Jen is a big fat cheater

Because I wrote something three years ago and I'm going to slap it in here.

It's all still true.

Happy @!&%*#$ Birthday

All right. Next week hosts my birthday. October 16. Let's see, on that day in history, the Treaty of Locarno between France and Poland was signed in 1925 and the Million Family March took place in 2000. In 1978, Karol Wojtyla became Pope John Paul II. In 1964, China detonated its first atomic bomb. In 1947, Bob Weir of The Grateful Dead was born. Suzanne Sommers, Flea of The Red Hot Chili Peppers, Oscar Wilde, Eugene O'Neill ("Critics? I love every bone in their heads."), David Ben-Gurion ("Thought is a strenuous art -- few practice it, and then only at rare times."), Paul Strand and Tim Robbins also share this birthday. This day also celebrates my favorite author, G√ľnter Grass', birthday (imagine my excitement!). And on this day, I was born. I asked my mother to relate the experience of pregnancy and birth of a girl-creature like me. This, in short, is what she had to say.

"This was a goofy pregnancy because the baby likes to dance - hula, flamenco, adagio and polka. All night, every night. Mommy soon moves to the spare bedroom because the dancing baby keeps daddy awake, too. As the pregnancy progresses, baby progresses to acrobatics. The skills of somersaults and cartwheels are soon mastered. Doctor says the baby is now breech. Mommy can't sleep and stays awake eating cookies and debates playing cards with the insomniac living next door. The baby doesn't stay breech, but continues somersaulting.

On October 15th, 10:00 a.m., mommy's water breaks. Mommy decides to listen to the football game (Vikings vs. Packers). Daddy is at work. Mommy calls Dr. Schmaltz and he feels that mommy should wait until pains start getting closer together. Mommy finally goes to the hospital in the early evening. The pain continues irregularly and daddy stays for several hours but finally goes home. Mommy was awake, again, most of the night. Has a "liquid breakfast" around 7:00 a.m. Daddy comes back. Dr. Schmaltz stops by to relate that he slept in his clothes because he was so sure he'd get a call. Ha, ha. Labor continues to be irregular until it really kicks in at about 1:00 p.m. Another 4 - 4-1/2 hours later, mommy is finally dilated to 9 centimeters. They take mommy to delivery. Mommy pushes and pushes and pushes; baby doesn't seem to be cooperating. Dr. Schmaltz takes a pair of forceps and tugs the baby out. Head first; the baby decides to come into the world the right way. The doctor discovers somersaulting has resulted in a knot in the umbilical cord. The head had also rested on the cord resulting in a low birth weight. The baby is a girl and mommy is happy because now she gets to paint the spare room and because pregnancy is over."

Note the use of "the baby" instead of my name or you or even my baby. Apparently (pun intended), the trauma of months with no sleep and about 36 hours of labor has her relating to the then me as some kind of alien entity. It was difficult to get this story out of my mom. When I originally handed her a pen and paper, asking her to write everything down, I got the arched brow/frown combination. Still, I blundered on. She wrote something down quickly and she handed the whole thing back. I looked down on the paper to see "NO FUN" written. Some people may have used charm and persuasion at this point. I fell back on my old standard. I pleaded and jutted out my lower lip. As you can see, it worked (this won't work when asking for a raise at work, however). After reading this story, I think you can understand that my birthday is not associated with a lot of fanfare. Generally, I feel I should get down on my knees and beg my mothers' forgiveness. No doubt, I'd get the arched brow/hands on hip combination if this action were executed. But, this illustrates the need of about 75% of my being to ignore, scorn and pooh-pooh birthday celebrations. There is that 25% that is in pathetic need of acknowledgment, but only if I don't have to remind people that it is my birthday. Thusly, this is the one-day of the year that I am inclined to moping. Serious, full on, childish, feet dragging, ain't no sunshine on a sunny day, moping. I feel so badly for the people around me, wondering what is going on with a normally grossly perky person. And I can't tell them. They're supposed to magically know. I am not a princess waiting for a prince, I don't count on winning the lottery, I want to know how to do everything myself so no one will have to help me with anything, but I want people to know it's my birthday without having to tell them. Yuck. I am truly sorry.

But mark me well. If you're reading this, you know. And I know you know. Fawn over me, hug me, write bad poetry, I don't care. I need some kind of adulation on this, my stupid birthday.


Jim Winter said...

Happy birthday, Jen.

Sean Chercover said...

I wrote you an e-mail but I got some strange auto-response and I don't know if you got it so I'm taking no chances and I'm posting this here also just so you know that I'm glad you were born and I'm wishing you a happy birthday even if you are a big fat cheater...