Now that Halloween is over, we can finally celebrate the greatest holiday of the year: All Saints Day.
I’m joking. While it may be important for some to celebrate the deaths of deeply religious people who did “good deeds” and were “meek” and “performed miracles” and “loved others a lot,” we’ve got more important things going on here. November 1st officially marks (wait for it, while I turn on my echo sound effect) One Week Until My Birthday-day-day-day . . .
So, for the rest of the week, I will be writing birthday oriented posts. At first I was a little leery about writing all about me, me, me for an entire week. Then I realized that this is my blog and I can write whatever the hell I want to write and if you don’t like it you can bite me. (Just make sure you continue reading and sending fan mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Here’s the post schedule for the week:
A Brief History of my life Leading Up to One Week Before My 26th Birthday
A Brief Survey of Some Especially Memorable Past Birthdays
What I Want (And Don’t Want) For My 26th Birthday
Me In My Birthday Suit
I don’t think I need to coax you into sticking around until Friday.
I was born on November 7th, 1979. I will affectionately refer to myself as “a child of the 70’s” for quite some time before it loses it’s quirky appeal. It has not done so as of yet.
My due date was officially November 14th, meaning I was one week early. No surprise I was eager to escape the womb. Even today I am often very hot and uncomfortable in enclosed spaces and generally enjoy a bit of fresh air. When I was about 15, however, I suddenly discovered that if you count back nine months from November 14th, you arrive at February 14th, meaning I was the direct result of a really, really good Valentine’s day present. I suppose there are worse ways to be conceived, such as my younger sister, 10 years my junior, of whose conception my mother has often commented, “Boy, that was unlikely.”
I didn’t start speaking until I was about four years old, at which time I awoke one morning and asked my mom what was for breakfast. I can only imagine that I was: a) silently taking in everything around me, plotting my way to dominate the family structure, b) an infant genius bored by my company, or c) suffering from the lingering effects of my older sister enjoying a good game of “Knock Him Over,” a favorite pastime of hers where she would walk up to my crib, knock me over and wait for me to sit back up before knocking me over again.
In any event, once I realized that my mouth did more than chew and drool, I caught on to the English language rather well. Indeed, I would later major in English at college, an act not very unlike throwing $80,000 off a bridge.
I was very smart, very early. However, perhaps due to the “playful beatings” at the hands of my sister, I was socially inept. Heeding the advice of my nursery school teacher, my mother held me back. In nursery school. In retrospect, I should probably consider this the low point of my life.
After my second year of nursery school I was ready to take on the world. I breezed through kindergarten with the best show-and-tells and an unhealthy obsession with Donkey Kong. In grade one, Danny Sacrestano peed his pants in class. It wasn’t until grade two that I began to fear my own genius. In spelling bees, I would purposely spell words wrong in order not to seem overly smart. This trend would continue through to 8th grade math bees where I give the wrong answer and moments later, sit down with a sigh saying, “I can’t believe I forgot to carry the one.” I can only imagine how proud my parents are reading this now.
Grades 4 through 7 were nondescript, defined solely by my hair style and my girlfriends (and the birth of my little sister, who, if a boy, I wanted to name “Jordan” after the New Kid on the Block). At age nine the hair cut was “high and tight,” a flat-top do, complete with zip-zap lines shaved into the sides. The girlfriend at the time was Christine Aguiar. She has a spiral perm and a nervous tick. By age 12 I had moved onto the Zach Morris haircut. I still tear up at the thought of a 12 year old me using a hairdryer every morning. I think my dad does too. My girlfriend then was Jennifer Cappobianco. I bought her a locket for Valentine’s day and wrote a rap song for her, but she still left me for Richard Velázquez, who was a faster runner than me.
Things really picked up after that when I became grunge, grew my hair out and dated Dawn DiOrio. We had a great relationship, passing notes and watching TV together on the phone. Until, that is, I broke my wrist testing my friend Don’s homemade “grappling hook” and fell out of a tree. Our school trip that year was to a nearby beach and with me not being able to go in the water due to my cast, Dawn broke up with me in favor of Danny Sacrestano. Obviously a cast is too much to bear, but the memory of your boyfriend PEEING HIS PANTS IN CLASS is easily overcome.
Fast-forward to high school where I went to a catholic school of 2,000, none of whom lived further away from the school than I did. I made “local” friends who went to public school and cursed and drank. I dated a blond named Jill Demico and got good grades. Then I started reading existentialist literature and stopped doing exceptionally well in school, won a couple of hockey championships and dated a brunette named Natalie 1. I call her Natalie 1 because soon after I arrived at college we broke up and I started dating Natalie 2. I drove a Saturn and in the summers worked on a ferry, the best job known to man.
College was great, except that I didn’t get on campus housing at Fordham so I had to find an apartment my freshman year. I ended up living in Brooklyn in the “not so good” part of town with “not so good” roommates who were DJs, drug dealers and born again Christians. I took the A train home late at night from bars and it is amazing I am alive to talk about it.
After that I moved to the Upper East Side where I took an assortment of apartments. I worked at Texas Barbecue for three days before quitting and taking a job at a law firm – the same law firm I work at today. My career has been what you might call “stagnant.” I dated Natalie 2 on and off for years, filling gaps with a Russian rhythmic gymnast, another Russian with large breasts (I refer to it as “My Russian Period”) and various other girls who I prefer not remembering. Or who prefer not remembering me. Something like that.
That brings us up to graduation, meeting The Girlfriend, moving in together, moving out together, traveling a little bit, cooking some really great dinners, developing an unhealthy obsession with chocolate chip cookies, watching every episode of “Law and Order” ever made and then, in April of this year, starting up a blog called “The Daily Dump,” which, depressingly enough, may prove to be my crowning achievement. Unless you count the time when I flipped a lemon wedge off the rim of my pint of Blue Moon and it flipped through the air and, I can’t stress this enough, MIRACULOUSLY landed on the rim of a neighboring pint of beer, perched as though the bartender had placed it there himself. Who am I kidding, of course that’s my piece de resistance. That will never happen again in the history of time.
In summation, 25 years 358 days, no kids, no “career,” very little responsibility, addicted to vitamin and herbal supplements, a girlfriend that poops less than a hibernating bear, a wonderfully odd collection of friends (one of whom holds a legitimate grudge against Hootie and the Blowfish for releasing Fairweather Johnson too soon after Crack Rear View) and a lower back that often hurts in the morning. 26 is going to be the best “age made up of a combination of two even numbers” since 24. I can see it now.