Thursday, December 31, 2009
Happy New Year to You! Happy Birthday to Me!
My birthday is on December 31st so I get to double party every New Year's Eve. It sounds exciting at first, but it's really not that cool. Everyone remembers my special day, but only for about a minute. Then they go on to their parties, celebrations, and drunkenness, and my brief moment of attention is gone.
Most of my New Year's Eve birthdays have been disasters. First off, I always seem to get sick on my birthday, and can't even go out. This has happened at least a half a dozen times. (Today included.)
When I do go out, things get worse. There was New Year's eve of 1998, my 21st birthday. We were in NYC, but were denied into our destination because we weren't on the list. I never even got to legally buy my first drink. Instead, a bouncer yelled at me and then we ended up in a hotel. People got drunk, coupled off, and I ended up by myself. Happy 21st!
Then there was New Year's of 1996 when I was somehow convinced to be the designated driver because my Mom's car was an SUV and it was snowing that night.
Then there was the infamous 2004 New Year's Eve birthday at the All-Asian Club. It sounds good on paper, but my friends and I were the only non-Asians at the party, and the Asians wanted nothing to do with us. We got shot down left and right, and received tons of "what the hell are you doing here?" looks. In fact, during the evening, several people asked me for drinks and to clear tables because they thought I was a bus boy.
Then there was 2002. I was at a bar in LA striking out as usual. (You'd think having a birthday on 12/31 would be good, but girls are never impressed. At least, not enough to hook up with me.) I finally met a girl intoxicated enough to talk to me. She was pretty lit, and would've talked to anyone, but somehow she ended up next to me. We were flirting hardcore when my friend Jeff interrupted and demanded I come with him. I tried to shoo him away, but he wouldn't leave me alone. I told the girl I'd be right back.
I was then brought to the stage, the DJ stopped playing music, and announced it was my birthday. Three people clapped, a few booed, and the rest chanted for the music to return. I absorbed the embarrassment, glared at my friend (who was trying to be nice, but it didn't really work out), and headed back to the one girl I had a shot with. I was gone two minutes, and she was now lip-locked with some other guy. Another New Year's Disaster.
But with all of the debacles, I save my favorite, most entertaining New Year's Eve birthday story for last:
It was a cold New Year's Eve night in Boston, Massachusetts. The streets were dusted with snow, and 20 mile per hour winds whipped through the air.
We bundled up in our coats, hats, and gloves, and finally made it to the apartment. We knocked and DEWICK opened the door with a burst of energy.
Dewick's apartment was stocked with people, music, and most importantly booze. Dewick, who is usually, tidy and clean, was letting loose, and was psyched to see his good college buddies. I was accompanied by CARMICHAEL, a skinny dude who wished he was a surfer and was always up for anything. MACPHIE, the nicest guy of all time who could do no wrong, except when he was drunk. And HODGDON, the Kramer of the group who was always doing something unexpectedly. We shed our coats, zipped into the kitchen, and began celebrating my birthday.
We caught up on old times, and increased our rate of drinking over a game of Kings. The party was a success. There wasn't even an issue when Carmichael's ex-girlfriend stopped by and flirted with everyone. I probably would've been mad, but Carmichael could care less; he was a pretty laid back guy, and it wasn't like we were hooking up with her.
After a few hours of debauchery, a few of us agreed that we needed to find a bigger party; a bar, a club, something. Dewick couldn't leave because it was his party, and he was having too much fun anyways. In fact, he spent most of his time chilling with Carmichael's ex-girlfriend.
So Carmichael, MacPhie, Hodgdon, and I threw on our layers, and headed into the great outdoors. We trekked to the closest bars on Landsdowne street. The only bar we could get into was Jillian's; a Dave and Buster's type bar only for adults. It was not our top choice; playing NBA Jam on my birthday was not my goal for the night (although, in retrospect, that would've been much better.)
But at least Jillian's was warm and there were a few girls around. At this point, we were feeling pretty good from our alcohol intake. The only exception was Hodgdon. He was close to passing out; and there was still an hour until the ball dropped. He was gonna drop much sooner so we had to do something. His classy buddy, Carmichael, escorted him to the Employees Only Closet and tucked him in for a nap.
That left Carmichael, MacPhie, and me. The three of us were drawn in by three young women. We introduced ourselves and quickly realized they didn't speak English (which could be a good thing at this point.) We conversed in broken Spanish and learned they were from somewhere in South America.
I tried with all my might to impress my girl, but it was my birthday, and I was officially cursed. Carmichael and his girl had nothing to say to each other. But MacPhie and his girl looked like newlyweds on their honeymoon. The ball dropped, and they were attached at the lips immediately. Carmichael and I only got pecks on the cheek, but at least they were still talking to us. And we somehow convinced them to go back to Dewick's party with us.
As we left, Carmichael was pulled from our group by the bouncer. "You know this kid?" He pulled a woozy Hodgdon from the closet.
I have no idea what happened to Carmichael next. But he somehow got Hodgdon somewhere safe to sleep and ended up with us just a few minutes later.
The wind blew us back to Dewick's place, and we slid into the apartment building. Our group was me, Carmichael, MacPhie, and the 3 South American girls. We knocked on Dewick's door. No answer. We knocked again. Nothing. We put our ears to the door; the place was dead and it was only 1 am. What could Dewick possibly be doing?
The South American girls looked at us for the next move. We have 3 beautiful girls and nowhere to go with them. It was a tragedy. The girls wanted to go dancing, but there wasn't a club in sight. And Dewick's place was not gonna work. We were screwed. I put my hands in my pocket, shrugged my shoulders, and was about to give up. That's when Latino music poured from another apartment. A big dude opened his door and said: "You guys wanna party?"
We flocked into his apartment expecting a huge fiesta. But nobody was there. It was just the dude. He put out cheese and wine, and blasted some fast paced Latino tunes. The girls danced salsa, and seemed to be really happy. But I kept thinking: who the hell is this sketchy dude?
But at this point, we didn't think about it too much. Instead, we learned the salsa steps, and things strangely seemed to be working out.
That's when I got dizzy, and I realized tonight was NOT gonna be a good night.
I bypassed the bathroom for the outdoors, and unloaded my birthday alcohol and dinner in the bushes in front of Dewick's apartment. When I glanced into the bedroom window, I swore I saw Dewick and some girl in his bed, but I was too sloshed to know what was going on.
I returned back to the dude's apartment, and just wanted to go home. Carmichael felt the same way. The random dude asked if we wanted to stay over for the night. You've got to be kidding me? We had no idea who this guy was. We didn't know a thing about him. The answer was obviously no. Without hesitation, MacPhie and his girl b-lined into the guy's bedroom and closed the door. And the dude didn't even blink.
The rest of us left. We hoped our friend would be ok and not end up in the news, but it was definitely time to go. I eventually made it back to Carmichael's house, regurgitated a few more times, and went to bed. Another birthday.
The Next Day
I woke up with a headache, and wondered how the rest of my buddies were doing.
MacPhie woke up alone in the random dude's apartment. The girl had left earlier. She had professed her love for him, and he faintly remembered giving her a phone number. Then she left to meet up with her friends. MacPhie slept again and woke up in the late morning.
His memory was so splotchy that he thought he was in Dewick's place. So he ate all of the food and used the shower. It wasn't till he left, and ran into Dewick in the hallway, did he realize that he had been in some random apartment. He then told what he could remember, and explained how nice Dewick's friend was for letting him stay at his place. But Dewick had never seen that guy ever before in his life. He was truly just a random dude.
Dewick then complained to MacPhie about the jerk who threw up in his bushes and woke him up in the middle of the night. The entire night was utterly bizarre.
When we caught up later in the day, we all learned a few things.
Hodgdon learned how to pass out in an Employees Only closet.
Carmichael learned that Dewick hooked up with his ex-girlfriend the night before (that's why the party had ended so early; and that's who I saw in the window!) Fortunately, there were no hard feelings.
Dewick learned that I was the culprit who decimated his bushes and forgave me.
MacPhie learned to never give out a phone number while tired and hungover. Apparently, MacPhie was such a mess that he gave the South American girl his parent's home number by mistake. When he got home she had called close to a dozen times.
And I learned that just because I had another terrible birthday, didn't mean it wasn't memorable.
Happy New Year to you!
Happy Birthday to me!