Sunday, March 9, 2008

Breaking Piñatas

I'll be honest. I love any occasion during which society allows you to drink tequila at 3 o'clock on a Sunday afternoon. Does that make me a lush? Best not to think about that now.

How I ended up with a group of DC friends (six in total) who all have March birthdays is beyond me. I'm the only non-Marcher in our whole group; a lonely Scorpio with a penchant for Halloween parties, wigs, and cupcakes dressed up as gravestones. But March is a bitch. No longer winter but not yet spring, it creeps up and bites me, leaving me to wonder where February went and how I'll ever find perfect gifts for six in a matter of just a few short weeks.

We now have a heavy contender for the best birthday party ever -- the Caterpillar's fête was this afternoon. Inquisitive and wise beyond her (almost) 24 years, she refuses to take any crap from anyone, and, yes, she owns a hookah. But she's also from Irvine, California. A white girl in a world of cholas who still gets hollered at by latinos on a daily basis. And undeniably loves it.

And so, at her request, we all gathered at our house today to celebrate the momentous anniversary of her birth. An east Los Angeles-themed fiesta complete with a Dora the Explorer motif, a Tootsie-Roll- and lollipop-filled piñata, carne asada, homemade salsa concocted free-hand by the Caterpillar herself, and ever-flowing margaritas. She's a freaking genius.

When I was little, I used to hate piñatas. Especially when the adults spun you excessively and pulled the rope just beyond your reach right when you decided to swing. To a kid, that seems cruel. But you know what? After several decades of (supposedly) maturing, piñata is back. I don't remember it being so goddamned fun. Maybe because at this point, I'm used to good things being just out of my reach while I spin blindly and try desperately to come out swinging.

And perhaps this was just what I needed. A little bit of the afternoon-drunk, vanilla cake procured from some random Mt. Pleasant bakery where a certain level of Spanish fluency is required to place your order, and some good old-fashioned, completely juvenile fun involving a bike-polo mallet as the only thing standing between me and a well-deserved sugar coma. I think, perhaps, my months of hermitage are finally and thankfully coming to an end.

Maybe, just maybe, I'm back.

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