Thursday, January 20, 2011

A Birthday and a Broken Heart, Part 1

The Birthday
Today is one of those days I tend to dread every year -- my birthday. Once you get past those young adult years it is not a whole lot of fun being reminded that you are getting older and are moving closer toward ... arrgh.

I never liked having a birthday in January. Growing up in suburban Chicago, the weather was almost always crappy on the big day. Cold and snow. Yuck.

My family tended to celebrate birthdays with a small celebration with just the immediate family. A cake with candles, open the presents -- a common routine. I started thinking back on some of my more memorable birthdays ...

6 years old -- A party with kids from school. We went to see a movie. Strangely enough, the movie was about a donkey. Hmmm ... a foreshadowing of my future online poker skill set?

9 years old -- Another party with kids from school. I got a bunch of model cars to build. I had so many that it almost felt like I was stealing or something.

18 years old -- Treated my best friends to dinner, then went after a girl from school with whom I had a love/hate relationship. I was in need of a little loving, and she rejected me. A week or so later she changed her mind and approached me. The answer: rejection! Yeah -- that was a complicated time ...

19 years old -- First year in college. A guy who was dating a friend of mine (the guy was a dick so I hesitate to use the word "friend") decided that a good old fashioned birthday spanking was in order. I was held down and this guy whomped on my ass like you wouldn't believe. It ranks as the second most physically painful experience of my life. It was THAT bad.

21 years old -- Surprise party thrown for me by my suitemates. It would be accurate to say that alcohol was consumed to a significant degree.

24 years old -- Second year of grad school. I was concerned about a friend in Texas and, still thinking that I was Superman at the time, borrowed money from my mom and flew to Texas to help her. She had been raped and was scared that the guy who did it was going to get out of jail. The first night there I slept in her bed (uh -- she slept on a couch -- really!) and found out the next morning that directly underneath the pillow was a loaded gun. She had an altercation with her boyfriend and as a result had a severly sprained ankle and could not walk. She drove us to Texas Tech so she could register for her spring classes. I had to carry her on my back from the parking lot to the fieldhouse, then carry her from one department registration line to another.

Before I left town in Illinois, I asked my girlfriend to get me two things for my birthday: a daily planner and a cherry pie. I know it sounds bad to ask for specific presents like that, but I was really broke. I needed the planner badly and had no money to buy it. As for the pie -- I was never a big fan of cake. Many of my birthdays have been celebrated with cherry pies.

When I got back home from Texas, I found out my girlfriend had dropped off two things for my birthday -- a plaid shirt and a cake. I grabbed the cake (my roommate knew something funny was going to happen), tore down the steps with it, ran out in the front yard and threw it in a tree! Needless to say, this was a relationship that was ready to end ...

Two others during the regular adult years (not sayin' how old) were of note. One was a surprise party my wife arranged. I thought I had safely made it through the day and was ready for a sigh of relief when I made it to 8:00 pm. We came back from a ride around town (I was totally clueless that I had been snookered) to find a house filled with friends and co-workers. It was quite a surprise, but a nice one, although I had to crank it back up for a few more hours.

Finally, my brother, who I sometimes refer to as the King of Komps, arranged for a party at my mom's house. Several family members and an old friend came by. It made for a very special day.

So ... today, although scheduled to be off work, I am in the office. Work, for me and many males, is a safe refuge from everyday life. Today it is helping me enjoy the special day with my work friends. It is also helping me deal with a most difficult situation -- a broken heart.


Blogger Josie said...

Happ Birthday Light. Your heart isn't broken....just a slight sprain. You'll see. Texas ain't the end of the earth.

PS I'm very glad this blog ain't a Josie Free Zone anymore.

1:42 PM  
Blogger bastinptc said...

Endure, brother.

2:17 PM  
Blogger Wolfshead said...

Happy Birthday buddy. Enjoy wallowing in the broken heart routine. Ifit should be allowed on any day it should be your B-day.

4:22 PM  
Blogger Memphis MOJO said...

Happy Birthday!

11:53 PM  
Blogger Fred aka TwoBlackAces said...

Belated Birthday wishes Lighting!

8:21 AM  

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