Take a cha-cha-cha-chance I don't remember most of my youth. I haven't had any severe head trauma or anything, forcing me to roam a desolate California tattooing memories of my youth onto parts of my body whenever I get a glimpse of what once was, but I simply can't remember more than really tenuous bits and pieces of my life before Junior High.
A couple of you have accused me of being smart, but the truth is, I'm just moderately good at putting up a front--I actually tend to have the memory of an autistic goldfish, so I have to struggle with little random bits of trivia stick in my head--like "hookers" getting that name from a Civil War general of the same name who brought in women of questionable virtue to raise morale (among other things), or "avisodomy," being the clinical name for the act of sex with a chicken. Or that Nancy Reagan was apparently infamous for giving the best blowjobs in Hollywood back before she and Ronnie decided to give us Morning in America. The key for me is just figuring out how wend my way from one topical oasis to the next
Also, it appears from my examples--honestly the first things off the top of my head--that keeping the topic of conversation on "types of sex that I'm not having," is a particularly fecund area of conversation for me.
This is a long way for me to say that my memory of my life back in my youth seems to be woefully inadequate. I feel kind of left out without any cute "rubbing frosting on my face," or "freaking out at a freakishly distorted Chuckie Cheese," type story. Life before 10th grade is pretty much a blur, to the extent that not only do I not remember any of my teachers' names before that point, I can't even say for certain what my best friends' names were until at least 6th grade.
So there will be no cute reminisces for me.
So I guess I'm being disingenuous here. I can't really hide this much longer: in truth, I'm avoiding any question about birthday memories because I have at best a deeply conflicted opinion of holidays and celebrations in general. Maybe more bad things happen to me around holidays, or maybe the only bad things I remember are the ones that seem to be around the "special occasions," but I feel rather cursed.
17th Birthday: A moderately decent birthday, spent in a Fargo park that was flooding at the time from the melting of snow (keep in mind that my birthday is May 20th, a date that really doesn't conjure up spring melt floods). It'd be a great time, if not for one of my presents being a bundle of 17 assorted lollipops, the very first one I bit into that evening and broke a molar, the night before I was to leave for Germany for a month. It is harder than you might think to find an all night dentist.
Christmas, my freshman year in college: My parents were living in Singapore. I flew out to spend the Christmas with them. I would have had a happier time, but I have huge plane phobias, and the plane that was to land in Singapore immediately after me crashed and burned, killing everyone on board. Being greeted by 90 degree heat, fire, and wreckage gave me bad nightmares for quite some time.
Easter, Freshman year: I was dumped. At least partially because I didn't want to go to an Easter service.
New Year's Eve, Sophomore Year: I was stuck in a Bangkok airport with my parents for most of the day. The only worthwhile point of this is that I started to drink heavily in front of my parents for the first time when we finally got on the plane. Cognac, champagne, and screwdrivers, for most of an 7 hour flight.
Birthdays, Freshman and Sophomore Year: I seriously don't remember even celebrating them.
Birthday, Junior Year: One of my closest friends in college has the same birthday as me. My junior year was the year we both turned 21. We tried to go out drinking, but our college got out a week before we turned, so we had no friends. The girl we were both head-over-heels in love with had said she would hang out with us, but instead she went into Chicago.
Easter, senior year: I got severely sick with a cold. Of course, I didn't stop going out with my friends drinking, but I did stop going to class. Most drinking sessions would consist of me holding a beer to my forehead in an attempt to control the fever, periodically taking sips. It was at this point that I searched the web and experimented on my own, trying to create a mixed drink with NyQuil in it so I could continue drinking and also treat myself. If only I'd read Lester Bangs biography at the time, I would have just tried drinking Romilar straight.
Christmas, in Edinburgh three years ago: Once again, I was sick. The hostel I was living at was going to have a dinner for the 100 people there (50 of which were "long termers," people staying 6 months or more). I tried to make it through the dinner, but I only managed to last through the "awards" that were given out. After being awarded a shot of vodka for being the "Best American," and a second shot of vodka for being the "Worst American," (I was the only American long-termer), and realizing that I was no longer in the running for "Biggest Pisshead" (that is, drunk...these hostel people are haaaard core), I realized I couldn't stand it any longer. I went back to bed, not even taking off my shoes, and passed out. I woke up 18 hours later.
Birthday, in Ireland three years ago: My birthday, two days after I'd moved to Cork, was perhaps the only night in Ireland that I completely failed to find a party. Plus, I found out that morning that my dad was to have major emergency surgery the next day. And, to add insult to injury, I went to see "Attack of the Clones" that afternoon. I did find out that it's possible to drink an entire bottle of Jameson while wandering the streets of Cork.
New Year's Eve, two years ago: I was in San Fransisco with my family, and started to get sick New Year's Eve, with what later turned out to be a bad case of the flu. I was in such shoddy shape, that I wound up passing out on the floor of the bathroom of the restaurant I went to with my parents. I think I was unconscious about five to ten minutes. I spent the next week feeling like I was either freezing to death or on fire. I hid how bad I was feeling from my parents, so they wouldn't force me to stay home from work, since I had no benefits and I was desperate to save up and move away. My dad kept trying to convince me that I might in fact have malaria, since I had been in Turkey three months prior.
Birthday, last year: To say that turn-out for my birthday party was less than impressive would be a vast understatement. And that's not even counting the friend who stopped speaking to me for a month starting that day (I am not blameless for this, admittedly).
New Year's Day, 2005: New Year's Eve was awesome. Truly awesome. But New Year's Day I started to get sick, and wound up missing nearly a month of my life. It was the sickest I've ever been, and I'm still weak and whiny about it.
I do have to say that when a holiday of any sort does come together and gelling, it can wind up being one of the high points of your life.
Birthday, Senior Year: I graduated on my birthday my senior year. My aforementioned friend with the same birthday and I threw a party a couple days before the actual birthday, this time at the house of the girl we were both still madly in love with. Dozens of people showed up, we grilled in the yard, went through four bottles worth of White Russians (this group of friends...well, we watched "The Big Lebowski" about once a week), four cases of beer, and at least a bottle of tequila before the party moved to Phi Mu Alpha. Phi Mu was technically a fraternity, but it's a fraternity on the same technicality that the Salvation Army is an army. It was the music major's frat, so it was a good place to go to play drinking games with guys who's testosterone levels weren't quite as high as they should be. We stayed there until 8am, playing drinking games until they ran out of beer and a local cafe opened for us to go have breakfast.
Then I went to sleep, in preparation for my parents arriving for graduation. I would have to let them know that I wouldn't actually be graduating on time, in part because I'd spent most of my time playing drinking games with castrati rather than doing any work. It was fabulous.
July 4th, after my junior year: A perfect convergence of people, resulting in a 18 hour long party that ended with me illegally on the roof of one of my school dorms, drinking Malibu and smoking menthol cigarettes...yes, once again with that girl.
happyrobot's 5th Birthday: The birthday for happyrobot was the first post I ever wrote for happyrobot, even though it didn't get posted until a month later. So a pretty momentous occasion for all of us, don't you think?
Yes. I'm still whiny from illness. I'll do less whinging and go back to just being curmudgeonly later.