Friday, October 11th, 2013 (Part 1)

It’s your birthday today. So happy birthday. You’re twenty-five now. Welcome to a quarter-century. I enjoyed mine last year, mostly. I don’t think the second half is going to turn out as well as the first. And in case you were worried that I might forget, Facebook had you covered. I hooked my phone up to my company’s Wi-Fi this morning and literally the first thing to pop up was a message from Facebook, reminding me that today’s your birthday and prompting me to celebrate by writing on your wall.

Invasive, right? It weirded me out. Especially considering that today is also my friend Dhani’s birthday and it didn’t prompt me with a message about that. Come to think of it, it’s never alerted me to write on someone’s wall for their birthday, never on my phone. Facebook’s creepy analytics at work, no doubt.

Still, it’s strange. I wonder what they flagged that linked us together. We never named names in our “in a relationship” status and we have few pictures tagged of the two of us. We don’t even have that much Facebook interaction – little writing on each other’s walls, no tagging each other in posts. We saw each other in person and talked on gchat and over text messages. Why would we Facebook each other?

But still, somehow, Facebook knows. They know we are (or were) connected on a “more than friends” level. And they wanted me to wish you a happy birthday.

I wonder how often they refresh their statistics and inferred connections. How long will it take them to update and correct this analytics error? As long as it will take me to get over you? Or will I be prompted to write on your wall again next October 11th?

Also, is it a paired connection. On December 6th, will your phone ask you to write a happy 26th birthday message on my wall?

The mechanics of Facebook aside, I do hope you have a happy birthday and an amazing night out. I broke my pact of not speaking to you (kind of) and wrote on your wall. Just a short message, three sentences so I stood out from the pack of zombie well-wishers, most of whom you haven’t spoken to in years. But also short enough so as not to seem crazy or overly hung up on you.

(I caveat this to say that, yes, I am still hung up on you, but to a natural degree. My affection is waning. It’s a slow process. But I’m by no means fanatical. I’m not going to crash your party or text you drunkenly. How embarrassing would that be? No surprise gifts mailed to you, either. Even if I were a planner and had gotten you something back in June before you ended things, I still wouldn’t send it to you. I’d selfishly use it for myself or re-gift it at Christmas. So no, I’m not “crazy” about you any more, just “fond” of you. So what if I miss you on your birthday. That’s totally natural. It would also be natural if you missed me. Somewhere in the delusional part of my mind, I imagine that you’ll get really drunk tonight and text me, saying that you miss me. I wouldn’t fault you for wanting birthday sex. And the sad thing is, it wouldn’t take much to get me to come over. Just for a quick roll in your bed. I know it’s not going to happen, but it doesn’t stop me from thinking what if…)

You always get way into your birthday. You’re a celebrator. You take on all the responsibility of planning it, and then even pay for part of it (which I thought was ridiculous last year). But you love your friends and you want to show them a good time. You have a good time just knowing that they’re having fun.

Do you remember last year? I do. For a couple of reasons.

You had reserved a table/couch area at this awesome club in the Lower East Side. I can’t remember the name of it now; that night was the one and only time I’ve been there. It was ritzy, though. We had a table up on the second floor. They had a great cocktail menu and little appetizers that we could share around the table, egg rolls and fried chicken. They classed it up, though.

You invited a bunch of your friends — your roommates Tyler and Jared, your good friend Aaron and his new-ish boyfriend, Kevin, one of your coworkers, your friend Brian and his boyfriend (who was also named Brian), and me. Then a few other people came as attachments, Kevin’s two girlfriends (both lesbians).

(That’s when we met Kevin, right? Aaron’s terrible and (thankfully) short-lived boyfriend. Never have I seen a guy more insecure. He didn’t even know you and was throwing money around like you were brothers. He must have bought five or six bottles of champagne for the table. And I know that you and everyone else thought him so generous for doing this, but I was somewhat sober that night and I had dated a rich, insecure guy before, so I saw the signs of a douche bag from the start. I kept it to myself that night, though, and just observed, letting you have your fun, letting you get drunk out of your mind. Which is what everyone should do on their birthdays.)

I remember you started the night annoyed, though. It seems no one knows how to be on time for a birthday party. It was just you, me and Jared for a half hour. But then people started rolling in and things took off. It was a fun time. We had round after round of drinks and ate plenty of food for two or three hours. They had great music playing. We only had the table for so long, though, and our time was running out, so we got the check to pay with plans to take the party to another bar. It was still early in the night.

When we got the check, I was super annoyed with some of your friends (really just Jared) who refused to help out with the tab. I think Jared paid for one drink. And then boasted about how drunk he was because other people had bought him drinks all night. He had about six of them, but only one that he had “ordered” himself. He didn’t count the glasses of champagne the Brians and Kevin had bought for him. He didn’t even include a drink in there for you!

You ended up paying…on your birthday! That’s not okay. I tried to convince you not to, but you insisted. More of you wanting your friends to have a good time even though it was your birthday and we all owed something to you. I remember your coworker and I chipped in. But you paid the rest of the balance and tried to do it on the sly so no one else would notice and cause a fuss. Really, you’re too good to your friends.I don’t understand people who won’t contribute, especially when it’s someone else’s birthday. No one gets their friends a birthday gift when they’re in their twenties, that’s why you buy them booze, it makes up for the giftlessness. I guess some people don’t get this concept.

After that, we went to Boiler Room. The first bar had been straight, so really, we needed to end the night gay. You hung out with Kevin and his lesbian friends. He bought you shot after shot of Petron. I tried to avoid him. He reminded me so much of my first boyfriend, trying to buy the approval of his new boyfriend’s friends. Maybe I was too negative and should’ve have given him a fair chance. Whatever, that’s all in the past now.

The funniest part of the night came at the end when we headed home. We couldn’t find a cab to save our lives and started walking west from the East Village. It was pretty chilly out and you could barely walk in a straight line after all those tequila shots. And you also had to pee. Eventually you found a nice corner and pissed on the side of some building, ignoring the equally drunk girls who walked by and gawked.

No cabs would stop for us and we all started shouting and cursing on the streets at all the cabbies passing us by. We made it all the way to the West Village before one picked us up and we headed back to your place.

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