Recently it was my 55th birthday and amazingly I managed not to cry, sulk, pout, brood, whine, or have a full-blown temper tantrum even though forces around me still insisted we celebrate.
I can’t say I comported myself with the same restraint during the parties of my youth. Every single birthday was a complete nightmare, though, like most children, I waited all year for my big day. The chaos which was the norm of my house seemed to amplify and my mother, who while well meaning, was way out of her depth and tended to retreat into a bottle of vodka while my playmates, without the structure of Pin The Tail On The Donkey, or musical chairs, turned into a pack of wilding ingrates, stealing my gifts, sticking hotdogs up their noses, or, as on my eleventh birthday, make kamikaze raids to take swigs of my mother’s vodka as she fumbled to put the candles on my cake. Naturally, my parties were the highlight of the year. Poor solace for a kid who wanted a mother who knew how to bake a cake that yielded foil wrapped coins and who didn’t feel it necessary to point out that our juvenile jokes, were, well, juvenile. “Really, Patrick, lighting a cow’s fart is hardly Noel Coward.” Continue reading “Take Me To Your Lazy Leader.”