I'm also not a big fan of surprises. Thankfully, Joe realizes that the surest way to earn a night on the sofa would be to kindly and lovingly plan a surprise party for me. Being the center of attention isn't something I'm particularly comfortable with.
It hasn't always been like this. I remember two childhood birthdays that were fun. The first was in kindergarten. A bunch of classmates went to McDonald's and then back to my house for games and cake. We flew our McDonald's kites in the field next to our house - mine had that stupid Birdie the Early Bird (what kind of lame name is that?) - and then Max Johns climbed on my bedspread with dirty shoes.
Another winner of a party was fifth grade. My mother told me I could invite "some friends" after school on Friday for pizza and then three could spend the night. All was well until that morning when she had to write out the little permission slip allowing these girls to come home with me. I had invited around twenty girls. I think she was planning for more like six. We had fun but of course with that many of us we staged a big dramatic argument (like girls that age are apt to do) and it all ended in
That's the last party I really remember. I guess they'd had enough after that. Mostly what I remember of birthdays involved really lame gifts, not that this is unique to birthdays. It also applies to Christmas, weddings and graduations as well but I'll save that for another post. On my 16th birthday, I passed out in gym class. I arrived home that night after choir practice to find my family had already eaten dinner and my gifts were left on the table - a packet of Garfield stickers and a sweatshirt with dancing bears. In college, they mailed me a card with a check for $30 for "birthday, deodorant, shoes and things".
And on my most recent birthday, my mother emailed me that "I am not sure what we are doing tonight but if I remember we will call you." Hope it wasn't too much effort! The rest of my family (brother, sister, and grandmother) didn't acknowledge it at all. Nor did any co-workers. Or a couple of friends I kinda thought might remember. And what do you say to that when you'd really rather forget it yourself? "Oh, hey, look at me, even though I hate attention and I hate my birthday, but dammit, why didn't you remember?" Also, it wasn't really a stellar day in general.
Mostly, birthdays make me feel lonely and sad. I'm very grateful that Joe goes out of his way to celebrate however I want to that particular year. Which is usually just the two of us because there's nobody I'd rather spend my birthday with than Joe.
And no, today is not my birthday. It's already come and gone this year. I was just shopping for my nephew's birthday (my sister has
But when it IS my birthday, I'm not the kind that announces it and runs around with a tiara (like my coworker last week), proclaiming that you all must love me and kiss my booty for the day. No, that shouldn't just be one day a year. That should be all the time.
And now I'm off to polish my own tiara - it's covered in fingerprints from last time I swapped it out with my halo.