Wednesday was my Fake Birthday.
My Real Birthday was yesterday, but all day yesterday I was loading in and running lights for John Hiatt. My next day off is Monday, and Wednesday seemed right, so we named it Stephanie’s Fake Birthday and ran with it. We celebrated with a wonderful dinner, (wood fire pizza topped with mushrooms, quail egg, and truffle oil..holy hell, it was amazing,) and I was banned from doing dishes or laundry on Wednesday.
Here at the Van Sandt household, we celebrate a lot of Fake holidays. Fake Valentine’s Day was on the 16th, because on the 14th I was lighting jazz singer Jan Monheit. Fake Van Sandt Christmas was on Thanksgiving, because on Real Christmas we were with the Dietrich’s, and we couldn’t take enough time off to do both. And Fake One-Year Anniversary was celebrated two days later, because on the 15th I was lighting (get this) Muttville Comix, a dog circus/magic show for kids.
When my brother and I were growing up, we were both involved in an inordinate amount of sports, classes, clubs, and activities. Our parents allowed us to explore pretty much every interest that we came across, and they quickly added up. It meant that we were extremely well-rounded, but as they added up, a few aspects of our lives were sacrificed. One was the family dinner. Another was the celebration of holidays. Now don’t get me wrong, Christmas and Thanksgiving were always celebrated thoroughly, and my and my brother’s birthdays were always acknowledged. But my birthday, being in March, always managed to line up with a competition, a tournament, or a meet, right when we were neck-deep in our busiest time of year. And my brother, god bless him, was born five days into January, so close to Christmas that it is very often forgotten completely. (I’ll send him a birthday present eventually…)
I can never regret the way my brother and I grew up, because it afforded us many invaluable experiences. But as a result, as an adult celebrating holidays is extremely important to me. Unfortunately, the life and careers that Kyle and I have chosen means that most holidays one or both of us has to work. And thus, the invention of the Fake Holiday. We may not celebrate our holidays on the same day everyone else does. That special evening that other families are spending time together, other couples are sharing a romantic dinner, and other friends are sharing a relaxing barbecue, we are more likely to be found pushing faders behind a light board or shlepping cable from a road case.
But come hell or high water, our holidays will be celebrated. Even if it’s the two of us, dirty and exhausted, on the couch after work clinking together the neck of our beers and toasting our Cheesy Gordita Crunches. We celebrate it up, Van Sandt style.