The Birthday Story 

For months, as I drifted off to sleep, I would envision what my 30th Birthday celebration would be like.  It was always magical and perfect.  I would get to the hotel and lounge by the pool, soaking in the Vegas sun!  After we had enough of the sun everyone would go back to their rooms for a nap and dinner prep.  Dinner would be at Mesa Grille (I was in a Bobby Flay Netflix phase) where I would look ravishingly beautiful like I was on an Airline commercial and I would toast my beautiful family with champagne while blowing out the candles of my birthday cake.  We would cap the night off with the Bellagio fountain show.  Everything was very Norman Rockwell meets Sex and the City fabulous.

I should’ve know that doesn’t happen in Callen Land.

Things started off promising.  After taking a flight with layovers (for an unknown reason) I got to Vegas relatively well rested.  Waiting at baggage claim was a man in a Tuxedo with my name on a sign (like the movies). When we pulled up to the black escalade my Dad popped out of the passenger side to surprise me with a bottle of champagne (such a good Dad!).  He missed my birth so he felt the need to go big for 30 and I thoroughly appreciated it!!

Next step was the pool.  When I got there my mom and sister were already sipping their big gulps of vodka so I decided no time like the present to join.

This is where the trouble began.  See it was about 96 degrees by the pool and I was feeling a tad dehydrated from the flight.  After my first big gulp I ordered another from Rachel the bikini waitress (it is Vegas) and then I glided into the pool.

What happened next is a bit fuzzy.  Somehow over the next two hours I enjoyed some more beverages and made friends from Chicago who invited us to the Chippendales show which at the time sounded like the greatest idea ever. 

The next thing I clearly remember is being awoken by the sound of my Dad banging on my hotel door. 

We had 30 minutes before dinner ….crap.

He came armed with a triple shot Latte, pushed me towards the shower and threw a dress in my direction.  It’s possible I tried to curl my hair but there was little evidence of that.  I managed to throw on mascara, a miracle in itself.

When we got to my sister’s door, the scene was familiar only worse.  If you’ve never seen a 26 year old curled up in the fetal position wearing a sequent party dress while her mother yelled, “Get Up!  Enough of this.  Get Up.  Drink your coffee,” then you haven’t laughed.  This night was going down the tubes and fast! 

Amazingly we rallied and made it out the door and into the Uber with seconds to spare.  Dinner was quiet to say the least.  I ordered water and a second bread basket.  As dinner was coming to an end my mom shot up from the table, “We have to go to Chippendales.  I already paid and it doesn’t start at 10 it starts at 8:30!”

This, ladies and gentleman, is exactly why you don’t purchase tickets while intoxicated at the pool.

Before I knew it I was running after my mom like a scene from Rat Race yelling, “Why are we doing this?? I don’t even want to do this!  My shoes aren’t made for this!!” 

“You’re late” grunted the oversized bouncer, “sit in the back!” 

That’s where I wanted to sit anyway man.  Lose the attitude.  You work security at Chippendales.  

All I have to say about the show is that some dancers are better than others and some need more practice!  

When the curtain closed, I B-lined for the UBER.  Some might say, “Poor Phil Callen.” Meh.  He spent his night leisurely sipping whiskey in the sports betting arena, infinitely better already.  

I was bummed that we missed dessert but to my delight there was a piece of cake waiting for me when we got back.  I didn’t have a fork or a candle but I figured eating a four layer cake with my bare hands matched the evening, so I went with it.  
The End.   My Family is THE best!

~E

PS We went to a better dinner the next night and Dad and I went zip lining!