Last week, two very important people celebrated their birthdays:
The guy on left is Nick Jonas. (You: Who?? Me: Exactly.) He is, apparently, who all the teenage girls are swooning over these days. Which of course makes me wonder what the hell has happened to teenage girls over the past 20 years.
THIS is who we swooned over when I was a teenage girl!
I'm getting way off track here from my original point.
There's something that
never happens always happens every single post.
And the cute little short-stack on the right? That's my mom. (HI MOM!) Isn't she adorable? I picked that particular photo to post for a few reasons. Because it's always been one of my favorite pictures of her. Because even though she's just a little girl, her face is still so recognizable to me as the first face I knew in life. The first love I knew. The first memories I made. The place I grew my deepest roots. Home. I also picked it because she looks so happy just to be, and that's a feeling I always associate with her and one she always worked so hard to instill in me – something that remains the source of the resiliency and determination I have today. And, oh yeah: I also picked it because there's NO WAY she can call me later and tell me she doesn't like the picture because she thinks she looks too old in it. (HI MOM!)
So my mom's birthday was this past Friday, and Nick Jonas's was Tuesday. The only reason I know anything about Nick's birthday is because I accidentally came across this story. As if I even need to clarify the "accidentally" part because who would read that kind of thing on purpose? Anyway, this
news story is basically the lone source of ALL of my knowledge about Nick Jonas, including the fact that he's one of three Jonas brothers when I thought there were only two – although when I took the time to think this is beyond me – and they seem to be very into layering their clothing. After they're done stealing it from Billy Joel and Prince Charles:
So, Nick just turned 16 (Big deal! I did that once), and for that incredible accomplishment – and because he's some kind of a heartthrob* and he gets special heartthrob* treatment where treatment equals many, many, many families with young girls give him their money – Nick got to celebrate his birthday at Dodger Stadium.
*Um...no and no:
This guy can have MY money.
You know, if I had any.
I'm not giving him any pants though. Because, well, DUH.
According to the
news story, Nick and his brothers rented out Dodger Stadium for two and a half hours so they could play some baseball with their friends. Awwww. Baseball. With their friends. Isn't that cute?? NOT WHEN THOSE TWO AND A HALF HOURS COST $30,000, IT ISN'T. $30,000? For a 16-year-old's birthday party?
Look. I'm just as in favor of kids having fun birthday parties as the next guy. Yayyyyy kids!! (Honestly, I don't really care. I'm just trying to keep all the mommy bloggers from hating me.) But this story disturbs me on several levels, the most obvious being why do these marginally-talented kids have so much money while people like teachers and nurses struggle to make ends meet in today's economy? (Okay, I admit I've never heard their music and am just assuming about the marginally talented thing. So I could be totally wrong in that they could actually have no talent whatsoever.)
And where are their parents in all of this? Do they talk to them about the value of money? Do they remind them that most people would love to have an extra $30,000 so they could do things like buy that new mattress they need (ME) or finally replace their 10-year-old couch (ME) or pay off their credit card bill (ME) or just stop scrimping so much (ME). (ME, ME, ME, ME, MAKE THE CHECK OUT TO ME.) I mean honestly: $30,000 to rent out an entire stadium? And did I mention they also invited only 15 of their friends?? (Which all other things aside is pretty impressive as I certainly don't have 15 friends. Do I even know 15 people? God, I hope not.) That few people? In a gigantic stadium? For less than three hours? For $30,000??
twit Nick Jonas! If you just want to play some baseball, they have these really cool things all over the place called PARKS, and guess what? THEY'RE FREE. Butthead But if you insist on going the whole stadium route, maybe you could also do something a little more meaningful while you're at it? Like inviting a whole bunch of sick or needy kids in desperate need of some fun to come on out and throw the ball around, too? (CHARITY!) Or maybe have some kind of a contest where you let a bunch of your fans come out with you as there's room for tens of thousands of them anyway? (KINDA CHARITY?) Since, if we want to get technical, it's pretty much their money that funded your little b-ball, b-day shindig. Or maybe you could just, you know, WRITE A CHECK TO CHARITY INSTEAD? You do know we've had some hurricanes and whatnot...right? You don't, do you?
But what also bothers me about such a display is this: My mother did NOT have her birthday celebration at Dodger Stadium. My selfless, loving, amazing, beautiful-inside-and-out mother who has been a Dodgers fan for 49 years did not get such a gift. My mom lives and breathes Dodgers baseball. She bleeds blue. She knows all of the rules of the game of baseball. The stats. The history. The teams. The players. She gets depressed come the end of a season when there are so many months before spring training. My mom loves Dodger Stadium. I swear I think it might be her happiest place on earth. (Disneyland can suck it!) No one I know deserves a fancy, $30,000 Dodgers Baseball Birthday Party more than my lovely mom.
But did she get that? No. Why? Because she didn't have an extra 30 grand lying around, and neither did I. She and my dad poured all their money into taking care of their daughter for so many years. My mom always put herself last so I didn't have to want for things. She made sure I got a college education so I could graduate and someday go on to WRITE A BLOG LIKE THIS THAT DOESN'T PAY ME EVEN ONE CENT OF REVENUE. (HI MOM!!)
And how did I pay her back? By not becoming a pop singing sensation-slash-heartthrob, that's how. By not making anyone swoon over my Musical Stylings and Stage Presence and therefore not having an extra $30,000 lying around so I could gift my mom in the manner she deserves. Yes, I know: I could've become a doctor or investment banker or something too, but that has nothing to do with the theme of this post, now does it? Please try to follow along.
Mom? In short? I suck.
What I wouldn't give to be able to throw my mom a party at Dodgers stadium. And if I did, you can bet it would last longer than two and a half hours and would include ACTUAL DODGERS PLAYERS doing things like serving her drinks and rubbing her feet. Throughout my life she's fulfilled so many of the desires of my heart – what I wouldn't give to be able to just once return the favor in totally grand style. But I know that no matter what I do, I could never repay all the invaluable gifts she's given to me over the years: Security. A defined sense of self. Strength. Confidence. The belief that as a woman, I could do anything. The belief that as her daughter, I could do anything. The freedom to fail. The tools to succeed. At once, both roots and wings.
Damn you, Nick Jonas!
But my mom does have one thing going for her on her birthday that little Nicky Jonas doesn't: Her birthday - September 19th – is also National Speak Like A Pirate Day! Avast, mateys!! Walk the plank, Jonas Brothers. And in honor of THAT, I have made my mom THIS:
You are welcome. And I love you. A lot.
And one more thing to the person who wrote that little article: It's DODGER Stadium - not Dodgers Stadium. The team name has an "s" but the stadium name doesn't.
Hello?? It's called a fact checker.
You are welcome, too.