Tuesday, March 24, 2009
On the importance of treat-bringing
So a few days ago, it was St. Patrick's day. This gave me thoughts. The thoughts led to feelings, and thence to musings. So I wrote about the musings and then planned to post that writing up here. Because that's what I do...

But then, in the time between writing it up and finding a picture, I discovered I'd had similar thoughts before, a year ago, and I'd already written about them.

I considered not posting this newer blog because of that. But now I think I will. For one, I'm guessing many of you weren't reading here a year ago. And for another, the blogs are remarkably different, despite the fact that they share the same seed.

There's something to be learned about stories here, but I don't know if I can articulate it.

Either way, here it is, if you care to read it.


*****


When I was a kid going to school, you were allowed to bring in a treat to share with the rest of the class on your birthday.

I don't know if kids can still do this these days. Homeland Security probably has some sort of homebaked cookie alert system that never falls below orange. Maybe schools are only allowed to distribute snacks that are OSHA approved.

But when I was a kid, going to school in a place called, I kid you not, Pumpkin Hollow, you could bring treats.

This was a pretty big deal. Because if you brought treats for the rest of the class, you were cool, at least for the day.

But my birthday falls in the summer, outside the school year. That means I couldn't bring in treats on my birthday, and was in real danger of being denied the one day of being cool every kid was entitled to.

This might not have been a big deal for other kids who got to be cool all the time. But I wasn't cool, and it was a big deal for me.

Now I can hear some of you already beginning to think/type/say comforting things like, "Oh Pat, I'm sure you were plenty cool back then. You just didn't know it..." Etc. etc.




(Click to embiggen. But beware, lest my young geekery blind you.)

So here is exhibit A. I was just looking for a picture of me as a kid, I didn't expect to find one that so perfectly shouted my not-cool from the rooftops.

Okay, fine. The bullwhip was pretty cool. But other than that, you can tell this guy isn't going to know the loving touch of a woman until... well... maybe ever.

What as I talking about again?

Oh yeah. The importance of treat-bringing in kid society.

When you're a kid, these little things loom so large in our minds. After we grow up, we look and wonder how we could have ever gotten so worked up about being a leaf in the school play instead of a chicken. Missing a field trip was the end of the world.

And not being able to have a day when you brought in a treat in for the other kids to share… it was huge.

It's important to remember that this doesn't mean we were dumb back then and we're clever now. That's dangerous thinking, and it's wrong, wrong, wrong. What it means is that when we were young, we knew the truth of things. And now that we're older, we know different true things. We were right when we were kids and thought it was really important, and we are right now that we're adults and realize it's a little silly.

As with so many of my childhood problems, my mom stepped in to save me. She pointed out that my name was Patrick, and so I could bring in cookies on St. Patrick's day.

Problem solved. So we made shamrock-shaped sugar cookies, and frosted them green, and I took them to school. And, for a day, I was cool. Well... cooler. Cool-ish.

I always think of that this time of year. Yesterday I realized everyone was wearing green and thought to myself, "Is it St. Patrick's day?" I was amazed it had snuck up on me. It used to be such an important day for me. I always felt like it was my day, really. My mom gave that to me.

I never celebrate it now, though I always feel like I should. But I'm not Irish, and I don't drink. So my options are rather limited. Still, I like the thought that on my surrogate birthday, everyone is out whooping it up.

To all of you out there who are the summer children. The kids that weren't cool, or who weren't cool very often. Know that I am one of you, and that you are my favorite sort of people.

Fondly,

pat

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63 Comments:

Blogger Kat B. said...

That photo is perfect! As a fellow child geek to another: I wish my mom had let me play D+D! On the geek scale, you're cooler than me if that helps (or even works, which I'm not sure it does. You're geekier than me? And thus cooler? hm Maybe it's like a negative scale thing, once you pass the 0 of not cool and enter the -1 of kinda-geek, the larger negative numbers have more value. Now this is a math lecture. Sorry). :)

Still, my mom 'gave me' St Patrick's day too. She scheduled her c-section for that day. I have to admit, I didn't really get what the big fuss was until I was 18 and old men in Irish pubs started buying me free drinks on my birthday.

Next year, I'll raise a free pint of Guinness to your day in an Irish pub in Australia. In a way, you'll be giving me a treat. :)

March 24, 2009 5:45 PM  
Blogger Llyralei said...

Aw, Pat. I've got a summer birthday, too. I think I said that on your last blog about this. This one was just as sweet, in a different way. :]

I don't celebrate St. Patrick's Day either, really, but I did think of you for a moment. :]

Happy belated surrogate birthday!

March 24, 2009 5:46 PM  
OpenID roseneko said...

Hurray for the not-cool summer kids!

My birthday's in July, so I, too, was denied the cool-for-a-day cupcake-bringing tradition. But I was a weird kid, and one day it occurred to me - if my birthday was in July, then my half-birthday would be in January! So I could, like, bring in *half* a cupcake for everyone!

I proudly told my mother about my idea, and she laughed and said she liked it - but unfortunately, my half-birthday fell on Martin Luther King Day. So there wasn't any school then, either.

I was disappointed, but I'd made my mother laugh. I figured that was at least something.

March 24, 2009 5:47 PM  
Blogger Marisa said...

My least favorite part of having the summer birthday was having a joint birthday party with all the other "summer birthday" kids before school let out for the summer. It felt like a lame, tacky afterthought. It seems strange, in retrospect, but that really bothered me.

Also, that chair behind you in the picture? We have that same chair, though ours has clearly been much loved by generations of cats.

March 24, 2009 6:06 PM  
Anonymous Tal said...

You are lucky, treats never made me any cooler. The only thing I remember about bringing treats to elementary school was the look on the faces of some of the kids that I absolutely hated as I was forced to give them a treat along with the rest of the class. That look that says "Thanks I'll eat this scrumptious delicacy that your mom baked for you, oh and by the way I'm going to attempt to push you off the jungle gym tomorrow. In fact I might even verbally abuse you a bit"

Luckily the torment of this was lessened somewhat by the fact that I too had a summer birthday which means that on the day that I brought treats everyone else who had summer birthdays brought treats as well. Of course that doesn't really change the fact that my mortal enemies were eating food that my mother had made. That still stings.

Oh and just a little advice for all the fourth graders reading this, they cant push you off the swings. If they try just keep swinging and you'll end up kicking or headbutting them. You can totally get that by the teacher as an accident as well.

But always remember even if they're going to push you off if you want to play on the jungle gym then play on the jungle gym. Never give those bastards an inch.

Yeah.....so elementary school wasn't the best time for me.

Nuff said

March 24, 2009 6:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That picture... my eyes... they BURN...

...

...

...

March 24, 2009 6:16 PM  
Anonymous B. L. Garver said...

Awesome whip. I'd hang out with that kid any day! So that IS a D&D book in your hand??? Freakin A.

I am a February child so I always got to have the snack day. Though I cared little for being "cool". I would have rather my b-day be in summer so I wouldn't have had to wait until 3:15p to get my presents.

Even now I can take a vacation day from work and do what I want ALL DAY...though this year my b-day was on Sunday so I was deprived of my vacation day.

March 24, 2009 6:17 PM  
Blogger Pamala Knight said...

That's an awesome post! My oldest son is a summer baby too and his first grade teacher came up with a wonderful idea (much like your mom) to include the summer stock in with the regular cards. They celebrated their 'half' birthday, so my son got the March date to jack all his classmates up on sugar for a day. To him, it was bliss and we continued the tradition until whichever grade they stopped celebrating birthdays. Maybe sixth grade.

Thanks for sharing your anecdote and that picture is adorable.

March 24, 2009 6:24 PM  
OpenID kat-nic said...

I did the same sort of thing when I was in high school. I baked Christmas cookies and gave everyone I knew, even (especially!) the school librarian, a little Christmas card and cookies. And would you believe, now I'm a baker (sort of, still in school).

And I have a similarly prophetic picture of myself as a little kid, wearing a hand me down shirt from a cousin and reading a book. I even remember what the book was, because I reread it dozens of times. It was a nature book, and it explained the difference between rabbits and hares, and that deer are colorblind, so if you were standing downwind of one and held up a red sweater, it wouldn't see you.

And I too never realize it's a holiday until I'm forcibly reminded. This past President's Day I went to the post office to mail a gift and of course they were closed. -_-

March 24, 2009 6:31 PM  
Blogger drey said...

Awww! This brings back memories. Not the treat-bringing. Oh no. We're so NOT that cool in Asia. But the geekery. =) Holy moly I was geeky. I was also tall. & skinny. Like telephone pole skinny. Talk about not fitting in. I'm the giraffe in my school pictures from 5th to 7th grade... With glasses. *sigh*

March 24, 2009 6:31 PM  
OpenID wldhrsjen3 said...

I loved this post. It is, without doubt, the best thing I've read today.

My daughter's birthday falls between Christmas and New Year's, and my son's birthday falls on Flag Day. We bring treats (pre-packaged and school board approved, I kid you not) on a day of our choosing. It's not the same as a birthday treat, that's for sure. (Also, our family takes pride in being a group of geeks. It's a long tradition. :P)

March 24, 2009 6:38 PM  
Blogger Trystel said...

My 7yr old was crushed when she only got a 'group singer' part in the 2nd/3rd grade musical at school. She was convinced her teacher didn't like her, even though names were drawn for all of the spoken parts and solos to make it fair. She wanted to quit school, or at the very least not participate in the play. Big time tears for days every night when she'd remember her dream wasn't to be. We've had many conversations to guide her back to accepting and embracing her group singer self, but it still majorly sucks, especially when music is one of her passions. Thank God it will all be over next week.

You are right on with what you said about how important these times and experiences are to our young ones, even though in the grand scheme of life from our view decades later, they seem utterly trivial.

Your mom rocks for being so creative and recognizing a need for you to participate like the rest of your classmates.

March 24, 2009 6:38 PM  
Anonymous Scott said...

Well, I don't think it is homeland security making the rules, but I can't send my son to school with treats unless they are store-bought, in an unopened package, have all the ingredients listed on it, and about 10 other things. Takes all the fun out of it and no one bring treats. Nowadays, you'd never get your chance to be cool, even on St. Patricks Day.

March 24, 2009 6:43 PM  
Anonymous caleb armstrong said...

A strange, and sometimes sad, nostalgia creeps in when I think of stuff like this. When I was in kindergarten everybody got to pick a toy out of a treasure chest on their birthday. They weren't fancy toys - rubber balls, plastic spider rings, etc. but everybody got to. And then it hit me - my birthday is in August. I wouldn't get a toy.

But on the last day of school the teacher let all of the kids who had their birthdays in the summer were allowed to take something from the chest. I reached in and found my very own plastic spider ring. For some reason I will always remember that.

Also, tell little Pat to tell Maverick that the pattern is full.

March 24, 2009 7:17 PM  
Blogger Anthony Drake Mocony said...

I never had anybody willing to play D/D with me. Luckily, the world of video games and my own writing adventures were always there, the latter of course being horrendous everyday.

March 24, 2009 7:22 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

I'd welcome you to the club, but you are older than me. So glad to find another pal among us.

August 16th. :)

March 24, 2009 7:40 PM  
Blogger Chris said...

Pat,

My generation was way different then yours. In my time, the kids who brought stuff in were the uncool. We ate their stuff, and teased them while doing it.

....yeah, we were a bunch of assbags.

March 24, 2009 7:51 PM  
Blogger Kendall said...

I don't remember my school doing the treat thing. The juxtaposition of a whip and a D&D module just made my head explode (in a good way). Anyway, just wanted to say that this was an awesome post--totally worth posting--and your closing touched me.

-Kendall, born in July, total geek, but no whip darnit! ;-)

March 24, 2009 8:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Tut tut tut your looking at this in the totally wrong way... my birthdays in july (just before schools finish for summer) and there were other kids' birthdays next to mine, i think there were about 5 of us all one after another so the treats really wasn't that big a deal. However i was always so annoyed that i was always in school for my birthday- i could never do fun birthday things, it is only now im at uni that i can enjoy kool birhday adventures. By the way the pic is fantastic, I think in England you might have been kool- or a least maybe in my social circle ;) x

March 24, 2009 10:08 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

All these comments about the whip....when everyone knows it's the knock off Ray-Bans and sleeveless shirt that really tie the outfit together. That may become my new avatar. Also on the subject of the post; I have found now that I'm in my thirties that most of the cool kids are in fact dicks and most of the geeks are in reality lots of fun.

PS- How can you live in Wisconsin and not drink? I thought that was a prerequisit of citizenship.

March 24, 2009 10:29 PM  
Blogger Jessica said...

That was really cool, Pat. That older version of the story was one of my favorite of your posts of all time. But I like the newer one even more, I think. You sound much happier now. Or I guess I should say, both are true, in their own ways. It's just nice to hear a happier truth now and then. Now. :) thanks as always!

More survival guide! More survival guide!

March 24, 2009 10:31 PM  
Anonymous Fellow Pat said...

I totally get what you're saying about St. Patrick's Day, being a Patrick as well and all. I had a school year birthday though, so St. Patrick's day was just the day that all the other kids not in green got pinched. If I ever forgot my shamrock pin I always had the excuse of my name to get me out of trouble...saved me a few times this St. Pattie's as well now that I think of it...

March 24, 2009 11:04 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just thought I'd give a heads up, the link to the older St. Pattie's post just goes back to this post...Might just be my comp though...

March 24, 2009 11:12 PM  
Blogger MissMatthews said...

did you ever whip yourself in the face with that bull whip? :P

March 25, 2009 3:23 AM  
Blogger Matt said...

a BIG thank you pat, for this post, coming from the very same uncool type of a kid...
'too' bright to fit the gang, left out, verbally abused since he was obviously a 'crammer', spending all time at home pouring over books so that he could prove to everyone else how smart he was (they couldnt have been more wrong, all you had to do back in those days was to pay a little bit attention to what was being said)...
they didnt have any treat bringing in their communists country back then, so no chance to be cool for at least one day...

M

p.s. am proud to be a geek, eventhough now a bit more civilized :)

March 25, 2009 3:58 AM  
Blogger marky said...

There is something very Marion Cobretti about that picture, Pat.

I was always a cool bairn, so I've no idea what your talking about. Sorry. ;-)

March 25, 2009 7:11 AM  
Blogger Fae said...

I think it's very interesting that most of us who had that experience of being the-dorky-weird-uncool-kid seem to have one physical possession or thing that we associate with that state of uncoolness. Some trait or event that epitomizes our level of geekdome.

In elementary school mine was this slightly too small pair of pink corduroy pants with pony prints on them...I loved to wear my green turtle neck with it. The coke-bottle glasses probably didn't help.

I did not have a summer birthday, but my parents were funny hippies who were sort of obvlivious so I never brought snacks anyway.

March 25, 2009 7:33 AM  
Blogger logankstewart said...

Wow. That picture is priceless. And I feel special, like we would get along great. Probably most of us here on the blogfront would get along great if we were to ever meet. I have this feeling that most of us were on the outside, not exactly with the in-crowd.

As usual, great post, Pat.

March 25, 2009 9:24 AM  
Blogger Tia Nevitt said...

Thanks for the laugh! I remember my brief days of cooless when I brought in cupcakes as well.

And yes, my daughter's school still permits the bringing in of cupcakes.

March 25, 2009 9:54 AM  
Blogger Brandon said...

Your old photo completely looks like the president's son from the movie "First Kid". The one with Sinbad. I swear. Look it up. I think you stole his body. ...body snatcher. That, or the other way around.

March 25, 2009 10:19 AM  
Blogger Jeff said...

What a difference in tone compared to last years.

When giving out treats, the class would also sing for you in return. Birthdays were fun for everyone

Next year, I too, will raise a Guinness in your stead.

March 25, 2009 10:25 AM  
Blogger bzooty said...

Here I was celebrating for my 'little-girl-on-the-way' that her birthday is going to be in July, far from the Christmas shadow that might steal some of her thunder. I hadn't even considered that she'll miss having birthdays at school.

Wow, birthdays are a minefield.

March 25, 2009 10:32 AM  
Blogger Calenhíril said...

Huzzah to us summer birthday folks.

I guess I was lucky because since my b-day is at the end of August, I got to have the last party of the summer before school started, and that sort of contributed to my cool factor. But I was a bookworm from the moment I could read, so I don't think mine was high anyway...and then I boggled minds by being a sporty kid too. Ah, school nostalgia...

We were lucky enough to be able to bring treats, though, so during the years my mom was room mother, we had sweet (pun intended) parties.

Thanks for the picture of utter geekdom. I'm sure I have one like that somewhere, too.

March 25, 2009 11:30 AM  
Blogger TheVendor said...

Wow, you just lost 3 cool points for telling that story. Seriously though, people who would compare you to George "The Vending Machine" Martin have to be idiots. I fully believe you are hard at work on the 2nd book. Whereas, The Vendor, says he is hard at work on Dance and then 2 weeks later tells his blog to all run out and buy his NEW book. Since AFFC he has released something like 2 novels, 4 or 5 novellas, atleast 1 anthology, has edited several other people's books and no telling what else. That makes him a liar. If you put down a deposit to have your house remodeled, you also reserve the right to finish payment when the house is complete. When I buy the beginning of a book I have reserved the right to buy the ending, otherwise I have been cheated. The Vending Machine isnt gonna live long enough to finish his series now and I have no interest in his other junk that he is constantly pimping like a homeless crackhead. "I found 20 water damaged books that I couldnt sell 15 years ago but you can buy them now (since I am famous) for only 29.95 each...."
Keep up the good work and please never ever defend a low life greedy liar such as The Vending Machine GRRM. It reflects poorly on you.

March 25, 2009 12:44 PM  
Anonymous Preita said...

I shared your summer birthday uncoolness. Though mine had the double whammy of being in the summer and a few days before the 4th of july. So no one was around, even for a party. At least you had an awesome mom, I doubt there is a St Preita's day, though there should be, maybe I'll start one. ;)

March 25, 2009 12:51 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

well i still play D&D, magic the gathering, and whips are cool as shit! ..and my birthday is in the summer and i like to think im somewhat cool on the cool scale. i dont dress like the usual folk but thats okay, because i dont need to play into the sterio-typical idea of whats hot.. and sexy.. of todays world. i just dont care for it! different is good. i have a beautiful girl friend that i love and adore and that can recognize me for who i am, because in all reality, nerds just want to have fun.

March 25, 2009 12:51 PM  
Blogger Alicia said...

Wow, you were a cute geeky kid. Wish they'd existed in my school :( None of ours even looked healthy - the boys I mean. Not going to pass aspersions on the girls because I was the only one :)

March 25, 2009 2:18 PM  
Blogger Sarah said...

Take it from a mythical unicorn, that is a geek girl in a school of English girly girls, I feel you pain Pat, we never had treat days though. But I never bothered having birthday parties because no one turned up, now I'm at university and on the committee for the Sci-Fi Fantasy and Horror Society and the Geeks outnumber the 'norms' its brilliant!

March 25, 2009 2:54 PM  
Blogger bananajoos said...

We did the treat thing at my school. If someone had a summer birthday they brought stuff in on the last day of class. As you could imagine, the last day of class was a sugary delight.

March 25, 2009 3:00 PM  
Blogger Shane said...

Oh, man, that picture reminds me of Freaks and Geeks so much...
You're lucky you had an awesome Mom, Pat. My parents refused to let me participate in any sort of treat giving in school. They wouldn't even let me pass out Valentine's Day cards like every other kid. So I was always THAT kid, the one who sat at his desk with no cards to give out and only receiving one from the teacher. Shit sucked.

March 25, 2009 3:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I work in an office with 'Cake Break' friday and I still feel cool and popular when I bring goodies for everyone. That feeling can last into adulthood.

March 25, 2009 4:27 PM  
Blogger Brock Cusick said...

Ah, yes ... the D&D 3rd Set (Companion Rules). A most excellent supplement.

Also, nice whip.

-- Irda Ranger

March 25, 2009 8:11 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Pumpkin Hollow is the best name ever. And my kids are not allowed to bring treats that are homemade, only store bought, for food regulation reasons. It's a bunch of crap, if you ask me.

March 25, 2009 8:28 PM  
Blogger Nathan said...

aw, pat... huzzah to the geeks, man. and to all those kids that still have to struggle through the shit we did - day after day, year after year, until they grow up and write a beloved book thats loved the world over. (or something else similarly awesome).

youre the best - youre all truly the best.

on another note, im only 23, and i remember in elementary school, the cool kids who brought in homemade cupcakes for all of us, and cookies and even semi-exotic stuff too like venison jerky (cause their dad was a hunter). and it was great! and we all did it, and like you said, we all got to be cool, even if for most of us it was just the one time.

however.... then i remember high school, when no amount of treats could ever save you - and at some point, some stupid rule came handed down from on high which clearly stated that bringing homemade treats was not allowed for (insert bureaucratic bullshit here) and whatever else reason they needed to put down on paper just to crush our little hopes and dreams. *sigh* id bet anything that the people who made that rule were NEVER cool. not even on their birthdays. sucks.

alas, i ramble. happy st. patty's day all, and a special one to you, pat. it IS your surrogate birthday, after all. :)

March 26, 2009 12:04 AM  
Anonymous Krista said...

Nice whip...my mom had one on her wall :( i wasn't allowed to touch it.

I was lucky..My birthday may be outside of the school year (it used to be the last day of school back in the day...then they changed it :( )

but I always had my 21'st b-day to look forward too, not because it was JUST my 21's but because it happened to fall on 06/06/06.

antichrist? I think not, but it did give me a kinda coolness I didn't have before...of course I dunno if creepy counts as a kind of cool?

March 26, 2009 5:05 AM  
Blogger tinkandalissa said...

Well...my bday is in Sept. So, somehow that got me into school earlier than most kids. I was always younger than everyone else. That only explains a portion of my un-coolness. I have an older brother. He was the cool one. Everyone knew me as his little sister. I just wasnt that cool. I was always the kid who liked to read and not really socialize too much. I liked black and had things pierced. Only the kids that hung out by "the wall" understood. We were the weird ones. And even though my brother was one of those weird kids too, everyone knew him and his coolness. The older we got the more equal we became, but he will always be the cool one.
I have to say, I love the Indiana Jones whip! I see the D&D book that you're holding...I still have my D&D character that I made up. I even drew an illustration of her. Still have that too. High five for being cool!

March 26, 2009 7:23 AM  
Blogger Cap said...

I do not have a summer birthday, but I was of the uncool type. And looking back on it now, I think I like it that way. I am glad that we are of the same type.

March 26, 2009 3:55 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Yeah, the question thats not being asked here is "Why are you carrying a whip around?" Being the mother of two highly excentric kids, I know there's a really awesome explaination somewhere. And just wait till you have your own kids - its so great! I had a doughnut tower delivered to my daughter's 2nd grade class on her birthday. I don't know if she earned cool points but, man, did she love it!!

March 26, 2009 9:49 PM  
Anonymous Bekkie said...

With a whip like that I'd imagine that you could make anyone you liked think you were cool(not that you aren't, the shades say it all!)

March 26, 2009 9:55 PM  
Blogger Trey said...

Aerobie + Bull Whip (of +2 charisma) + D&D + aviators + sleeveless, tucked T-shirt = WIN

March 27, 2009 8:14 AM  
Blogger Laini Taylor said...

Ah, I was a winter child, a Christmas-holiday birthday, so I missed out too! So tragic. And my currently-gestating first offspring is expected in late July/early August, so alas, the cycle continues.

LOVE the picture. Bullwhip and D&D book. Excellent!

March 28, 2009 12:48 PM  
Blogger Emily said...

The worst about being a "summer kid birthday" is that they lumped them together at my school. Literally 10 of us... one day. That means no coolness because it is spread so thin. Sucked the big one.

March 28, 2009 8:05 PM  
Blogger Ken S. said...

"Homeland Security probably has some sort of homebaked cookie alert system that never falls below orange."

We don't...

- DHS

March 28, 2009 10:42 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm a favourite person *wipes tear from eye*... geez... I'm very touched.

xxx

March 29, 2009 3:00 PM  
Anonymous Netbook said...

Having a birthday that often landed during Thanksgiving break caused a similar but more easily remedied problem. How I adored those frosted Donettes...

March 29, 2009 8:35 PM  
Anonymous Bryn Anderson said...

I beg to differ Pat, the bullwhip is awesome yes, but the big stylin' Aviators you have on are definitely way cool...
I can not commiserate however, I am a closet geek- I was one of the coolest kids, but through a geek older brother was introduced to Diablo, David Eddings and Robert Jordan from a very young age. I now still read 3-4 fantasy books a week, am a Barnes & Noble member and play World of Warcraft in my spare time.

Me being such a nerd is now this "cute" or "quirky" trait. All the people who don't ad can't understand find just slightly odd and endearing.

My Elementary school also did the birthday treats...

I opted for cupcakes... but one year I had such a thing for Costco Croissants I made my mom bring those for every classmate.

April 3, 2009 2:56 AM  
Blogger Blake said...

Ha, I have the same feelings of left-outedness at Cubs games in the summer, when people get their names put up on the scoreboard on their birthday, presumably after friends and family have contacted the Cubs and promised to buy several large Old Styles. Haven't found a remedy for that one, but my actual birthday is on March 18th, so I too end up celebrating on St. Patrick's Day. Another reason to celebrate is welcomed. Thanks for the story, and for the sentence. Cheers.

April 5, 2009 1:57 PM  
Anonymous K. L. Parish said...

I feel you on the summer birthday AND the latent geekiness. I'm an August kid. Luckily my folks tried to plan our summer vacation around my birthday, so instead of a party, my family went to the beach for a week.

Not only did I also have a bullwhip (because I adored a certain whip-wielding archaeologist and still do) but I also went around in John Lennon sunglasses, jeans with holes in the knees, tie-dyed tee-shirts, and deerskin mocassins. Mostly because the school would not let me come barefoot. I mostly sat in the back of the classroom reading a novel under my desk, or drawing elaborate pen ink tattoos all over my hands. I never appreciated my innate eccentricity until college, when I learned not to care what other people think.

Now I sit around in my cubicle barefoot. It's good to be editor! Also good to live in Alabama, where footwear really IS optional.

April 8, 2009 7:14 AM  
Blogger Æryn said...

Spring break birthday. Every single year. So not only did I not get cookies in class, it was also usually raining buckets, AND I was terminally uncool the rest of the time.

Ah well, at least I had good company.

April 9, 2009 5:52 PM  
Blogger Rob said...

You know, in Mexico they traditionally celebrate their "Saint's Day" (the day of the saint who shares their name) instead of their birthday.

April 10, 2009 1:34 PM  
Anonymous K. L. Parish said...

You know, in Mexico they traditionally celebrate their "Saint's Day" (the day of the saint who shares their name) instead of their birthday.

Hm, cool. Learn something every day. Now we know!

(And knowing is half the battle!)

April 13, 2009 7:35 AM  
Blogger Rachelle said...

Pat, there's a great photo blog by Joel Johnson from BoingBoing called "Dork Yearbook." You should submit this photo to his site. He would love it.

April 14, 2009 7:53 PM  
Anonymous Mike@CSU said...

Pat, I love reading your blog as much as your books - maybe more. Each time I end up here I laugh my ass off. I like to feel that I know you as well as one can know anyone they haven't met and I am certain that, if I really did, I would count you as a friend. Instead, I'll count you as a make believe friend.

Now, get back to work on... Nah, screw it! Take a day or two off, have fun and be Pat.

April 27, 2009 9:31 AM  

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