Catherine: It’s my birthday! Happy birthday to me, specifically. Before I get going, may I suggest liking our facebook page as a special birthday gift to yours truly? Or perhaps, if you wanted to get craycray, putting us in your status? Think about it.
In middle school, I was cast as the lead in “Guys in Dolls.” This may have been pre-type casting, because there was a scene where my character gets drunk and sings weird shit like “if I were a salad, I KNOW I’d be splashing my dressing” and “boy, if I were a duck I’d quack!” I’ve probably said those things under the influence before.
Well, I thought getting the lead in the school musical would make me cool, because that’s what I wanted – you wanted it too, even if you won’t admit it. It uh, it didn’t make that wish come true.
I will forever remember this event:
It was tech day of our show, a weekend day, and it was my birthday. I had left the auditorium, and as I headed back, three popular boys who were doing lights or stage crew were hanging by the entrance. One of them, Greg (real name, I ain’t protectin’ his sorry ass), said, “Hey, it’s your bithday, right?” To which I was like, “Yeah!” (Inner dialogue: “Greg is talking to me – I’VE MADE IT!”) Greg then goes on to say, “Happy Birthday!” (Pause) “To a LOSER.”
ARE YOU KIDDING ME.
THIS SHIT HAPPENS. And it RUINED my whole birthday, and I STILL think of that moment in my life with regret. I wasn’t cool enough to have a comeback. But I am going to take that chance now.
Me: “I’m a loser? I know you are… BUT WHAT AM I?” (Inner dialogue: “Nailed it!”)
Greg: “No, you are a loser. I am not a loser. You are, and I specified that.”
Me: “… oh.”
So. That is an amended version of what could have happened on that fateful day, as I walked into the auditorium fighting back tears.
Greg, wherever you are, I hope you aren’t still a total asshole. And also that you grew out the Mario Lopez haircut.
Jana: This story hurts my heart, especially because I can actually picture it, entirely. All I can say is that, had I been there, I’m sure I would have been crying for one reason or another (I QUITE often cried during weekend rehearsals for musicals), and maybe we both would have been sitting alone, you mentally repeating the Greg incident and me crying either because the love of my life didn’t love me back, or because I hadn’t gotten into college (both things that I openly cried about during Saturday rehearsals). Maybe we would have decided to sit in the hallway together and, each taking an earbud, listen to the “Dashboard Confessional” CD playing in my discman. Maybe it would have brought us comfort.
I retro-actively offer you that solace as my birthday gift. Welcome to 26! It’s mostly just as devastating as 16.