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Aging intensifies the flavor.
Presencia Inquietante (1959) by Remedios Varo
It’s my birthday so I’m celebrating by sitting around feeling sorry for myself. It’s not about my age, who cares about that? I’m Age-Is-Just-A-Number years old. What’s upsetting is that I need every single tiny thing to go perfectly on my birthday. Even though I am not five or fifteen or twenty-five, I still expect to be the most beautiful birthday princess in all the land, and when every single fucking thing doesn’t go my way on my special special day, I poop my pants over it.
The day began with a massage. What could be better? Literally nothing is better than getting a massage. I loved every minute of it and when it was over and the masseuse asked me how I was, I said, “I’m just sad it’s over.” That’s the kind of person I am on my birthday: the worst fucking kind.
However I’m proud to report that I drove home through the countryside on a beautiful perfect sunny day with my windows rolled down and I thought, “What an amazing thing, to be alive and smell the air on such an incredible day.” I thought about stopping at a little café on the way home and ordering a nice sandwich and eating it out in front, in the 77-degree breezy sunshiny weather. But I decided I should hurry home to my nice husband instead.
Minutes later, I walked in the front door of my house and kissed my husband and thought, “How do I deserve this gorgeous man, who is so good to me?” He had just vacuumed the whole house. Now you think I’m lying about my day, but I’m not. Things were that good.
And then I opened the fridge and said,
I was hungry but all I saw were some old jars of salsa and five or six stupid olives speckled in rosemary (fuck rosemary forever) and some red Jello in a little laminated cup and like 72 eggs (what the fuck) and I said, “There’s nothing good to eat for lunch.”
My husband suggested yesterday’s pasta.
YESTERDAY’S PASTA. For the most beautiful birthday princess in all the land! I didn’t even like yesterday’s pasta yesterday. What is wrong with this world?
Suddenly I wished I’d made a lunch date for my birthday like a real princess would’ve done. Instead, I stood there chastising myself for not making a fucking lunch date and not even stopping at that café on the way home.
Now, I could’ve said We should have lunch somewhere, for my birthday. But the closer I get to my birthday, the more trouble I have asking for birthday things. And then on my actual birthday, I become a person who thinks, every few minutes, BUT IT’S MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY! but says completely unrelated things, like “This fridge needs to be cleaned out!”
“We need to throw away all of this old shit,” I told my husband.
“Like what?” he asked.
“Like that old jar of salsa with a tablespoon of moldy salsa in it. And those old lemons.”
“Just let me know which things to throw out and I’ll do it.”
“I don’t want to tell you what to throw out,” I said. “I want you to figure out what’s old and get rid of it.”
What is it with husbands and old shit, anyway? Has any husband thrown away anything old, ever, in the history of the fucking planet?
Some husbands get rid of their old wives you might be thinking, and you would not be wrong. But listen to me, one of things that’s really triggering about being a complete fucking cunt on your birthday is that no one is nice about what a cunt you are. Everyone is just appalled that it’s your birthday and you’re just a big stupid cunt who’s acting like a cunt as usual, which is absolutely in character for you, a cunt. But to act like that on your actual birthday? How fucked can you be? You should feel grateful. A professional trained in the art of smashing and squeezing old people’s bodies just rubbed your bare flesh for a full hour! Consider how grossed out he probably was the whole time! Was 20% nearly enough of a tip? I don’t think so! But you’re such a cunt you can’t even appreciate the afterglow of professional rubbing, you’re back to being a complete cunt immediately. It’s almost as if you need someone rubbing on your body at all times just to prevent you from being a complete cunt around the clock!
That said, no one really talks about the fact that life is pretty unfair to the worst humans alive. That’s why those people talk about how unfair life is so often. Because it really is unfair. When you’re a total piece of shit, people hurt your feelings literally all the time.
So my husband went upstairs to do something and I pulled out some arugula and rinsed it and chopped up some cucumbers and I was resigned to eating a not-very-good salad, but then out of nowhere, I knocked the metal bowl off the counter and all of the arugula fell onto the floor.
“GODDAMN IT!” I said, staring at the arugula. And then I yelled “I DON’T WANT TO COOK TODAY!” I yelled it with such despair that it could almost convince a person standing nearby that assembling a salad is just like cooking, only a little bit harder.
My husband didn’t hear me, but the dogs did. They looked at the arugula and looked at me and wondered what would happen next. Dogs hate suspense.
What happened next was that I bent down and picked up the arugula and threw it in the trash. Then I sawed off some slices of bread from the loaf my nice husband made this morning and I put a ton of butter on it — way too much butter, birthday-style — and I put it on a plate. I decided I would eat it outside, where everything was still perfect and I could still have a perfect birthday.
I arranged some chairs and opened an umbrella to block the sun and I sat down and took a bite of the bread and it was good. I stared at the big oak trees in the yard next to ours, blowing in the wind, and I thought, “What a thing to be –”
I felt something on my shirt. When I looked down, there was a huge red ant on my chest. I knocked it off but I also knocked a piece of my bread into the yellow grit, butter-side down.
MOTHERFUCKER, I said.
This left only one piece of buttered bread for my lunch. One piece of buttered bread! For the most beautiful birthday princess in all the land!
I started to eat my bread and felt something move. A big spider was on my pants.
GODDAMN IT! I said and knocked the spider away, but where did it land? I stood up and looked for the spider but couldn’t find it. I was convinced it was on my feet or my ankle, about to bite me.
FUCKING UNREAL! I hissed, but there is admittedly nothing fantastical about spiders appearing outside at the beginning of June in the warm North Carolina sunshine.
I couldn’t sit down again. I couldn’t trust that more bugs wouldn’t land on me, possibly because I had been rubbed from head to toe with some kind of oil that made me smell like a giant piece of fruit. What’s wrong with this world, that a beautiful birthday princess can’t be rubbed in sweet fruity oil by an old-person-rubbing professional (age is just a number, fuck you) without bugs landing all over her skin and ruining her special day?
So I took my plate with half a piece of bread and went inside.
When I got inside I told my husband, “Many things have gone wrong.” I said it dramatically but he knows me so he didn’t look all that concerned. But he did ask, “Like what?”
One thing that’s very triggering for a pathetic little baby on her birthday is when she starts to describe horrifically tragic events and she can see that her husband doesn’t think that those events are so tragic at all. And even though that very morning he told her she was beautiful, he was definitely not thinking she looked beautiful at all as she recounted the horror of dropping her entire arugula salad on the floor, a salad she painstakingly cooked all by herself on her birthday.
No. As she described the terror of not one but two bugs and a whole piece of bread butter-side-down in the yellow grit, her husband was thinking that she not only sounded ridiculous and pathetic but she looked EVERY SINGLE MINUTE OF HER 53 YEARS OLD. I mean you could really see the ravages of year 53 in particular.
Age is just a number to me, but not to everyone else, and it’s triggering when their facial expressions indicate that they take that stupid arbitrary number so seriously. Anyway who cares, I’m just feeling sorry for myself, which is the least attractive thing a birthday princess can possibly do on her birthday.
Hold on a second, my kid needs to talk to me.
Okay, sounds like she’s upset because her sister has a school event but she has to hang out at home on my birthday because it’s my birthday — which makes sense, she said, but it’s also so unfair and so annoying.
“I get it,” I said. “Boy oh boy do I feel you. I mean everything today has been unfair and annoying. It must be something in the air. And yet… on the other hand…
IT’S MY FUCKING BIRTHDAY!”
I also wrote this and this in case you missed it. Also buy my book that no one bought, it’s funny but no one read it. I feel so sorry for myself! Happy birthday, me! Here comes my nephew, he doesn’t really give a shit that it’s my birthday and I’m a princess, either! “Age is just a number is what child predators say,” he tells me. FUCK YOU, LEAST FAVORITE NEPHEW!