There should be a special place in hell for people who commit the especially heinous offense of ruining your birthday party.
My earliest birthday memory is the party during which my cousin Craig pushed me down our back stairs.
I don’t remember ever speaking to him again. Cousin Craig and his family moved away a few years later, so he crystallized in my memory as the little demon who pushed me down the stairs at my own birthday party. He is nothing more, nothing less.
My Mom sometimes tries to tell me what the adult cousin Craig is doing now, but adult, wife-marrying, kid-fathering cousin Craig is a phantom. Whenever she brings him up, I just say: “you mean, the kid who pushed me down the stairs at my birthday party?”
Then she argues with me about the veracity of my memory.
Mom may have said adult cousin Craig is a lawyer, but I can’t be sure since I don’t give a shit. But it figures he’d be a lawyer.
Because he’s a jerk.
Who pushes little girls down stairs.
At their own birthday parties.
My Mom claims ignorance of this incident. She might have a vague recollection of my falling down the stairs at one of my parties, clumsy me, but doesn’t remember that cousin Craig clearly “helped” me down to the hard concrete.
All I know is this:
One minute I was a step away from grabbing the back door handle to go inside, the next minute cousin Craig was crowding me on the stairs, and I ended up unceremoniously deposited onto the concrete slab three stairs down. Cousin Craig was smiling. Cousin Craig is the epitome of evil.
Open and shut case, he had means, motive and opportunity. He had been standing inches from me, trying to get to the same place I was going and pushing past me to get there first. And he was clearly jealous because it was my party.
But even with my sharp eye-witness testimony, and my brilliant summation of the facts, the perp got off scot-free.
What else happened at this party? Was this the year the “Dream Whip” frosting finally switched from a pink tint to my beloved green? What did I get? Hell if I know. What is burned into my brain is cousin Craig’s feigned innocence, his smug lack of remorse, the very literal pain in my ass, and the angry tears about crashing down the stairs to the pavement.
My Mom will likely have a cow when she read this. “What if he finds this?”
I say let him find it. This is my own brand of vigilante justice, just like the resolution of every episode of “Law and Order: Special Victims Unit” (elite squad my ass, they’re always letting the victim commit suicide or missing the clear signs that the victim or one of their loved ones is going to shoot the perp, often at the police station) in which they can’t get the bad guy.
Maybe he’ll apologize, the twerp.
I wrote this post in response to this week’s writing prompt from Studio 30 Plus, which was: “Your earliest memory of your own birthday party.”