Life on the Other Side of Sex, Drugs, and Rock and Roll
It’s my father’s birthday. Since I once again neglected to send an actual present, I once again asked my famous friend Joel to bail me out. My Dad loves Joel, and it’s become a tradition: for 7 years, I’ve spaced on my father’s birthday, and for 7 years, I’ve attempted to redeem myself in the form of a signed 8×10 from Joel.
“Merry Christmas, Mel!” Joel wrote for my father’s birthday that year. I continued the holiday theme by writng ‘Happy Hanukkah, bitch’ on a glittery card. I thought my Dad might find it as funny as I did, and thus began an annual festival of inappropriateness.
This birthday thing would be easier if I lived in Massachusetts, where my father does, but for most of my life I’ve lived in Los Angeles. I left Boston when I was 24, and I’m 39ish now, so the holidays we’ve celebrated together are few and far between. (I was in Boston on two consecutive Take Your Daughter To Work days, but given that my Dad’s a writer who writes at home, it wouldn’t have worked out too well. I’d probably entertain myself by asking him if he could give me directions to the Ladies Room or inquiring as to the availability of snack foods, and he’d probably respond by suggesting I go get myself adopted en route to the powder room or the kitchen.)
This Hollywood Life has granted me copious opportunities to appear less time-challenged, more thoughtful, and less self-absorbed than I actually am. On my niece Hannah’s birthday, she was gifted with an autographed Taylor Swift glossy, courtesy of her publicist, my excellent friend Paula, and when her sister Amanda turned 8 in 2004, JoJo called. My cousin Amy insists I sent her a signed Tiffany photo one Hanukkah in the 80s, and while I wish it were untrue, it isn’t: back when I was frequently stoned, I had Danny Bonaduce dial up my bewildered Grandmother to wish her a happy Mother’s Day.
Needless to say, I sent my father’s birthday ‘present’ via overnight delivery, and it’s too early to find out whether or not my Dad was pleased. I hope that he is; I love him even more than I hate Gangnam Style. And, as God is my witness, in 2013 I’ll get it together and send him the present I know he’s truly wishing for. Yes! On my father’s next birthday, I’m sending him a pony.