Hey guys. It’s April 20th today, 4/20
What do you guys think of when you hear 420?
It wasn’t until a year ago that someone told me that it was National Weed Day and / or the time people got together to smoke weed. Lol. I guess I’m getting old because I never heard this before. One of my email addresses ends in 420 and whenever I would give it out, people would ask me if I was a weed head but I never understood why. But for the record, I have never been a weed head. Of course, I experimented as a teen, but I never really had an appreciation for it as an adult. It didn’t matter though because after I became an officer, I couldn’t touch the stuff. And now that I’m sick, it’s my doctor’s prescription of choice and I must be the only person on the planet who truly hates weed. Go figure.
Anyway, the following are other reasons why 4/20 is pretty well-known:
Today in History – April 20th
1611 – First known performance of Shakespeare’s tragedy Macbeth at the Globe Theatre, London, recorded by Simon Forman
1914 – The Ludlow Massacre took place when the Colorado National Guard opened fire on a tent colony of striking miners; about 20 (accounts vary) strikers, women and children died.
1999 – The Columbine High School massacre took place in Colorado as two students shot and killed 12 classmates and one teacher before taking their own lives.
2010 – An explosion on the Deepwater Horizon oil platform, leased by BP, killed 11 workers and caused a blow-out that began spewing an estimated 200 million gallons of crude oil into the Gulf of Mexico. (The well was finally capped nearly three months later.)
Napoleon III, Emperor of France (1852-70), 1808 – 1873
Adolf Hitler 1889 – 1945
George Takei – 82 years old
Jessica Lange – 70 years old
Carmen Electra – 47 years old
Maria Robinson – 48 years old – aka – Ria Robi
Yep, the last one is me so I guess I’ll tell you what 420 means to me. I think I’ve always hated birthdays. As a child, I never cared for birthdays because my parents never celebrated birthdays so I’d always be jealous of my friend’s birthday parties and how many presents they would get and how their parents fawned over them. In my lifetime, I had exactly 1 birthday party which I threw for myself with my earnings from working at Dagostino’s Supermarket. I was so excited. At the time I thought it would be the first of many birthday parties to come. But unfortunately, it didn’t work out that way. This party just served as the genesis of my dislike for birthdays and birthday parties. I remember it as if it was yesterday. I thought I would have my first kiss from a boy that I was madly in lust with and from what I could tell, he really liked me too. His name was Elliott and we would always hang out after school and go eat or go play at the arcade… we had a lot of fun together but both of us knew there was something else between us. But I was so shy and awkward at that age that I guess it was difficult for him to make a move and back then, very rarely did the girl make a move. Anyway, I thought that during my party we’d both loosen up and I would finally get kissed. But unfortunately, I didn’t get kissed that night and Elliott had gone missing. So I went looking for my best friend Laini so I could cry on her shoulder and I probably don’t even have to tell you what happened next. It’s a story as old as time. My best friend and my favorite guy were making out in the stairwell and it just crushed me. I never spoke to them ever again and it wasn’t until just now that I realized why I always hated birthdays. It’s funny. I never really made the connection, but there it is. After that, I didn’t care much for birthdays and I definitely never thought of having another birthday party.
As the years went by, they were just another reminder that I was getting old and I must have been about 27 or 28 when I started crying every time a birthday came around. I was just so traumatized by being almost 30 years old and every dream I ever had for myself had gone wrong. But it was my own fault. At age 18, I married a man 15 years older than me who I had only known for 3 months. He turned out to be very possessive, abusive, narcissistic and he made me leave college and got me fired from multiple jobs. The first time he hit me was on our wedding night. Why not? He had to break me in as one would break in a new horse. I didn’t know it when I married him but he already had 5 children which he brought over from the Dominican Republic for me to raise. I was only 6 years older than his oldest child. We also had 3 children together so in my 20s, I was already the mother of 8. Many times I tried unsuccessfully to leave but it wasn’t an easy task. He told me if I wasn’t going to be his, I wouldn’t be anyone else’s. And he wanted me to know he meant business. So he put a gun to my head. A few days after that incident, I left. I grabbed my 3 young children and went to my mom’s house but she let her husband convince her that if she provided us with temporary shelter to save my life, it would cause a rift in their marriage. And so 2 or 3 days later, she asked me and my children to leave. She had more love for her husband than for her own child that she brought into the world. It didn’t matter that I looked down the barrel of a loaded gun. Keeping her husband was more important. Today, she works for me as my aide and our relationship is super strained but that’s a story for another time.
This is what happens every year on my birthday. I think of every bad thing that ever happened to me. Everything that ever went wrong, everything I never accomplished gets brought up every year on April 20th. Maybe I should smoke some weed. Lol. I had so much potential and I was so intelligent. I had a beautiful life ahead of me. But I didn’t realize until it was too late that I wasn’t very smart at all. I thought I knew everything, but it turns out that just because a person is book smart doesn’t mean they’re life smart. I had 2 college scholarships pending when I got married. One to a university in Florida and another to Stamford University in Connecticut. I wanted to be a lawyer, then a prosecuting attorney, then go into politics and some day become your congress person and then your president. I already had the way to make all my dreams come true. I was a straight A student. College was going to be a breeze. But because that little girl never felt the love of her parents, the very first time somebody told her they loved her, she fucked up. She ruined her life and sacrificed everything in the name of love. The funny thing was that she never loved him but she figured that would come with time. But it didn’t matter. The only thing that was important was that somebody loved her. And from that point forward, every bad decision she ever made was always in the name of love.
Why do I torture myself year after year? Why can I only think of the bad things that have happened? But as I ask myself that question, I wonder, has there ever been anything good to speak of? And there was. Even if it was only temporarily, my second husband did give me the happiness I always wanted. So the fact that I never succeeded at life no longer mattered. I was finally happy. And I finally knew what it was really like to love and be loved. It was great while it lasted. But even that relationship was a lie because when the going got tough, the tough got going. And so here I am, once again on April 20th, thinking of every bad thing that ever happened to me. Other than having my children, there’s not much good I can speak of. It’s sad really, that a person who is pushing 50 years of life can’t find good things to recall or speak of on her birthday.
Was this the life I was always meant to live? Is there such a thing as fate? Was everything already decided for me at birth? Is this sadness and depression and illness all I’ll ever have to claim? Will all the dreams and happiness I searched for as a child ever come to fruition? Is it too late for me? Did I choose this life even before I was born? How many licks does it take to get to the center of a tootsie roll pop? The world will never know. (Those that are old enough will know this reference, lol.).
By the way, this blog post was only supposed to be about today in history. You can see that from the way I started this blog. But I have discovered really quick that whenever I sit down to write about my life, my writing always goes wherever it wants to go, almost as if I have no control. Believe me, there are a lot of things that I’ve written about that I never wanted to share, especially because I know that my kids will read it, but I guess I have so much more hurt inside than I thought and unfortunately, it needs to come out. I think it’s too late for my release to be therapeutic to me, but if it’s at all possible that my words can be therapeutic to someone else and I can possibly help someone get through a hard time, then I will continue to write as long as I can. Regardless of the embarrassment that I may suffer, I will continue to write.
Happy birthday to me.
What do you guys think about on your birthdays?