Cumpleanos. Honestly, I don't know what that word means. Its clearly espanol. If I had to use my context clues I would guess it means "companions"?... So begins the beginning.
Not so long ago I got an invite to my friends birthday party. The invitation was in Spanish, because the party was a fiesta. (a Spanish word I understand). So I got this e-vite, (is that what they are called?), an email invite to "La Fiesta De Cumpleanos De Ali". Hrmmm let me decode this real quick "Le' Party with companions at Ali's house". Nailed it.
The email was from Blake (her esposa? I'm just making up Spanish words now), a month or less goes by and I forget all about the e-vite. A day or so before the fiesta my phone alerts me of an upcoming situation. My iphone some how had saved this fiesta to the calendario. Coolio! A party tomorrowio! Who doesn't enjoy a good day drinking every now and then?!
So I prepare for the party.
Let me describe how my thought process is going. *brain: Blake sent email to party. It's at Ali's house. He lives there too, but who cares. It's a birthday party. It's Blake's Birthday party! Let's go get him a present!
I get out of Sunday school (am I 7 years old? Yes.) and go straight to Zumiez (I know, but its so close to my house). I pick up some white and gold skateboard wheels and matching gold hardware. Super proud of my purchases I proceed to wrap them up in shark wrapping paper. I'm not sure why we have shark wrapping paper.
I grab a cold one, and my favorite coozie, and head over to see my companions!
Beer in one hand, presents under the other, I enter the party with the confidence of high school football quarterback. I Cosmo Kramer through the door and spew "hey-o" like Ron Burgundy if he were on top of Colorado's highest mountain peak. I am immediately greeted by Ali, this is her house after all. So that makes sense. I ask where I put the presents and I'm not sure if I said "where's the birthday boy?" or "where's Blake?". I would like to think/hope/pray that I said the latter. She points and says "he's out on the patio". The party goes on. I chat with everyone. I ask Blake how old he is. All the standard stuff. Thank goodness I brought one single cerveza, because I couldn't find any booze at this party to save my life. Where do they hide the alcohol? What kind of ruse is this?
But, as this is a fiesta, there is a pinata. Ali gets blind folded and breaks the colorful cardboard paper mache blob. Candy spews out. They throw all the sugar packets into a basket. I eat some of it. Ok. I eat all the oversized Sourpatch-Kids I can find out of the sugar basket. CAKE TIME!
The day of the dead skull cake is lit with candles. Blake is holding the beautifully crafted cake, showing it to Ali. It's his birthday, he can do what ever he wants with his cake. Show it off! The song starts. "Happy Birthday to you, *(I join in), Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday dear Bla aaali.... *gulp." The others finish the song. A bead of sweat spews from my forehead like a faucet. It hits me. This is NOT Blake's birthday party at all. This is Ali's birthday party. I glare at my shark presents. They glare back. I panic.
I panic hard.
The crowd shuffles to the kitchen. I panic more.
Blake and Ali start cutting the cake. I look and feel like my shark presents. I wish I was swimming with with them. I quickly grab some ice cream, I don't deserve cake, I am a piece of shit. I scour the room for a purse that I could pull off? I need to hide these fucking presents. There is not one purse in my color wheel. No one will believe its mine. I scan the room for a possible accomplice. There is no one I can convince in time of the metaphorical shit storm I've created for myself.
I am alone.
I am on a silent sinking ship.
Meanwhile everyone is enthralled with one another in the kitchen. This is my only chance. I snatch the ONLY wrapped presents (everyone else's gifts were discreetly tucked inside nicely decorated birthday bag things with nice tissue paper on top). I run out the back door. I don't look back. I swim through the alley way like a ninja. I keep the shark presents close to my chest like a newborn child. I reach my car. I throw the presents on the passenger side floor boards. Literally, I throw them. So mad. So scared.
Do I go back?
I ask myself, "do I go back?". I should just leave. No. We have to go back.
I am Gollum from Lord of the Rings.
I scamper back through the alley way. Re-enter the party. Eating my ice cream. My anxiety is palpable.
The fiesta flows back outside. I quickly search Blake and Ali's fridge for any sign of alcohol. There is none.
Everyone knows the shark presents are missing. None of them are saying a word. I am on to them. I am paranoid. I write a quick text to the birthday girl saying what I have done. She doesn't appear to have a phone anywhere near her. I play aloof, but I feel like a loofa.
I panic eat. I destroy the rest of the guacamole.
I stick it out. I am one of the final guest. I am asked to take a parting party gift. FUCK ME. They got everyone who came to the party a gift. A cactus. Meanwhile I have done nothing to contribute to this party. I take one. I leave.
The sharks, the cactus and I ride home in a soaking silence.