you’re 21 there is only disadvantage to aging and, I suppose, people think if they don’t acknowledge the passing of time, it will cease to pass. That, and some people don’t really like attention.

Well, readers, I don’t imagine this will come as a whopping surprise, but I do like attention. And I’ve done plenty of outrageous, ridiculous things in order to get it (acting career, see-through clothing, starting a blog). Which is why I would never, ever, turn down the opportunity -- the wholesome, don’t-have-to-regret-it-in-the-morning opportunity -- to receive a bunch of positive attention. I relish the chance to tell the world that today is the anniversary of God granting me life! Consequently, I should be celebrated. Today I should sleep late, get breakfast in bed and a free cup of Joe at the coffee shop, receive preferential treatment, VIP service, move directly to the front of the line, and hey, if you’d like to give me a gift, who am I to stop you? I do like the bubbly –doesn’t have to be the good stuff, either – and you can’t go wrong with a handbag. Those with limited means can always offer favors to be redeemed at a time of my choosing – babysitting offers never go bad. And, if you must, feel free to throw me a surprise party.

Let me be perfectly clear about this point:

I. Love. Surprise. Parties.

Now, I’m keenly aware that not everyone does. As a matter of fact, I think most people dislike them strongly. My husband is such a one. I learned this when -- that’s right – I threw him a surprise party a few years ago. .

We had recently moved to LA and didn’t have that many friends but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from planning festivities. So I made a German chocolate cake – his favorite – and hid it in the closet. Then I rounded up a half-dozen almost-friends and had them creep into the apartment while he was napping. When everyone arrived, I tried to wake him gently but he was out like a light and I was forced to take drastic measures, which in retrospect, were ill-advised.

“There’s a flood!” I shouted, “A pipe burst and there’s water EVERYWHERE!”

He jumped out of bed in his boxers and ran into the kitchen where he found a small and half-hearted assemblage of people he sort of knew.

“Surprise,” they ventured, none too enthusiastically.

David stood there for a few seconds and then, without a word, he about-faced, walked back into the bedroom and slammed the door.

It was a pretty lousy party. Yet I still think he should repay the effort by throwing me one. And I tell him so, all the time.

“I want a surprise party,” I say, “Why don’t you just throw me one already? I’ll give you a list of everyone to invite and their email addresses! It will be so easy!”

“I hate surprise parties,” he replies.

“Yes, but it doesn’t matter what YOU want because it’s MY birthday,” I counter, “Its like giving your wife a set of golf clubs. I don’t want the golf clubs. Keep the golf clubs!”

“I hate golf,” he says, “and I’ve never given anyone a set of golf clubs.”

“I’m just giving you an example,” I say, “The point is, I want to feel SPECIAL and for a large group of people to show me how much I MEAN TO THEM!!!!”

You know how it is when you’re married. Have argument. Repeat as needed every 4-6 weeks or, in this instance, on an annual basis.

What this all boils down to is that I truly and fully expect NOT to get a surprise party (which means that this is the very best time to throw me one).