Saturday, April 26, 2008

It's My Party and I'll Cry if I Want to.....

So this week at work was Crazy! The deadline for abstracts to be submitted for the National Neurotrauma Society Meeting in Orlando in July is coming up on May 15th and everyone in my lab has experiments going on which means I have about 1 million things to do every day to try and make everyone happy. Add that to the fact that my experiment isn't working so well, and you can see how my week maybe wasn't the best.

But it wasn't all bad. At least this week marked the return of some of my favorite shows from their Writer's Strike hiatuses (hiati? what is the plural of hiatus?). Numb3rs and Moonlight were back on Friday and Thursday saw the return of Supernatural (with a very funny episode, and one of my all time favorites) and Ugly Betty.

This week it's Betty's Birthday and she has planned and "perfect" birthday weekend getaway with Henry (her boyfriend who got his crazy ex-girlfriend Charlie pregnant). But, this being TV, we know that any "perfect" anything won't actually happen because, well, that would be boring, and boring doesn't make for good TV. So anyway, Charlie (the Baby Mama) shows up just in time to ruin Betty & Henry's plans. Betty gamely makes up a new itinerary, but Charlie manages to spoil that too by playing sick so Henry has to take her to the doctor. Because Henry has bailed on her, Betty's friend Gio tries to help her out, but his efforts fail as well and Betty end her birthday with no dinner, no fireworks, a failed carriage ride, and a dress covered in Hot Chocolate. No the best birthday ever.

I felt for Betty. I really did. Because I know what it's like to have a birthday where nothing goes right. I am the queen of bad birthdays.

For at least four years running I had some of the worst birthdays and birthday parties of anyone I knew. It became a joke with me and my friends that I was under some kind of birthday curse.

First, there was my freshman year of college where a group of friends and I decided to go out to Jacobson Park and ride the paddle boats. Great idea, right? Maybe not. First off, there were five of us and only two to a boat which meant someone got to be the odd man out. Now, logic would say that the birthday girl shouldn't have to ride alone, but unfortunately, that wasn't how tings worked out. Two of the people with me, Monica and John, were totally into each other. They weren't dating yet, but would be soon and so they went together in one boat. That left me, MaryAnne, and Nick to split up for the other boat. At that time, we thought Nick had a thing for MaryAnne (boy were we wrong there) and so MaryAnne insisted that she ride in the boat with Nick. That left me as the luck gal who got to ride alone.

Okay, no big deal. I can do this alone, right? Sure. And, while it was very tiring, it wasn't horrible. But then when it was time to leave, we all pulled our boats back to the dock. When they were getting out of their boat, somehow MaryAnne managed to trip and hurt her toe. It didn't seem like too big of a deal at the time, but we heard about that damn toe for the next three years.

The next year, I wisely said NO to the paddle boats. Instead, MaryAnne (who was now the VP of Fellowship for APO) planned a kayaking trip on the Kentucky Rive for the weekend of my birthday. I wasn't thrilled about the idea, but it sounded like it could be fun, so I let her bully me into going. Unfortunately, things didn't start well. That year was 2001 and my birthday is September 16th which made it 5 days post 9-11. After that, I had no interest in going anywhere except home. But, because if I didn't go, they wouldn't have enough people to get the group rate, I went. In fact, not only did I go, but I had to drive because no one else would.

The actually Kayaking trip was fun, and we were all tired when we got back, but the plan was to stay up until midnight and celebrate my birthday (since we were going to be getting up early the next day to leave). At midnight, however, Nick was sick and in bed, and everyone else was too drunk to care, so I ended up eating some "Birthday Cookies" by myself and then proceeded to sleep on the floor since there weren't enough beds for everyone.

The next year, I had planned a big dinner out and then a movie. It was going to be on a Monday night, so I wanted something low key but fun. MaryAnne, however, decided to plan an APO scavenger hunt that night and wouldn't hear of changing the day. And, since most of my friends at that point were in APO, we went scavenger hunting instead of to dinner and the movie got moved to another night (which also ended in disaster with me sitting by myself during the movie since the theater was packed and we couldn't find enough seats together.).

By my senior year (and my 21st birthday) I knew enough not to make big plans. I wanted a simple dinner out with some of my friends. They wanted to get me drunk since I was now 21 and legal. UK wanted me in class. I had an 8am physics exam the morning after my 21st birthday so needless to say, it was a quick dinner with friends and then I spent the rest of my night studying for my exam.

Thankfully, now that college is over, the birthday curse seems to have been lifted some. I've had several decent birthdays in a row now. But believe you me, I know exactly how Betty felt when all her plans fell apart.

No comments: