In the five years that Brian and I have been together, I had kept my birthday a closely guarded secret, primarily because I hate being reminded that every year is another year closer to the gay retirement home, the place where we shunt off the elderly: the ones who are infirm, we poor homos over 25. Because I am Asian, I am able to disguise my real age with a bit o’ concealer. But I truly fear the day that I am found out, then my fellow gays will toss me aside, like a crouton from a low-carb salad.
But my mother-in-law, that sneaky woman, managed to get a hold of this classified information from an unsuspecting Brian. Of course, Brian was thrilled, because to him, this indicated that I was finally being “accepted,” being brought into the familial fold--I was being integrated into the Borg.
That’s what so sweet about Brian--his heart is pure and innocent. He can’t imagine that there was an ulterior motive here: this was a ploy to add another date to his mother’s calendar of tortuous womandatory family events.
All holidays and Pulaski Day must be spent at my mother-in-law's house. Her children, though grown in their 20s and 30s, must be nestled at her bosom, a size 50, triple-D. Never mind that the children's spouses had families of their own--she called dibs on those holidays while the children were in utero.
But she must’ve felt her influence waning as the children had started negotiating these dates. There were requests to split the holidays, leaving early or arriving late. These requests were ultimately abandoned by the requestor as their mother’s tears fell. Such powerful ammunition. If we could somehow control Barbara Bush’s tear ducts, the war in Iraq would certainly be over.
Now, my birthday, while not a holiday, was seized upon as another excuse. “I’m throwing a party for Paul’s birthday,” mom exclaimed, “how’s next week?”
I protested of course, but how do you refuse your mother-in-law’s largesse without turning your spouse against you? Do you think that you have bound your spouse to you with your vows, your wedding rings, your blowjob technique? But remember, your wedding ring is but of soft gold; those apron strings are of steel cable.
Then the woman asks how many candles she will need for the cake. Mother wins again. The cake might as will be my tombstone; the candles, the nails in my coffin. The entire family will be summoned to watch me age before their eyes, candle by candle, withering to nothing, despite Kiehl's Cryste Marine Firming Serum, Oil of Olay and the battery acid I use to keep my skin beautiful.
So today, in a few hours, we will be headed towards my mother-in-law’s house, Brian still oblivious to his mother’s machinations. My only consolation is that one day, maybe, I will be able to exact revenge on my daughter- or son-in-law.
I relish the thought.
Birthday Nookie - On the morning of Brian's birthday, I gave him the gift of nookie.
Something's Gotta Give - Yeah, especially your knees, your ankles. Ruminations on aging and a movie review.