Birthdays. They ain’t what they used to be.
Yesterday, my 31st birthday, started off in dubious fashion. As in my wife forgot about it. She overslept, rushed into the shower, didn’t even have time to get Will ready while I showered and then left for work. But I couldn’t give her too much shit because the night before, I forgot my own birthday. MJ was asking Will if he knew what day it was tomorrow (meaning Daddy’s Birthday) and I had no friggin idea what she was talking about.
Maybe our collective Alzheimer’s should’ve been the first tip something was amiss.
An hour later MJ called me and apologized for temporarily forgetting my birthday. She also told me she had all these wonderful things planned that morning like breakfast in bed and maybe even a morning “sandwich,” and apologized for things having gone haywire. I told her it was no big deal and we could just make up for lost time after work.
Bless her heart, MJ asked my parents if they could come down and watch Will so we could actually go out for an adult dinner and — gasp — even a movie! Since my parents pounce on every opportunity that presents itself to seize my son like rabid wolverines are awesome and thoughtful, they agreed. The only problem is I was working on a front page story and the guy I needed to interview wasn’t available until 4 p.m. That means I had to spend 20 minutes interviewing him and only then could I begin to write the story. Which meant our plans were once again fucked and the movie part of our date was out.
I love my job. But the downside is the total lack of a set schedule. I never know where I’m going to be or when I’m going to be called in because of an accident, fire, murder, etc. And even after I hand in a story, the editors often have questions or changes they need to make. That means they call me, no matter what time it is, to go over the story. For MJ, this means more dinners than I can count have been interrupted by repeated phone calls I have to take outside, which can last for 10-15 minutes a clip.
Thankfully our dinner went great, with no interruptions. We went to a nice Italian restaurant and MJ looked beautiful. We didn’t have to skip appetizers because of an impatient child, and we could eat at a normal pace because we didn’t have a child acting like a ticking time bomb in a highchair next to us.
Now you’d think because it was my birthday that I would indulge with a few alcoholic beverages. But you’d be wrong.
Instead, I have MJ drink to her heart’s content. Because in my old age I’ve learned that sure it’s fun for me to get a little drunk, but I have a much better time if my wife gets bombed. Drunk MJ is decidedly more feisty and relaxed than Business MJ. And the likelihood of sandwiches increases exponentially with each extra dirty martini she imbibes.
Yes sir, things were looking up indeed. MJ told me to order whatever I wanted and the first thing that caught my eye was my all-time favorite dish: penne with chicken, broccoli and alfredo sauce. Words cannot express how much I love this meal. I would eat it every single day if possible. But I don’t. In fact, I rarely eat that particular culinary masterpiece. And for a very good reason. Without getting too graphic, heavy rich sauces with loads of fat content tear my insides apart. But in the heat of the moment and since it was my birthday, I decided what the hell. More on this later.
Dinner was great and MJ was feeling very loose. Even though we had missed the movie it was still fairly early and we figured we’d make a romantic night of it.
The first problem, however, was that I couldn’t stop yawning. Sure it was only 8 p.m., but apparently I’m 31 going on 90. But I fought off the sleep trying to overtake my body and suggested that MJ and I find a secluded spot along a beach and have a little fun. We chose the Sandwich Boardwalk, which is a picturesque and beautiful boardwalk through some marshlands that eventually leads to the beach. Truly the perfect place for us to reconnect.
Except we couldn’t find it.
We’d both been there before multiple times, but for the life of us we couldn’t remember how to get there. No worries though, because MJ had a Plan B. She told me she recognized the general area we were in and knew of a secret beach spot we could go to for some privacy. But as we wandered through a maze of back roads, something suddenly soured my mood.
“Um, baby? How is it that you know about this secret beach?” I asked skeptically.
“I used to come here when I was younger,” she said.
“Uh huh. And by ‘come here’ I’m guessing you’re talking about the most literal and sexual definition of the phrase. I can’t believe you’re taking me to some place you used to bang other guys in high school.”
“I never had sex with anyone at this spot,” MJ said with an indignant tone. “I did that a few towns over in Falmouth.”
Right about then we found a spot, but if the thought of making out with my wife in the same spot she did God knows what with other guys 15 years ago didn’t ruin the mood, my gut told me something else was going to. As she snuggled up to me I felt a familiar rumbling in my stomach and I knew, right then and there, the night was over. In less than 20 minutes the alfredo had torn through my intestines and was now contemplating a hasty exit.
“We’ve gotta go back home. Now,” I said while starting the car back up.
“Why? What’s wrong?” MJ said.
“Well in addition to the risk of going outside and accidentally stepping on the ejaculate of your former boyfriends, I…I just have to…I have to go home,” I said, trying to preserve what little dignity I had left.
“Oh my God, get over it,” MJ said. “Are you really upset about guys you don’t even know from years ago?”
“Look, I have to take a crap OK?”
And there it was. Ten years ago I could’ve eaten whatever I wanted and had a bunch of drinks. Then I would’ve had a secluded spot of my own in mind. I would’ve been wide awake despite the fact that I probably didn’t go to bed until 6 a.m. the night before, and I would’ve had buck wild crazy sex in the car for 7 minutes all night long.
But the difference between 21 and 31 is significant.
Last night I could barely stay awake because I was tired from work and from potty-training a 2-year-old. We can’t find the make-out spots anymore because it’s been so long since either of used one that we can’t remember their locations. And when we do try to get romantic, the date is ruined because I have to rush home to take a massive dump due to a sensitive stomach.
Happy birthday to me.