I just celebrated my 21st birthday. WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO! USA! USA! USA! USA! USA!
Okay, it wasn’t that wild and crazy. I just went out to dinner with my family and had a couple of drinks. What did I decide for my first legal drinks to be? The White Russian. Now, before I go any further, let me clarify that I ABSOLUTELY, COMPLETELY made that choice based on the drink of choice of The Dude in The Big Lebowski. I’m not gonna pretend like I was a fan of the beverage before the release of that movie, because otherwise that would mean that I would have been drinking White Russians since about the age of nine. However, I highly enjoyed the drink, and I will continue to drink it when the opportunity arises, but not just because it was The Dude’s drink. I actually believe that the White Russian is one of the best alcoholic drinks for you.
How? Very simple: the White Russian can be made with milk. That way, if you drink so many of them that you are falling down drunk, the calcium from the milk will keep your bones strong. Some have argued that the alcoholic drinks with fruit or vegetable juice are better because you can receive vital vitamins and minerals that way, and quite simply: THEY’RE WRONG. Milk equals calcium, which equals strong bones, which means if you pass out, you won’t crack your skull. CASE FUCKING CLOSED.
However, despite what you may think from the above paragraphs, I’ve never been much of a big drinker. I didn’t have my first beer until about nine months ago, and my only prior drinking experience involved a couple of rum & Cokes, which did teach me something about drinking.
Because of my typical nature (which is that of the generally quiet observer), when I drink I become much more talkative. That’s probably not a big surprise. But I get really talkative, like to the point that I like to perform what I call autobiographical magic shows. By that, I mean I will approach the first person I see and say:
“I’m gonna tell you my life story and make the next three hours of your life DISAPPEAR! But first, let me take off my hat—holy shit, there’s a rabbit in there! I’ll be damned…I gotta let Cody know I found Mr. Wiggles…”
As I said, I didn’t get that crazy on my birthday, but it was good enough. I’m glad I had a good birthday this year. I’ve always had a bit of a problem with my birthday personally. Why? Because my birthday falls on December 20th, a mere five days from Christmas. Do you have any idea how tough that can be on a kid? To have his or her special day forever overshadowed by a much bigger holiday?
Having a birthday around Christmas was always difficult for me as a kid. One reason was because, although I am not a very religious person (and satisfied enough about that—don’t bother me about it, Christians), many of my childhood friends were. Therefore, every year was like a constant tug of war with the institution of religion. And, of course, I’d never win. I’d call my friends up:
“Hey, man, you gonna come to my birthday party next week? It’s gonna be a lot of fun!”
“Aww, man, we’re going to somebody else’s party that night. We’re not gonna be able to make it. Sorry, dude.”
“Somebody else is having a party that night? Oh, Jesus Christ…”
“Oh, how’d you know?”
“Ah, got a Facebook invite. Put myself down for maybe. Y’know, ’cause I didn’t wanna outright DENY the guy, but I’m still not going anyway.”
I can’t compete with Jesus. It’s like putting Michael Jordan up against the entire US Special Olympics basketball team. And Jesus obviously has the better parties. Why? Because he’s fuckin’ JESUS! He can feed his whole party with one Snickers bar. Meanwhile, I’m stuck with a melted pile of ice cream cake—there’s no resurrecting that!
Another reason having my birthday around Christmas was tough as a kid was because my parents didn’t always have a lot of money growing up. But to their credit, they always did their best. For instance, one year I wanted a bike. But my parents couldn’t afford one. Now, a lot of parents, in instances like these, will buy the bike anyway, and then say that it counts for both birthday and Christmas combined. Not mine. They got the bike, but they still insisted on differentiating between the two holidays. So for my birthday, I got a unicycle. Then for Christmas, I got handlebars, a tire, and heavy welding equipment.
I’m nine. Surely that can’t be safe. Imagine some little nine-year-old kid wearing an oversized safety helmet with a giant welding machine in the garage. Besides, if my parents could afford the welding equipment, why not just spring for the fuckin’ bike? My dad said, “Well, son, this year you are receiving the gift that keeps on giving: self-reliance…and possibly some third-degree burns.”
By the way, I hate when people give presents that “count” for both holidays. I’m not a big materialistic person (or at least I try not to be), and I understand if you’re really struggling financially, but, otherwise, at least be fair and differentiate between the two holidays. Whenever somebody gives me a gift and says, “This counts for both birthday and Christmas,” I like to stick up my two middle fingers and say, “Well, this counts for both, ‘fuck,’ and, ‘you.'”
Besides, that’s just cheap. And it’s the only holiday where people will try to cheat you out of another gift. Ridiculous. You never see that with kids who share birthdays with other holidays. Like Groundhog Day:
“Hey, Dad, what’d ya get me for my birthday?”
“Uh, how’s the weather outside?”
“Then you get six more weeks of winter, boy. Happy fuckin’ Birthday. Now go outside and play…Daddy’s drinkin’…”
Or the 4th of July:
“Hey, Dad, you gave me this box, but there’s nothing in it. What gives?”
“Nothin’ in it? Boy, that’s Uncle Sam’s Box O’ Freedom right there. You realize your great-grandfather’s blood paid for that box? I’m serious, it’s on the receipt here. Three pints. That’s how they do business down in Alabama.”
Until next time,