We have officially entered what I refer to as “Suck Week.” Beginning on Valentine’s Day and ending on or around February 22nd, this is the worst week of the year. Not only do I have to deal with Valentine’s Day, but exactly one week later (not even enough time to barf up all the chocolate), I have to “celebrate” my stupid birthday. My general methodology for dealing with Suck Week is to listen to the Cure and stomp around the neighborhood wearing all black while aggressively smoking clove cigarettes. Unfortunately, I don’t smoke any more, and as I always wear all black because constantly having obvious ketchup stains on your shirts can be read as “unprofessional,” I no longer even have this outlet. I’m thinking about just crawling under my bed and waiting it out. This is also my plan for most major catastrophes including the zombie apocalypse, tsunamis and if there’s something really gross in the sink. I’m not great at planning.
Last week I started narrating my life, pretending I was the Shark Week voice-over guy, and singing the Jaws theme song under my breath. This is evidently disconcerting to elderly ladies trying to buy cans of cat food in the 15 items or less lane at H.E.B. Whoopsy. I tend to take Suck Week seriously because birthdays have been terrible for me as long as I can remember. On my first birthday, I was terrified of the cake, but then figured out that sugar was THE GREATEST THING IN THE WORLD, and splatted my entire face into it. There was also the five year long stint during which I accidentally literally set myself on fire every single year. Those jokey candles that won’t go out are not always super hilarious, and often cause unintended bangs. In one particularly poignant episode, on my 16th birthday, I set my bathrobe on fire trying to boil water on our gas stove and the Rev caught me in the “rolling” part of stop, drop and roll on the kitchen floor. She thought this was hysterically funny because the kitchen sink was about four inches away from the stove, and the drama of yelling “I’M ON FIRE” while flopping around like an overly excited walrus was probably unnecessary.
My friends and family tend to duck and cover at this time of year. Amber said the other day that she vaguely remembered me being a huge pain in the butt last year, which means someone did some pretty significant liquid forgetting. I’m not easy to deal with normally (two weeks ago, I fell in love with late 90’s terrible hair metal and made everyone listen to it for a solid week), but during Suck Week I allow myself to be just terrible. Aside from the Discovery Channel style narration, I also get extremely morose, sometimes rocketing past moderately depressing and ending up in Elliot Smith-ville. It’s not a good look, but I regard Suck Week as my rock bottom. Who doesn’t love a good wallow?
The upcoming birthday has gotten me thinking about generations. I’m at the very tail end of Gen X, and because of this, I have friends who are both Boomers and Millennials. Amber is a millennial, but she refuses to acknowledge it. I guess if my generation’s major contribution to the zeitgeist was Justin Bieber, I’d have a hard time claiming it, too. Her age group has taken a ridiculous amount of hits lately, (“You lazy snowflakes need to toughen. We ate Spam and when there was no Spam we ate air because we loved America”) and has been playing right into the battle by hitting back (“Spam wrecked Planet America, you jerks.”) Sometimes, especially during Suck Week, I can’t help but push her buttons. Here’s a transcript:
Me: I hate everything. Let’s go get a barrel of marshmallows and like a raft of Graham crackers and a battleship of chocolate and a blow torch and just drown ourselves in smores, but also eat our way out…until we explode like really gross Easter Bunny chocolates that accidentally got left on the car’s dash during church.
Amber: Travis says trade the Graham crackers for star crunches.
Me: Ok. Star Crunch will work
Amber: And be more delicious
Me: Dude, it’s a SMORE. It’s made of burnt marshmallow, the kind of chocolate no one voluntarily eats in any other capacity and a high fiber cracker that was deliberately designed to minimize pleasure and stimulation. That’s why they’re like the ultimate drowning yourself in depression food. The only way this gets worse is if you make people pray over them – which happens.
Me: And the thing about smores is that they’re awful, but it’s your own fault. It’s absolutely impossible to evenly toast a marshmallow over a camp fire without turning it into a flaming death turd, which you then just shove into your mouth to hide your shame.
Me: They’re vile burned sugar jammed between the only crackers in the world that get somehow both stale and soggy three seconds after you open the package. Graham crackers should be used to dehumidify basements. They should make those capsules that turn into dinosaurs when you dump them in water out of them.
Amber: But then they’d get mushy
Amber: (Rage emoticon)
Me: “We need accuracy in our colorful dinosaur sponges. Actual dinosaurs were around through at least three major historical ages, most notably the Jurassic. And, as fossil records can’t reveal what colors they were, it’s highly possible that they may, in fact, have been aquamarine and violet, gosh darnit” ~ Every Millennial ever. #aquamarinedinosaur #gilmoregirls.
Amber: DON’T INCLUDE ME!!!
Me: You realize that the millennials are making all the valuable points here, right? You know, about not wanting to continue to make things that are terrible and wanting better accuracy in their sponge representations of dinosaurs. You have to draw the line somewhere. If the Boomers hadn’t put a stop to it, we’d all still be suffering through bunt cake shaped Spam and Green Jell-O Surprise.
Amber: Shut up.
Author’s note: Amber read this article early this morning. She said, “It’s funny, but I’m not a Millennial (she was born in 1988). “Yes, you are, Amburgler. Look it up,” I replied. She’s currently not speaking to me. Welcome to Suck Week.