Candy Hole

Today is my birthday.

Despite Grandmere insisting I spend it with her (and two hundred and fifty of her closest friends, all of whom she’s invited over to the Plaza ballroom tonight to help her celebrate. She’s been sending sample birthday cakes to the dorm all week, trying to force me to choose one I liked best, to the delight of my roommates, who were only too eager to help me sample them), and my own friends all saying, "Let’s have a party!" (you’d think they’d know better by now. Parties never turn out well for me), I opted to do what I really wanted.

That’s the difference between Me now and the Me that I used to be. I still care about making other people happy.

But I realize making myself happy is the most important thing sometimes.

And so since what I really wanted to do was come home from the dorm and sleep in my OWN room, with my head on my OWN pillow, in my OWN pajamas, with my OWN cat purring next to me, in my OWN loft, with my OWN mother next door (even if she IS in bed with my old teacher), and my OWN pigeons cooing on the fire escape outside the window, that’s exactly what I did.

Because when it’s your birthday, shouldn’t you get to do what you want?

And what I wanted was to just laze around, with no class schedule or royal agenda or bodyguards or publicists or party planners or dowager princesses or anyone to worry about pleasing for a change. Just myself!

It was utter bliss.

I had a great morning eating homemade waffles with Mom and Mr. G and Rocky (who is really very verbal now. Perhaps a little TOO verbal. Maybe Mom and Mr. G should think about establishing a time-out corner for him, in fact. Everything is "MINE." Particularly when it came to the maple syrup. Poor Fat Louie. But I suppose he’ll get it all licked off eventually).

Then I took a long hot bath (I added bubbles so it was just like Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door Spa, where Grandmere wanted to take me this morning, except that Mom fought her off. And Fat Louie was sitting there, licking the maple syrup off. My bathroom, which locks, is the only place he’s safe from Rocky), while I read through all my old diaries.

My goodness, but I used to write about my breasts a lot. Why did I care? Certain parties find them quite delightful exactly as they are. I must admit, so do I. What was I so worried about it? Girls can be weird.

I’m supposed to go meet Tina and Lily and those guys for lunch at Barolo (May 1 is the first day they open their back garden for Spring al fresco dining), and then Michael later on for a romantic dinner he’s preparing just for me at his place. Michael makes the BEST pasta.

I have no idea what Michael’s getting me for my birthday, but I really hope it isn’t an iPad. Mom and Mr. G and Dad and Grandmere (because her new boyfriend is Steven Jobs) all gave me iPads as gifts already and honestly, I can’t say I find them all that useful. I mean, yes, they’re nice (and I know they’ll make lovely party favors for the girls at lunch today), but I can’t figure out how to get to Word to work on them so I can start my new novel.

Lars said, "It doesn’t have Word, it’s a reader, not a word processor. You’re supposed to play on it, not work," which makes no sense to me.

I don’t want to read books on a computer. I want to read books in a bathtub, like a normal person, and turn the page without have to worry about getting electrocuted.

So I’m not sure an iPad works for me.

I doubt Michael will give me an iPad, he knows I’m not an early adopter. I still only have two apps on my iPhone and one of them I can’t even figure out how to work. I think he’s getting me something more romantic than iPad. Something like—

Oh, my iPhone is ringing. At least answering it is one of the apps I understand . . . .

Lana just called to explain why she isn’t going to be able to make it to my birthday lunch (not that we’ll really miss her. Well, I will. She’s always amusing to have around when she starts in about how many guys she’s dumped at Duke so far.)

"It’s because I’m filming my own reality series," Lana said. There was a lot of noise in the background of wherever she was calling from.

"Excuse me?" I asked. I have to admit, even though it was Lana, I was surprised. A reality show?

"Yeah," she said. "It’s such a pain. This film crew is following me around everywhere. And anyway, right now I’m in a recording studio, because I’m about to cut a single."

This was even more surprising. I didn’t know Lana could sing. "You are?"

"Well, yeah, why not? I mean, if all those dumb housewives can do it, so can I. Only my song’s actually going to be good." Lana snapped her gum. "We’re going to release it as a dance mix in Europe first this summer, so you’ll probably hear it in over Genovia when school let’s out. It won’t drop in the US until the fall."

"Uh," I said. "I can’t wait. What’s your song called?"

"Put It In My Candy Hole," Lana said, matter-of-factly.

I nearly dropped my phone.

"Lana," I said. "You can’t call a song that."

"Why not?" Lana asked. "It’s a brilliant hook. About a girl who likes candy? Hello. What could be better?"

"Lana," I said. "I don’t think that’s—"

"Don’t be jealous, Mia. I told you to call your book that, but you wouldn’t use it. It could have been a huge bestseller, but no. You snooze, you lose. Here, I’ll give you an exclusive sneak preview. Listen. Guys. GUYS! Hit it. From the top."

Then Lana’s band started playing. And Lana began to sing her soon-to-be number one hit single. Boy, was I ever shocked.

I like candy, I’m a candy kind of girl
If you’ve got candy, wanna give me a whirl
I like candy, I eat it when I can
If you’ve got candy, wanna be my candy man?

Oh candy man, candy man,
won’t you be my candy man?
Put it in my candy hole, candy hole
Put it in my candy hole, candy hole
Then you’ll be my candy man
If you can’t do it, there’s lots of boys who can

"Uh, Lana," I tried to say. But there was too much electronic synthesizer for her to hear me.

I like candy, I eat it every day
From Easter Island to Hershey P.A.
But your candy
is something I’ve been missing
Like your lips,
I shoulda been kissing
Just put them in my candy hole, candy hole
And I’ll spin that candy into gold

Oh candy man, candy man won’t you be my candy man?
Put it in my candy hole, candy hole
Put it in my candy hole, candy hole
Then you’ll be my candy man
If you can’t do it, there’s lots of boys who can

"Listen, Lana," I said. "I really think you might want to—"

But Lana was revving up for the big finale.

If you like candy then you’ll like me
And candyland is where you’ll be
I’ll zoom on up in my car made of licorice
But you know its you who’ll soon be feelin’ ticklish
We’ll drive away into a sunset made of cocoa
And there’s just one thing that you and I will know know

And that’s that you’ll be putting it
in my candy hole, candy hole
Put it in my candy hole, candy hole
Put it in my candy hole, candy hole
And forever be my candy man, candy man
If you can’t do it, No one can

"Wow," I said, when the last note had died away. Really, I didn’t know what else to say.

"I know," Lana said, coughing modestly. "Don’t worry, I don’t intend to forget the little people when I win my Grammy for Best Album of the Year."

"No," I said. "I mean, wow, there is no way that song is going to air on American radio. It’s way too dirty."

"No, it isn’t," Lana said. "It’s about candy! I mean, have you ever listened to some of the stuff Ke$ha is out there singing? It’s about getting drunk."

"Yeah, but," I said, "she isn’t telling guys to put it in her candy hole."

"Do you even know what a candy hole is, Mia?" Lana asked, skeptically.

"Um," I said. "No. But I have a pretty good idea."

"Mia," Lana said. "Now you’re just being gross. A candyhole is what kids cut out of the box when they dress as a robot for Halloween. It’s for parents to put the candy through, because the kids’ arms are stuck inside the box and they can’t hold out their trick-or-treating bag. The candy hole is where you stuff all the candy."

I blinked at her. "Really?"

"Of course!" Lana was laughing. "What did you think it was?"

"Um," I said. "Something else."

"Well, you have a dirty mind," Lana said. "My song is about candy. And holes. God, dirty girl."

"Oh," I said. "Okay. Sorry. Well, can you tell me what channel this series is going to be on?" I wanted to be sure not to miss it. It sounded like it was going to be way better than The Hills.

"Oh," Lana said, snapping her gum. "We haven’t been picked up yet. But it’s only a matter of time. If Sarah Palin can get a reality series sold, I can. I mean, her series is set in Alaska, and she’s like, old. I’m a college co-ed and recording an album and am totally hot."

"Right," I said. "Well, keep me posted."

"I totally will," Lana said. "And anyway, happy birthday!"

"Oh," I said. "Thanks."

"And keep your candy hole covered if you don’t want anyone shoving candysticks through it!" Lana cackled and hung up.

I hung up too, reflecting that it didn’t really matter what Michael gave me for my birthday tonight.

Lana had already given me the greatest gift I could ever receive:

A glimpse into her sheer, utter genius. Which she was soon about to shed upon the world. I had no doubt she’d be successful, and that the world would be a better place for it.

Honestly, if she can’t do it, no one can.



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