It’s the power we grant it.
Why does he call me and just want to say Happy Birthday and then he ask me if he should buy me something? Why do I freeze? I mean, I had just spent all of that energy complaining that he said Happy Birthday in the morning and proceeded along sending me frustrating political articles from Reason and I was in a strange state of mind, but I felt in control of it. I felt in control of my usual birthday sadness spiral. I was going to mostly sidestep it. I was going to cook pasta and eat apples because I knew I was busy, that today was my mother’s pet scan, that we’re having a special dinner on the weekend…
But those hormones, and being too busy to eat, and having my writing excitement have a wet towel thrown over by forces beyond my control, and somehow I start to spin. It’s slow at first. One of those tiny spout hurricanes. I knew nobody at work would know and I sort of prided myself on not telling. On being grown-up and not bothered. Finally, end of day, when I left, I told the person I was helping I had to go because…it was my birthday and he could text me if he needed anything and he shook his head like I was crazy. I’m not going to bother you on your birthday. Of ALL DAYS, go, be, celebrate. And I shook my head about and said, no, no, no, it’s fine.
And for a bit, it felt fine. I mean, I have a boatload of people who said something on Facebook even if half of them only still follow me on the off-chance they can sell me on Rodan and Fields or give me financial advice, and a boatload of people who couldn’t possibly need to remember it’s my birthday at all and who I know love me and it’s fine.
It doesn’t matter, and won’t tomorrow, but when he said he wanted to buy me something. That he didn’t know what I needed, because I didn’t tell him such things. And did I want him to buy me something? Hugs and to make me feel better and…he wanted to buy me something…just…something, I guess and I just kept saying, no, no, no, no. It’s not important, not required. I didn’t want anything and he shouldn’t worry about it.
And then the small talk until I said I just felt…bleh and bad and hormonal and not cool and we’ll talk tomorrow.
Suddenly, the birthday curse hangs very heavy and low and I feel, despite clearly being cared about and loved and told so by more people than I have digits on hands and toes to count, forgotten and maligned. My sister even bought me tacos, more or less. I have zero reason to go down into this pit of a place in myself beyond expecting to.
It’s just…why do this? Like, I know I’m not going to ever be the girl who gets surprise flowers at work or is whisked off to Thailand, but it’s my birthday…do whatever you want to do and don’t make me have to hint and cajole and ask for it to be special when I’ve just gotten started really wrapping my head around the fact that you don’t want to actually date me. That I have no title, no position, nothing to share out and find validation from…I just get the emotional labor. We’ll just talk and whatever else it is we do until the end of time. So.
Okay, always the bigger can of worms than I intend to open. I don’t want to think about anything really. Self-analysis is overrated.