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My birthday is November 26th and it occasionally lands on Thanksgiving. Regardless of the date my family always celebrates the glorious occasion of my birth on Thanksgiving. As a child I resented the fact that my birthday was a family occasion, and that I didn’t get to spend that special day at a bowling alley or miniature golf course. I now cherish the times when my family gathers and I get to celebrate my birthday surrounded by loved ones.

However great those celebrations are now, my 13th birthday was tarnished from the get-go. My family piled into the station wagon and we headed up to our grandparents mountain house where we spent the holidays and other special occasions. We decided to take our dog and cat with us on the trip. Honey, our yellow lab, was more than eager to get into the car, but Pusscat was none too thrilled to be riding. My sister got her out of her crate and the cat started to freak out. I finally grabbed the cat and held on to her tight. That’s when I felt a warm sensation spread across my lap. Yep, that’s right…the cat pissed on me. We all know how bad cat pee smells, but what you probably don’t know is that it itches and burns when it comes into contact with human flesh (I assume everyone has this reaction, or I’m allergic to cat piss). That’s how my 13th birthday started off…covered in cat pee.

he next horrible incident occurred in the form of crap gifts (yes, I do realize that complaining about gifts is a clear indicator of being an a**hole). The Jews will tell you that when you turn 13 you are a man, but that’s bullsh*t. I was not a man and I had no need for man-type gifts. I wanted a remote control car (hell, I still want a remote control car), or a new bike, but I did NOT want clothes. And clothes were all I got. As I opened one gift after the other all I found were clothes from the “Husky Department” and with every gift my eyes began to swell with tears. I was not a happy camper.

Then, on top of that my mom forgot to get me a birthday cake. Well, she didn’t really forget…she remembered that she didn’t pick up my cake, but it was raining and she didn’t want to turn around to go get it. I’m sort of thankful that she didn’t turn around to go get my cake, because I’ve had something to hold over her head now for 18 years. It’s impressive how long one can carry baggage and use it to their favor. I’ve never since NOT gotten a cake – I can tell you that much. But my 13th Birthday was a real treat. I got pissed on by a cat, got crappy fat-kid clothes and didn’t get a cake. Looking back it was a real indicator of what “Manhood” is. It’s a constant series of disappointments interrupted by family meals and different psychotic pets.

Happy Thanksgiving Everyone!