It’s a given of the McClelland family birth order, that I was destined for a life of neglect, hand-me-downs, and leftovers; the scraps remaining from meeting the every whim of my older brother Matthew, the Golden Child, and my little sister Mindy, the Duchess. For years I have eaten crusts, longing for a sweet bite of the intersection where peanut butter meets jelly. My parents had their priorities and clearly the poor, orphan, middle child was not in their top ten.
(Dear Mom and Dad, It was really tough being raised by that pack of wild wolves you left me with on your family trip to the beach. I just wanted you to know that I waited next to that trash can in the Arby’s parking lot for a good day and a half before I figured you weren’t coming back, but I’m not mad at you. Just a little hurt and forever nauseous of the smell of hot grease and ketchup. There are people far less fortunate than me.)
This year my birthday was overshadowed by elective dental surgery and the honorable birth of my sister’s first child and heir to the throne. You can, therefore, understand my nose being a bit out of joint when my mom, the Captain, and my dad, Mr. Wonderful, kicked off the Golden Child’s birthday homage an entire month before the blessed date.
Never can start to early, waaaaaaaaaay too much to celebrate with that kid.
My parents put their heads together and sang into the receiver (speaker phone is technologically out of their league), their most heartfelt rendition of Happy Birthday. It was the song of angels. The Golden Child wept, and lost in his emotion managed to sob. “But, but, but my birthday isn’t for another m-wwwwwaaaaaaoooooooo-nth.”
So as not to offend the 2nd favorite and youngest, the Duchess, the Captain concocted a real half-assed story about a soon-to-expire coupon and lack of freezer space. They had to sing because his birthday cake would be served at dinner with the Fluhme’s that evening. The Captain was not going to lose $5 off, and she had far too many sale pizza to store the sacred sweet until he came home for Thanksgiving. I call b-s.
While it certainly sounds like a plausible tale given the Captain’s penchant for couponing and a good sale (They’re her choice drugs, you know), I know better. We just celebrated the Duchess’ birthday a few weeks back, and that girl has a memory like an elephant. There is no way she’s putting up with a cake purchased for the Golden Child when she got homemade cupcakes.
Oh hell no.
As for me, I’m still waiting for an acknowledgement of my birth…since June. Until then I’ll weep silently in the Arby’s parking lot and long for their return. I hope they’ll throw the empty bakery box at me; I can pick off the crusty, icing remnants and pretend I matter.
Happy birthday, dear Molly. Happy birthday to you.