I'm Twenty Fucking Five
2005-01-11 - 11:03 a.m.
A little salute to Samantha Jones in the title there . . .
So I am Twenty Fucking Five. And I am no longer freaking out.
Once upon a time, The Notorious RRZ saw a little movie called Singles. In this film, Janet Livermore, played by Bridget Fonda, faces the camera and says, "I'm 23. I feel time is running out to do something bizarre. Around 25, bizarre becomes immature." Fire lanced out of the television and wrote that statement deep within the recesses of my soul. And I became afraid of 25.
Not long after, my cousin, who has been happily married for nearly two decades, gave me this sage piece of advice: "Do not get married before the age of 25. Between the ages of 18 and 25, you change more than you have ever changed in your life, from one year to the next. Around 25, it settles down, and you become the person you're going to be for the rest of your life." And I became a little more afraid of 25.
Finally, in the seventh grade, my math teacher turned 25, and in a moment of spite, for no apparent reason, I said, "Gee, you're halfway to fifty." At which point she freaked out and said that I would understand the freaked outness when I turned 25. And I became a little more afraid of 25.
But in the immortal words of Belinda Carlisle, whom I heard while enjoying three perfect breakfast tacos at Whole Foods this morning, "Maybe I was afraid before. I'm not afraid anymore."
The past few weeks, Singles has been on HBO, and it had been reminding me of the impending doom of 25. As my last entry indicated, it seemed like everything was conspiring to make me feel like I had reached the quarter-century mark unfulfilled. This weekend, however, was the best birthday weekend I have ever had, and as a result I am ready to face being 25 with a mischievous grin and a raising of my eyebrows.
On Friday, Anarchaspud threw me a party at the Rhizome Collective. I haven't had a party thrown FOR me since I was 15 years old and one of my best friends at the time surprised me with a cake (that had, regrettably, been partially eaten by squirrels) at lunch. She kept calling me to ask me what I wanted, but eventually I told her that what I really wanted for my birthday was not to have to plan a thing. So I just drove her to the store to get ingredients for pizzas and stuff for mulled wine, which I would be making. That evening, I brought my music to the Rhizome and set myself up in the kitchen to make wine.
That's when the phone rang. It was the police. They had just arrested our friend Washing Machine, and needed us to come pick up his truck so it wouldn't get towed. The charge? An outstanding jaywalking ticket. Welcome to Fucking Texas.
So the wine was taken off the burned and the pizza placed in the fridge. We headed over to WM's truck and parked in a safer place so we could go try to spring him out of jail. I had to call people at that point to tell them that I was going to jail on my birthday. Older friends knew it was just The Notorious RRZ's token birthday disaster.
The birthday disasters started when I was 2 years old, and my mother decided to have a party for me and invite a bunch of family. This included a large number of small children, none of whom I liked, I'm sure. My mother made the mistake of trying to have party for both adults and children, a mistake epitomized in her decision to place cheese fondue in a warming pot ON THE FLOOR. The damn thing didn't stand a chance. It was knocked over in minutes, and the kids who knocked it over proceeded to ride their tricycles through it, grinding gooey cheese into my mother's new carpet. I. in the meantime, had been drinking punch all the while, and as my mother was staring in horror at the spreading cheese I went up to her, tugged on her dress, and got halfway through "Mommy, I don't feel so good" when I threw up.
Of course, all this is according to her. I remember nothing and admit less.
This, however, started a theme. While many birthdays have gone by harmlessly, any one in which I have tried to plan something has resulted in some sort of disaster. I would relate some of these disasters, but it occurs to me that I might have to plead the fizifth on most of them. I will say, though, that my worst birthday by far was when I was 21 and nobody wanted to go out drinking. They didn't have money to get trashed and refused to let me pay for anything, so it meant that I was drinking alone surrounded by bored people.
This year, however the disaster struck another person. When we got to the jail, they told us it might be an hour before WM got processed. So we headed back to the Rhizome and made our pizzas and drank our wine, and more and more people began showing up, including many that I had never met before. It wound up being mostly low key conversation accompanied by delicious pizza and the best mulled wine I've ever made until around midnight when Ms. Firecracker showed up and it instantly became a dance party. After a couple more hours, we all gathered around the fire pit outside and talked some more, until around 3:30am when I was ready to go home. At that moment, Washing Machine arrived, safe and sound, just in time to give me a hug before I went home.
However, when one turns 25, one should not party for only a single night. The next night Shkbob came into town to come salsa dancing with me. As it turned out, the salsa dancing was scheduled for the following week, but it proved to be a blessing in disguise, as The Sexy Finger Champs were playing down at Beerland. So we joined a couple of friends for dinner at Cuba Libre, followed by a flamenco performance at Dona Emilia's, before heading over to that lovely little punk club on Red River to hear some of our favorite crazy-ass punk numbers from the best punk band in Austin. They sang "The Love is Gone," "We Take Pills," "Iron Chef," "Go Robot Go," their cover of "Angry Inch," and their masterpiece, "We'll All Be Skinny in Heaven (Don't Let that Brownie Bring You Down)," as well as a song I'd never heard before; "I Want to Fuck Jean-Luc Picard." Don't we all?
Sunday brought a trip to San Antonio to have dinner at my favorite Japanese place with Shkbob and Herculine, whom I had not seen since he began the process of becoming more of a she. I'll talk about that visit in a later entry, because there's going to be one Hell of a rant involved, and this is not an entry for ranting.
Last night, after a wonderful family dinner at P.F. Chang's, the festivities concluded with a big group outing to Nasty's, which included Ms. Firecracker, Pearljammer, Stiki Niki, and many other lovelies. We got there early, as I wanted to turn 25 while shaking my ass. Now, usually I have fun at Nasty's. Last night, I had my mind blown. Not only did I get to dance with so many of my friends, at the end of the night they all crowded around me and freaked on me at once. I got high off the human contact, and was already in a state of bliss when we got back to Ms. Firecracker's house and she surprised me with one of the best birthday presents ever: a footbath and aromatherapy foot massage. Usually, I am at the giving end of massages, but tonight, as with much of the weekend, it felt really nice to have my friends taking care of me.
The best thing about all this was that there were times when I thought to myself, "Oh, this would be just perfect if . . . " and then followed the thought with, "No, it's perfect just the way it it." It was alright that Shkbob missed the party, and that Anarchaspud missed the dancing. It was okay that I had to deal with my parents reminiscing about me for an hour. It's okay that there was no sex or drugs during the weekend.
A few days ago, I went to Amy's Ice Cream and got oatmeal cookie ice cream with granola. I didn't realize until after I paid for it that the oatmeal cookie ice cream had raisins in it. A few years ago, I might have just thrown the ice cream away, or spent such a long time picking out the raisins that the ice cream would have evaporated by the time I was done. Instead, I ate the raisins, and didn't find them too bad. I think this might be the definition of maturity.
There were raisins over the past few days. There have been raisins all my life. There will be raisins in the coming year, particularly since The Notorious DAD has to go in for some medical tests and the two songs I've heard off the new Tori album are really lame. However, the ice cream is really great, although not as great as arriving at the point in your life when you believed you would finally know who you are and discovering that you're someone that a lot of people love very much.
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