Last weekend my friend Allie sent out a birthday invitation reminding everyone that she did not want to "share" her day with the fanfare of Halloween. It was a clear reminder of the sense of entitlement a girl has on her birthday.
Therefore, we got together the weekend after Halloween. I joined my friend Justin at Allie's apartment — which was full of girls. Justin and I were sentenced to the couch after being reprimanded for being anti-social. So, we attempted to turn the football game on while the girls were distracted. Allie's antennae went up immediately — something was awry. She stood up in front of the TV, raised her finger at us and stated:
"It's my birthday, and on my birthday we put what I want on the TV." With that, she turned on that awful music channel that doesn't even show videos. Girls like this channel because they never have sufficient stereo equipment in their apartments and they are satisfied with just the television speakers. As Akon and Jojo polluted the apartment air, I realized that I was among a rare breed of guys who once managed to breach the birthday rule.
My victim? Other Emily. Other Emily was a girl I was dating who earned the name "Other Emily" because my sister is also named Emily. My girlfriend was relegated to "Other Emily" just to make things easier.
Other Emily wore out her welcome quickly. Other Emily's "Family Dinners" were the main culprit. The dinner consisted of me, Other Emily, her brother, his fiancé, and Other Emily's parents. At first, it was kind of cool, but after a while, it seemed as though I was being groomed to be a groom.
Slowly but surely I began to feel as though I was in prison in this relationship - short attention span was wearing thin. I was losing my rights. Other Emily was pressuring me to go to the art museum, and I realized that, frankly, I didn't want to go. Other warning signs began to pop up. I was dragged, like a dear carcass on top of a Ford Bronco, to Other Emily's class reunion but I broke my promise and left early leaving her at her reunion naked, with no ornament.
My breaking point came when Other Emily's birthday rolled around. This wasn't just a regular birthday — it was a birthday week: like Mardis Gras. Every day there was some responsibility I had to fulfill.
One day as I was innocently sitting at work, my phone rang — it was Other Emily's mom. I felt so violated. Work is the one place you can hide from your significant other. Once they are able to call you at work, you are done — you've checked your soul at the door and you are cooked. Plus, it wasn't even Other Emily, it was her MOM! Apparently, Other Emily and her mom were going to go on a birthday picnic and her mom had the audacity to ask me to leave work and join them.
I also continued to resist taking Other Emily to the art museum but she was adamant about going:
"I cant' believe you'd try to get out of going to the museum on my birthday weekend," she said. She might as well have said: "you are not allowed to move, breathe, eat or sleep on my birthday weekend, unless I take that gimp ball out of your mouth".
This birthday week was getting to be too much. A breakup was in order. I decided to go to the museum and use it to make Other Emily break up with me. I "concockted" to play an art critic at the museum.
Upon entering the galleries, my MO was to identify the phallus in every piece of art hung on that wall, and tell Other Emily how I believed that the artist was using art to express hidden gay desires.
Mondrian? Skinny penises.
Pollack? Splattered penises.
Picasso? Square penises.
Monet? Stand back and watch the brush strokes blend into penises.
My plan seemed to work.
"I can't believe how obnoxious and immature you are," she exclaimed as we left the museum.
"I'm sorry (Other) Emily, I guess we both have a lot to think about," I said. She agreed, and I left and waited for her call to break up with me.
Sure enough, my phone rang soon after our little adventure and it was Other Emily speaking in hushed and emotional tones. She gave me a long speech that eventually led up to her saying: "I'm sorry for yelling at you…"
The worst part of this foiling was that I was still expected to attend the super fancy Other Emily family dinner looming at the end of the weekend. I began dropping hints that I might not make the dinner due to having to play in a soccer game. Other Emily caught on to my plan and called me a few hours before the dinner:
"Are you coming to my dinner tonight?" Her voice was full of doubt.
"I can't. I have a soccer game," I replied.
"You're so selfish," she said.
"You're right—I am selfish," I replied.
"I don't deserve this."
"You're right. You don't deserve this."
And just like that it was over. I had pulled the ultimate rebellion: avoiding a girlfriend's birthday.
I wish I could say it was over at that point, but there was one literal post script that occurred. Days later I received an email from Other Emily that, printed out, went on for three pages (10 point Arial font). In it, she ripped me up and down for what a horrible boyfriend I was.
With the click of a button, the letter was forwarded around to all my friends and was later made into a mad lib for long car rides.
Moral of the story:
guys — thou shalt not cross a girl on her birthday
girls — thou shalt not put emotional and angry thoughts in writing.