Virgin's Guide to Burning Man

A Virgin's Guide to Burning Man can be found here.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Worst Birthday Gift Ever

In honor of my birthday, which was yesterday, I would like to tell you a tale of the worst birthday gift I have ever gotten in my entire life.

Back in college, there was a short period where I was dating a young musician. Let's call him "Drummer Boy". Every Tuesday my bff/college roommate and I would go to his studio and I would hang out with Drummer Boy and his friends, watching him play, while my friend went and spent the evening with her then boyfriend (now husband). Drummer Boy was fun to hang out with (read: make out with) for a while, but he reached such heights of total stoner-hood that I was quickly over it. It was so bad, we ended up calling him Four Tuesdays because that was how many times I knew I'd see him before summer came and I could gracefully make an exit sans scene. (You know it's bad when there's a countdown.)

Let me illustrate. Right before the arrival of that summer, it's my birthday and I invite Drummer Boy to meet me and my friends for dinner. He arrives, complete with gift, and we have a fun dinner. Good times. And then I open gifts.

Drummer Boy's gift comes wrapped in a brown paper bag à la grade school sack lunch. It isn't taped shut; just the open end is folded closed. I start to open it, then stop.

"Uh, it's all sticky," I say, completely befuddled, wondering what mystery substance is now all over my fingers.

"Oh yeah," says Drummer Boy, in that long, low stoner drawl. "I didn't have tape, so I tried to seal it with honey."

Pregnant pause as I try to school my face into a look of polite understanding and commiseration, rather than scathing derision.

I continue to open the gift, trying carefully all the while to not spread the stickiness. I pull out this little box and I see it is a tiny, stuff-in-your-junk-drawer type sewing kit. Moreover, the package is open and some of the spools are half empty, so clearly it has already been used.

I look at him and he flashes me a devil-may-care grin and says, "I figured girls like to sew."

Thanks, Drummer Boy.

So I told you that story, to tell you this story. This weekend, my husband and I were with some friends, and he was telling my friend about the nightmare that was the wedding tux situation when we were getting married. We had ordered tuxes for him and all the groomsmen from Men's Wearhouse and they F-ed up the order three times in less than two days--which also happened to be the two days before the wedding. Long story short, the groomsmen had tuxes but they believed for some unknown reason that the groom didn't need his tux.

I mentioned I should have known not to go with Men's Wearhouse, considering I had dated Drummer Boy (who worked there), and thus had become familiar with all the potheads who work there (but think they're Rico Suave because they get to wear fancy suits to work). It should have come as no surprise they would F up something so simple in such a retarded way. And so I told the story of Drummer Boy and his fabulous previously owned gift, wrapped in a sack bag, and sealed with honey--because really, I love to tell this story.

And that's when we collectively realized that, not only was that a Gift Fail, he probably got off work, realized he should probably bring a gift, looked around Men's Wearhouse and tried to think, "What in Men's Wearhouse can I bring that a girl might like? Oh, I know! A sewing kit!" Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf is just a few stores down, so that's probably where he went for the honey.

We laughed so hard at the poor boy's foibles, we were practically crying. And thus I came to the conclusion that the worst gift ever had actually become one of the best gifts, because the running joke keeps me laughing every time. It's like a gift that just keeps on giving.

So, thank you Drummer Boy, where ever you are.


  1. hahaha... GREAT story! (and totally agree about Men's Warehouse... disaster)

  2. Oh man, do you have a horror story from them too? They were a total nightmare, honestly.
    P.S. I love your photos! They're gorgeous, and I really dig the photo-journalistic style. We went with that too for our wedding.


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