I learned several things this weekend as I celebrated my birthday:
1. Drag shows are like burlesque shows without real boobs.
2. You can fit two people on a massage table at the same time.
3. Flamenco dancers are hot.
4. Jake does a stunning rendition of Hall and Oates’ “Maneater.”
5. Pizza rolls and Humphrey Bogart make hang-overs better.
Allow me to explain …
Friday, we went to a Scandalesque student recital at a place called “The Rock.” I had no idea it was a gay bar until we arrived and there were rainbows everywhere. Jake didn’t seem to mind. He ordered a Long Island Iced Tea; I ordered a Corona. The cute, gay bartender asked Jake if he wanted a lime in his beer. Jake said, “The beer is for her.” The bartender then called me “Butch.” I had a blast seeing dancers I have danced with in class on The Rock’s glittery stage. Jake saw his first feather routine, and I seriously considered slipping a dollar bill in a drag queen’s cleavage. I know, historically, that drag shows grew from burlesque. Now, I’ve seen the proof.
Saturday afternoon, Jake and I got a couple’s massage at Hand and Stone in Goodyear. I asked for deep tissue, and at one point, the young woman asked, “Do you mind if I get on the table with you?” I said, “Sure!” and she did some awesome glute compressions on me. That’s what I meant about two people on a massage table; what did you think I was talking about …?
After spending the rest of the afternoon by the pool, Jake and I got dressed up and headed downtown to The Clarendon Hotel. We arrived at 5 PM, even though the party didn’t officially start until six. Arriving at five gave us time to wander around, check out the roof, and gawk at the bright, shining pool deck. (I’m obsessed.) It also gave me time to have a Prickly Pear Margarita and time for us to share Gallo Blanco’s citrus guacamole. Unbeknownst to me, there was a flamenco troupe performing in the bar that evening, and seriously—no matter what you look like, if you’re dancing flamenco, you’re hot.
Our gang of twelve rolled in at 6 PM, and we lost ourselves in conversation, cocktails, and TACOS!! Once filled to popping, it was time for karaoke, west valley style, at Tap’s, down the street from our house. Not only did the DJ announce it was my birthday, but I got to see my friends sing, dance, and do about a million shots. In particular, I love when Jake gets on stage. I swear he was born to be a rock star. We were so out of control, in fact, that the next morning, I received a text from one of my buddy’s wives: “That boy is not allowed shots. Puked tons when he got home.”
I wasn’t too hung-over the day after. Miraculous? I suppose. Maybe it was an early birthday gift, considering my official birthday is today. Jake, romantic gentleman that he is, blew up our queen-sized inflatable mattress in the living room yesterday. Together, we watched Casablanca, ate pizza rolls, and dozed, all day long …
Did I have the perfect birthday weekend? I think so. I can’t imagine a better way to spend it, than with the people I have come to know and love here in the Valley. Do I feel introspective today, now that I’m twenty-nine? Not really.
I already received the phone call from my mom this morning, marking the very minute I was born. She does it every year, telling me that when her water broke, she thought I was a little demon trying to escape. How my face was blue when I came out and opened my mouth in a silent scream. How my dad had tears in his eyes. (Precious.) I love this phone call. I look forward to it every year, but every year on my birthday, I don’t feel older. I don’t feel different. I just feel excited, because I’ve made it another year—none the wiser but luckier and luckier every day. Face it: It’s not how many years you spend on earth; it’s how you spend them. Today, I’m spending my time with the man I love. He’s the best birthday present I could ask for.