Stories: “Maybe We Can Go To The Strip Club Later”
In five days, I’m turning 29-years-old. Or should I say, 2030 years old, that’s 20 and 30 combined, because every time you tell people you’re turning 29, they just start rounding up. They say things like, “Oh wow, you’re about to be 30.” Well, actually, I’m pretty sure I said I’m about to be 29, but okay, we’ll just say 2030-years-old instead.
Anyway, to celebrate my upcoming grown man day, the next couple of days will be posts related to my turning a year older or my birthday. Today, I begin with a story about birthday parties.
Being a Summer baby, I never really got into my birthday, especially because my sister, who’s three years my junior, celebrates her birthday on July 16. So growing up, the two of us always shared our birthdays and we usually kept the celebration to family only. We didn’t really have parties, because, well, most of our friends were away for the summer.
After a while, I developed a fear that no one would show up if I did decide to throw a party. For me, my ideal birthday is either with my family at a restaurant of my sister and I’s choosing, or some girl I like taking to me to a birthday. I never thought to have a party until I turned 24, and it wasn’t even my idea.
My girlfriend at the time didn’t understand my no-party rule. She actually kind of resented me for it, claiming I was trying to be too cool to celebrate my grown man day. I explained to her my Summer birthday theory and how I was raised without a lot of parties, and she still didn’t understand because she was one of those girls who celebrated her birthday for the entire month. All I really wanted was to do was spend my birthday with her. “Take me to a steakhouse,” I said. “That’s all I wanted.”
She agreed, but the day before we made those plans, she said she had to work on my birthday. The television show she was producing was running on a super tight deadline and everyone had to put in overtime.
Now that, admittedly, made me mad. I wasn’t asking for much for my birthday, and now I wasn’t even going to get the little bit I wanted. The morning of my birthday I woke up at her place, and we took the train into the city together because her stop was before mine. When we arrived at her stop, she gave me a kiss and told me she would call me later. I simply said, “Peace.”
I decided to make my own plans for my birthday. There was a fight on that night, I believe it was between Jermain Taylor and Bernard Hopkins, so I thought, perfect. I’ll go down to a sports bar and watch the fight by myself. This was the plan until one of my boys who lives in Boston told me he was going to come down to New York City for the night, and he’ll watch the fight with me. So cool, I had one of my best friends, a fight, I didn’t need my girl. And selfishly I was so upset with her, I gave her guilt trip after guilt trip when she called. And at one point, I just stopped answering the phone altogether. Forget her, I thought. She’s going to just work on my birthday, she could have called in. This was all really childish stuff, but I didn’t care.
My boy was to meet me at the sports bar during the under card matches, around 9:00. When I arrived there he was with two of our other best friends who lived in D.C. at the time. Now this was about to be a party. Instead of one of my boys, I now had three, we had the fight, the sports bar was packed with plenty of pretty girls. I told one of my boys, “You know, I was kind of mad at my girl cause she chose to work today, but now, I need to text her and tell her thank you. I don’t want to be with her tonight, I want to be with my boys.”
So we drank, talked to girls, and watched the fight. One of my boys said, “Man, soon as this fight is over we’re taking you to a strip club.” At that point, I actually did text my girl…
“Babe, sorry about today. Hope ur night at work is cool. My boys r here 4 my birthday. All good now!”
She text me back…”LOL! Sorry I couldn’t be there, I feel bad, but have fun.”
Once the fight was over, I was already stumbling drunk to my boy’s car. The four of us piled in and headed downtown, which I thought was weird because all the strip clubs I knew were uptown. “WHERE ARE YOU GOING?!” I yelled in my drunken slur. “THE TITTIES ARE UPTOWN! THE TITTIES ARE UPTOWN!” We arrived at this club with a line snaking around the corner, and my boy says, “Hey we’re going to hit up this spot before we go to the strip club.” I looked at all the pretty girls in line and said, “Or this can be the strip club if we do it right.”
We parked the car and instead of waiting in line, one of my boys walked straight up to the front; a funny thing I thought because I know he didn’t have any pull. The other strange or rather, inconvenient thing was when I saw a couple of friends of my girl. “Umm, we’re definitely going to the strip club after this,” I told my boys. “My girl got her spies on us.”
My boy finishes talking to the doorman and surprisingly he lets us right in. All the girls with clipboards working the list are winking at me and smiling at me, the music is blasting, and even though I keep on seeing other people I know, I’m not putting two and two together. We finally step into the club, turn a corner, and who else do I see, my girl (who might I add looked better than anyone that night) and more friends of mine than I ever thought I had all yelling, “SURPRISE!”
There were friends from out of town, friends I hadn’t seen in a good year, friends I owed favors to, coworkers who I thought didn’t know my name or didn’t care for me. Mostly everyone I knew and everyone who knew me came out for my birthday and celebrated it with me all because my girl put it all together. I gave her a big kiss, hugged her. Then I whispered in here ear, “Now I feel bad.”
“Don’t,” she said. “You weren’t supposed to know.”
“Well, that’s not it,” I said. “My boys said we were going to the strip club. But I guess this means we’re not going.”
She laughed and said, “That’s definitely right!”
“Well wait, maybe we can go to the strip club later at your apartment?” I suggested. She looked at me quizzically, and I said, “I mean, I do have some birthday money.”
“Later,” she said and smiled back at me.
Of course, the girl and I are not together anymore (as a matter of fact, she’s one of the exes who recently got engaged), but I still hear from her every year. She calls me to wish me a happy birthday and every year I thank her for showing me if I ever wanted to have a party to celebrate my born day, there’s a good chance people will show up.