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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.

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  • Yesi Jukebox

    This was a great story! I had the same fears about birthday parties for a long time because when I was turning 10 NO ONE showed up to my house 🙁 finally at 18 I had a graduation/bday party and too many people showed up! lol it was great though

  • Teddy

    I actually love this post! I too was raised on not really celebrating my birthday by having parties but instead doing something chill/small with the fam. It wasn’t until college that I had my first “real” birthday party and it was AMAZING! There was an ice storm that weekend so I was sure that NOONE would make it but surprisingly ppl drove in the ice and caught the train to the hotel party and it was one of the best birthdays I’ve ever had! Def had more ppl than anticipated but that just made it all the more fun. Hope u have an amazing 2030 birthday!!!!! 🙂

  • Htowndisaster

    Awwww. That’s like the best story ever! I’m debating a party when I turn 30 in November. I may just do it!

  • MultipleHeart

    Sweet story, sweet girlfriend. I have had two birthday parties, one when I was 7 and when when I turned 16. I had more fun at the one for 7. I wanted to throw myself a birthday party when I turned 30 but wasn’t able to.

    Maybe this year I’ll do something low key, with family and friends. Hope you do something great.

  • Maria

    Great story!!
    I thought I was the only one who had a fear that no one would show up to my parties which is why I rarely had one. When I did it always seemed to snow on my parade so now I celebrate all month instead.

  • @broSouL

    dope story.

    i’ve done the birthday thing, but after the 18th, i was pretty much on my own to show myself a good time. they’ve been pretty low-key aside from my 30th (when i went to hawaii with two good friends from high school) and my most recent one (35th). two good friends bought me a PS3, coupla other friends hooked me up with mad itunes gift cards, my brother hooked up several pairs of kicks…and that list could honestly go on. i’m not a big “gift” person, but i have to say that friends and family knocked it out the park this year.

    those moments are the best. thanks for another great post, jozen.

  • Tamia W

    Thats a great story … And that was so great of the X to do that for you .. im sure something you will never forget… Me… I celebrate every birthday and each year it only gets bigger than the last lol… I cant wait for my next bday in feb my big 25!!!! Its gonna be crazy lol … BUt Happy Early Bday .. MAKE SURE YOU JUST ENJOY YOURSLEF!!!!

  • Sunkissed404

    @Yesi Jukebox

    Lmbo..Ha! I can relate!

    -SMH!! Goodness Jozen…You’re crazy! lol

  • Jackie

    Great story!! My best parties was when I turned 15, 21 (You were there Jozen) and 28 (this past May). My last birthday was great b/c i thought I had noone to really celebrate with but I ended having a surprise party and I had a great time. I figured out how easily manipulated i can be b/c I thought the whole night was my own idea, lol… I hope you have a happy birthday Jozen.

  • **inquiring mind**

    Lol… that is pretty dope, good surprise are the biz-ness! Great post Jozen… and much props to your ex for that one- she’s gotta be a great girl!

  • dbaby11

    that was an awesome post.

  • GJ

    Jozen man, I can relate to a lot of your posts but I gotta say Im really feeling you on this one. Maybe its a Cancer (Summer Baby?) thing–I hate big parties for my birthday and have acted exactly like you acted in the past, whether with the pouting thing, or just asking for a simple birthday dinner, or even the strip club ha ha ha. I mean I could have written this with a few details changed here and there…love this post man. Greatness.

  • Natasha

    “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).”

    That makes sense! She sounds like a great catch.

    This post was very uplifting, espeacially because all you wanted was a steak dinner! Very nice.

  • MissMina

    So this is weird… I was in NY summer of ’05 staying with a fellow Howard alum for a couple of days bc she had gotten me an internship at MTV. This was months before July but I remember she said she was planning a birthday party for “her boy(friend)” Jozen. Obviously Jozen is not a name you would ever forget, and I don’t know if she was ur girl or a friend of your girl’s (not trying to put her on blast) but she is literally the nicest person I know that I didn’t know that well. 6 degrees of separation, I swear. But for us Howard folks its more like ONE degree of separation. Cool.

  • Miss. Riss

    I love it! I’ve always appreciated a good birthday surprise. One thing you never forget about people is how special they have made you feel.

  • Lana

    Cool story…as a fellow Cancerian (July 11th) I totally feel you on wanting a low key birthday with a few close friends and good food 🙂

  • MadScientist7

    my birthday falls right when school begins so people used to always show up to my parties. perks of being a libra. 😉

  • citygirl22

    Awww…@MissMina ‘s twist is the icing on the cake to this story! Your g.f. planned this all months in advance (*tear*)… Amazing that the world is so large, and yet so small 🙂

  • E-Dub

    That’s love! *ugly cry face*

  • Rum Punch

    Awwww… I love it! I totally feel you on the summer birthday thing. People don’t get it – our moms never get to bring cupcakes for us and the whole class and people are always out of town on vacay when you wanna have a party. Growing up it was usually family and one or two close friends. I like the idea of having a party in theory, but then I get all paranoid and Type A about it.

  • L. Dejean

    That was a great story and I laughed out loud at some points…i’m not big on parties either…i did a small gathering for my 16th with a few close friends & we had a blast! I kinda wanna do something for my 25th…just not sure but i’m like you, i’m content with dinner with friends & family (which is what i did for my 24th).

  • Christina

    Dude, And I NEVER say dude….Wow, Did I love the story!!! It gave me a tear in my eye!!! 😉

  • Marie B

    That was a great story! Thanks for sharing.

  • Leo knows best.

    sick story.

  • Tiffany

    Good one. Maybe I have been missing birthday parties that my friends have been throwing because I barricade myself in my house because I am so use to not having anything to o on my birthday.

    Peace, Love and Chocolate


  • sandybraz

    impressed. came here today via my friend’s email that said I should check your blog…then twitter (you tweeted, that, meh, i didn’t scare you…remember?) and now I followed twitter here, to THE BLOG. I’ve read a few nuggets this evening and, I must say: YOU ARE A GENIUS. You shell out the male perspective on s*it chicks wonder about all the time. i’m shaking my head “yes! finally!” over here. Looking forward to the next post. Consider me a fan in training.

    PS, I turn 30 a mere two days and one month after your birth date…pfft, and you think you have problems. ha! 😉

  • sandybraz

    PPS, oh god! sorry for that emoticon… not how i usually roll

  • Nicole

    Jozen, you and your sister share birthdays with my son and nieces. I think that is pretty cool. That was a great story. I’ve never been one for parties for birthdays. My family is so big, just having them over looked like a huge event.

    This makes me think I will throw a party for my next birthday at home. I hope you have a wonderful born day. Peace and Blessings.

  • Tea

    I LOVE my birthday. I can’t even explain it to you. I’m a spring baby, so cupcakes and ice cream were always in tow at school. And my mom worked, so you know she put in that extra effort to celebrate. I’m so glad your ex-girl got you into celebrating birthdays. There really is nothing like it. On another note, given our busy lives, for me, birthdays are a time to re-connect with people I haven’t seen in a while. Even if they don’t make it out, they always have a consolation brunch or something with me so I keep in touch with the most important (hundred or so) people in my life at least once a year.

    Per usual, great post!

  • mEL

    *thumbs up* on this post

  • Michelle

    too too sweet! Happy early birthday Jozen

  • TiP

    Interesting….I’m a Winter baby and that’s the worst for b-day parties. Always having to find a place to be indoors and the weather can cause you to cancel. I always thought you summer babies had it made!! I never thought about the fact everyone is gone on vaca with the fam. Good story as always!

  • TiP

    O and Happy Belated Birthday!