Tuesday, 22 September 2009

Birthday low jinks




Only a short one after our epic first world problems. Bravo, blogosphère. We are SO unlucky.



Firstly, Mr Houser, my adoptive gay son, has set one of my very favourite keyword searches to beautiful, beautiful montage. I hope it will be the first of a series. I am particularly looking forward to 'tentacle debauchery' or 'albino clawed toad and how to cure bloating'. Over to you, Tom.



Secondly, it is the CFO's 40th birthday today. Probably his weirdest - worst? - ever. God only knows where we'll all be next year but the four of us are most unlikely to spend it together. Happy birthday CFO! Fingers and Lashes have decorated him a selection of garden pebbles. Well, decorated is a big word. Waved some glitter glue in the general direction. I made some shit brownies in an unconscious parallel with last year. It's all been very substandard. But then there is NO direction in the etiquette guides about how one deals with this kind of thing (apart from Mrs Trefusis, who would be the perfect modern Emily Post). We are fumbling our way around here. So he's watching Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall witter about gremolata and I'm scratching my entire epidermis off, compulsively, like a dog with fleas. Hugh has just said "extracting their horny beaks and pulling off their tentacles". That man is a sick puppy, isn't he? You really don't get that problem with Uncle Ben's Microwave Rice.


If anyone has a hideous birthday story to share, do let me have it. Or, indeed, an inspiring story about winning Nobel prizes and the like after 40. Or even just tortoise photos. We'll take whatever we can get, frankly.

28 comments:

M. said...

Ah, the eve of my 17th birthday.

I had just moved in to my parents' empty, furniture-free house in the suburbs of Paris, and had fallen asleep with the new (crappy) boyfriend on a mattress on the floor. I woke up to the sound of banging on the door. Not just any banging - it was the drugged-up junkies who had been squatting in the entrance hall thanks to the broken main door, trying to force their way in. We had to throw rocks at the neighbours' windows to get them to call the police. The boyfriend was useless, whimpering like a girl. The police eventually came round, and dragged some guy off the street who happened to be carrying a knife. The rest of the night was spent at the police station, with a guy whose face had been deeply scratched by a cat shouting at some other man (possibly the cat owner). The next morning, they called us back in and the lieutenant, who must have been 13, dragged the "suspect" into the room we were in and asked us if it was him. "I'm not sure", I replied. They let him go.

I slept with a rolling pin next to my bed for several months after that. I am 16, going on 17...

Katy said...

I didn't enjoy my 6th birthday. It coincided with Charles and Di's wedding and my parents (hello mum!) and sister spent the whole day watching telly instead of entertaining me. Ugh. Then they suggested I go outside and pick the dandelions growing in the lawn. Fun fun fun. I am impressed with the effort you're making for CFO - I had assumed most males don't bother much with birthdays. Then I am just going on what the hubster says. Loving the posts I've managed to read so far as a newbie.

tigerbaps said...

I cry on EVERY birthday. I expect too much out of birthdays, apparently. Ditto life, according to my doctor. It's pishflaps that, isn't it? Utter pishflaps.

monk said...

I have nothing for you.

Except this

http://3.bp.blogspot.com/_29DWeWeHZq8/RlTtBP5ADRI/AAAAAAAAAPg/L8xl5MQY03A/s400/Egyptian+tortoise+2.jpg

and the offer of a hangover whenever you feel like it

Z said...

My son's 25th birthday was two months ago and I still haven't got around to getting him a present. My birthdays are usually unremarkable and there's little to say about them. The worst year of my life was when I was 16 and the worst decade was my 40s, although my age had no particular significance in this.

Many happy returns of the day to the CFO. Life can and does get better and I hope it does for all of you, soon, individually and collectively.

Balloony said...

That's really sad, Waffle (and Z)! There's something irresistible about people who like to celebrate - and especially organise celebration of others. Champagne, balloons (I must have balloons - big, shiny, garish, Minnie Mouse-eared balloons), cake, prezzies and above all SURPRISE!!!! I'm obviously the freak.... :(

Susan said...

On my birthday last month, my sister and I got to take my mom to a nursing facility. Yay!

We got McFlurries and she made the guy at the McDonald's drive through window sing me happy birthday.

Anonymous said...

Can vouch for the existence of life after 40, and even for the possibility of it being fun!

Kate said...

I had mono for my 18th. My sister was at school. Parents were both at work. I couldn't stay awake for more than 3 minutes at a time. My tonsils were swollen together to the point where I couldn't even swallow my own mucousy saliva. And I was bleeding like a stuck pig en plus and had to worry about that every time I managed to wake up and walk to the bathroom. That was day 4 of 9 or so of sleeping on my parents' couch instead of being at uni getting loaded and hooking up with the guy I had a crush on like I should have been.

WrathofDawn said...

Woke up on my 9th birthday with chicken pox. Made worse by the fact that my birthday is 2 days before Christmas, so spent the entire school holidays in bed/cooped up in house so as not to infect unwashed hordes of other ickle children in neighbourhood.

My 40th. Spent most of the day alone. Five months after father's funeral, separated from The Hex for 18 months.

My 50th. Taken to expensive restaurant by girlfriends. Which was nice, except everything smelled funny. I would have preferred something a little less formal.

Have never had a surprise party, EVER.

Gosh. Hadn't realized I'm such a LOSER.

*makes sad bunny eyes*

DameEmma said...

Some time in my 30s (eh, the years they all blend together...) had my birthday on a transatlantic flight, and when I was sleeping Mr. Dame stole my sandwich. Nice.

Anonymous said...

40th. Invited 50 people to my party. 8 showed up. Boyfriend was not one of the 8.

Mrs Jones said...

A week before my 28th or 29th birthday, The First Husband could no longer decide whether he wanted to stay with me or leave me for the girl he'd been having an affaire with. He'd told me about her a month or so before. I told him he had to make a decision so sent him to stay with her for a few days so he could make up his mind. I moved back to my mum's for her to look after me while my life crumbled. The day before my birthday I decided to ring him as I'd not heard. He told me he was coming home but would stop off in Camden on the way to buy me a birthday present. I found this incredibly insulting and upsetting. We did manage to stay together for a further 3 or so years.

By contrast, for my 40th Birthday, The Current Husband gave me an 2ct diamond eternity ring. Now that's a present. Life after 40 does get better - I managed to do 2 degrees and get a job doing something I love, and to be married to someone who actually wants to be with me. It's (almost) all gravy (she says, glossing over her own particular elephant in the corner.....)

Chantal said...

Oh, all these birthday stories make me feel bad about thinking I'd had a crappy birthday this week (nothing bad, just really busy day at work then lovely meal slightly spoiled by low-level bust-up with boyfriend. Pathetic really).

I don't have any bad birthday disasters, but I once spent Christmas day in bed with stomach flu. I could hear everyone downstairs having a brilliant time and felt really rotten.

Weirdly, my VW is 'schan', which is an east coast Scots slang word for shame - as in if soemthing horrible happens to someone you'd say, "that's shan".

Lastly, how dare you disparage my future husband, Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. He can prepare my cuttlefish anytime.

Anonymous said...

Ouch to the 'boyfriend was not one of the 8.' I'm at a loose end today - would you like me to hunt him down for you? I have darts,chains and everything.

My birthday. It was the second year of living in Belgium and I was starting to despair of EVER meeting even a half decent man. So I dated a 'he's got a pulse' man and quietly despised him for.. um.. breathing (even that was annoying).
For my birthday he bought me a great big super dooper technics stereo with super dooper extras (no idea to this day actually what they're for). That night we went out and bumped into a few of my girlfriends having a VERY jolly time with cocktails and a latino *young enough to be not quite their son but nearly* barman. I reluctantly went with him to the chi chi indian resto on Louise where after proffering a kidney you're given a thimbleful of food. After eating a samosa or onion bhagi, whatever, he raved about the sauce and asked the waiter for the recipe. He then made a face, gasped and grimaced and leapt from the table. As he dashed to the door he turned round and made a 'there's a big crisis and there may be bodies' face and ... rushed to the loo. After telling me that his pregnant sister had made a desperate plea to him to lend her 200 pounds because her hubbie had been made redundant, but he had refused (he was very proud of this) because what was the likelihood she'd pay it back, (the man was loaded. In fact it was particularly galling to know that a man as dumb as a rock could earn such money). I decided enough was enough and (oh I'm so ashamed) made just off to powder my noise noises and, um, ran away to join the girls, ignoring the constant buzzing of my phone.
Six months or so later I bumped into him and because I'm such a shallow coward, I made joyous sounds and asked 'whatever happened to you that night? I waited AGES' - yes, I am going to hell.

Helena Halme said...

I was so selfish and stupid that I had my daughter on 27th December. Too late for Christmas, too early for New Year. She's never forgiven me. When she was little we got away with it, pretending everyone was celebrating when in fact most of us were asleep, tired after the heavily complicated dual-nationality Christmas celebrations, but as she got older she saw through all of this pretence and started demanding our full attention. On her sixteenth she got food poisoning from a local pub/restaurant which unusually for December 27th was open. On her eighteenth when we really got the boat out and took her and friends to nearby Bath, we were served a dried-up Christmas food by surly waitresses fed up with the seasonal cheer around them. When I asked if we could have some champagne, one of them snorted, ‘I guess so!’ and brought us one warm bottle.

My daughter has now left home.

Anonymous said...

ah birthdays. do they ever live up to anyones expectations? this year the ex and i had the pleasure of both being newly broken up, our birthdays are very close together. He spent the day working overseas with only one other person who spoke english, received from me a hamper i ordered up in a fit of guilt (i had broken it off, 4 days before his birthday) which contained apparently, maltesers and various unidentifiable MEATS and cheeses. (note to all - if you ever need to send someone in china a gift, stick to booze). My bday followed next, I spent the whole day alone working in my studio, recieved no gifts, and the ex sent a friendly email to which I flipped out at and replied bitchily. I've decided I'm staying 28 forever. This birthday did not happen.

BMF said...

Ha. I totally win this birthday low jinks lark.

32nd was meant to go as follows:-
-day off from the equivalent of corridor of ennui;
-relaxing morning receiving original and perfectly chosen gifts;
- lunch at lavish (see, I do use that word) resto;
- afternoon of nothing.

The anticipation had been building for months.

What actually happened was:-
-early morning ennui related phone call about some ghastly business development crap;
- late morning phone call from sister-in-law understandably somewhat overwrought about that day's diagnosis of cancer;
- cancellation of lunch to deal with cancer shock;
- afternoon of anxiety;
- early evening phone call announcing brother-in-law on way to hospital after "collapsing";
- frantic taxi ride across london to hospital;
- taxi driver getting lost and ending up in industrial estate;
AND, oh yes,
- b-i-l dying.

I could continue with how the evening panned out. But I think this blog and comments are meant to be funny.

Anyway, I WIN. Altho, in response to "anon" of the other day, dear Emma has some tales that can match this. And that she continues to entertain, write her blog, have 2 adorable children and truly be one of my greatest and most loyal friends is pretty much all I can say.

Sorry. Not clever, witty, or funny. Or perhaps, appropriate. But true.
x

Hänni said...

We aim to please! For you, a (little bit creepy) birthday tortoise!

Margaret said...

I am in the sad position of being an Awesome Birthday Haver (several surprise parties over the years, fabulous gifts, tiaras, pink balloons, calls from everyone I know) married to a Terrible Birthday Haver (having to work until midnight, awful mother issues always cropping up, never had a party, many years when not a single person remembers, on and on). The problem is that even if I try to give him an Awesome Birthday, it always turns to crap (I even forgot one year because I was so engrossed in my own anxious little issues). I want to throw him a party, surprise or not, but I fear it could become Epically Terrible. Of course, this is all exacerbated by him never forgetting my birthday and always giving me some fantastically thoughtful gift and cooking me dinner or taking me out for a great meal.

MC said...

22nd September is my birthday too.

My worst was many years ago (but I was old enough for it to be an intensely embarrassing incident that still makes me retch with shame).

I had a Dungeons and Dragons party and the fucking dungeon master killed me after about five minutes.

I kicked up a fuss and eventually burst into tears saying something along the lines of "It's my birthday you can't make me get shot in the eye with an arrow after five minutes!"

Chantal said...

Oh BMF, that's so horrible! Poor you. Better birthdays from then on, I hope?

Soda and Candy said...

I'm turning 30 really soon.

One of my worst birthdays was the first one after we moved to the US. No one called or rang or emailed me on the day. My husband made a desperate bid to cheer me up by googling outlet malls and taking me to the nearest one, but it turned out to contain little more than a nasty shoe store and a kitchen goods shop. I burst into tears in the car on the way home.

BMF said...

Thank you Chantal. It was not great.

There has (mercifully) only been 1 since [i know i know, so young and yet I have achieved so much]. It was decided (by me) that in view of the previous year, it was best cancelled. To be fair I always hated my birthday and now I have the "perfect" reason to....!

Grit said...

but happy belated birthday wishes cfo! you have made a supreme effort with the shit brownies, jaywalker. better than dh who actually manages to do worse than nothing at all on my behalf.

and as for the comments above, i am truly grateful after reading this catalogue of horror. my birthday miseries are put into proper perspective.

Jaywalker said...

M - what did you do with the crappy whimpering boyfriend?

Katy - hello. Yes, AND the whole of the CFO's family is legendarily useless at birthdays, barely knowing which month the others were born in, let alone marking it in some way. But 40 sort of merits dancing girls and unicorns even if you are rubbish at birthdays...

tigerbaps - you know what I do? I construct ever more elaborate surprise scenarios in my head. To wit: "oh, he is only giving me this scarf to put me off the scent. Soon, he will bring in the PONY and fly me away to Chiva Som. With the pony". We are destined for permanent disappointment. Pishflaps indeed.

Monk - I can't see your link, but I accept your offer of a shitty tequila hangover and a salt lick any day.

Z - thank you so much Z, you are lovely.

Balloony - but you see, Balloony, me too. I want big stupid parties and surprises. WHich is why I feel so hopeless at failing the CFO in this way, even with circumstances being as they are..

Susan - why Susan, until BMF came along and stole your thunder, I think you were winning there with the shitty birthday. Though, McFlurry is very tasty.

Anon - thank you I'll try and tell him. When the right moment arises..

Kate - mm, mucousy saliva, how delightful.

WoD - yup, you can be in the fucked up birthday gang. You win a deflated balloon. Please don't make those weepette eyes at me though.

DameEmma - but see you were GOING somewhere. Not just sleeping in a pool of your own tears. Disqualified. Next!

Anon - waaaaaaaah. That's shit.

Mrs Jones - tell you what, why not get the elephant a nice party hat and some streamers. He'll look lovely.

Chantal - schan is it? Sorry about your shite birthday. HFW. Hmm. I'm sorry we must differ on this.

Indian Meal Anon - you did so right. Nothing good could come of staying, surely.

Helena - never mind, when she turns 30 you can give her all the money you've been keeping in her therapy fund, can't you. You do have one Helena, don't you? Helena???

Anon - ugh, meat hamper. What wrong, wrong words to put together. Brrrr.

BMF - you are ace. That is all. And one day your birthday will be lavishly reinstated. Possibly on another day.

Hänni - it's not creepy! IT'S PERFECT. Where were you yesterday???? Or did you post that yesterday. I've lost track of time now, and frankly, it's a mercy.

Margaret - I'm with you here. Don't throw him a party, you just know it will be a terrible, epic disaster. Noooo.

MC - yours made me laugh. A low, body shaking snicker like Muttley the dog.

Soda & Candy - ack. Did you buy cheap ugly kitchenware or did you just CRY?

Grit - you know what Grit? I thought I did well with the shitty brownies too. There weren't hypodermic needles in them this year either.

Moth said...

Oh, I get it. You mean shitty brownies, not Shit Brownies...

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