When I was about 15, my dad sensed I was pulling away, as adolescent birds and humans are supposed to do. And in flailing desperation to reassert the bond, he tried to give me a nickname—I guess because I was young and lean?
It didn’t stick, because it was dumb.
But it was right around my birthday, and my mother was grasping at straws, too. (They were teetering on the edge of divorce, and not exactly on top of their game.)
So she decided to go with the new nickname for my birthday cake. But she didn’t quite have it right.
And that’s why the cake read:
“Happy Birthday, Stoner.”
(And now I can totally see how that could happen.)