Friday, October 6, 2006

Why I Hate My Birthday – The Plot Thickens

As I got older there were things about my birthday that sucked. My family insisting I spend time with them, then being late to show, and being assholes when they got there. Also, buying me gifts that in the midst of all the emotional angst I felt about the occasion felt as if they had never even met me. Seriously what the fuck were they thinking? Did they ever listen when I talked? In my family it was an ongoing joke that I never shut up. Did they ever hear anything I said I like? I think not. They should have tried to think of something I liked, not something they liked, not something I mentioned I wanted four years ago, that is now on sale at 90% off. Ya know, just fuck you. Obviously, I had a major attitude problem about it all.

So, in addition to my birthday apparently being just too much trouble for everyone else to bother, they also were all quite ding dang pouty about their own birthdays. See, now I really did not think it was fair to expect their birthdays to be an occasion, when nobody apparently gave a shit about mine. On the other hand, I am not big on spite. I give a crap when it is somebody else’s birthday. It matters to me. If you are my family or my friend, I care that you were born and I think it is a thing to be celebrated. Now do not think I am some party-throwing freak. I just mean, how hard is it to make a phone call, shoot off an e-mail, or God forbid, drop an actual card in the mail to let someone know you care about them? At some point we all become grown ups and we do not need or want the proverbial ice cram, cake, and pony rides. I would not expect people to go nuts other in regard to planning or financial investment in regard to my birthday. With not being a Rockefeller and all, I have long since stopped giving gifts to adults and concentrate on children with the material possession bestowal. There are exceptions of course, such as boyfriends, milestone birthdays of friends, and of course I always got something for my Mom and Dad.

Both my parents were notorious for not planning. Since they have died, this has become, for me, even more endearing. Like a lot of couples, in a gift giving situation my Mom picked up something and gave a card to the recipient from her and my Dad. This was also a lucrative deal for me, since as an older child and well into my twenties, I would extort payment for shopping services from Daddy for procuring items on his behalf for Mommy for Christmas, and her birthday, any other time he was on his own. Twice, once when I was a little kid, and once when I was in college my Dad forgot their anniversary. Both of these instances were nearly instantaneously funny to all us children due to the circumstances. In time they both became family legend, and to this day give anyone who knows about them at least a good laugh. My Mom liked to buy people presents, and would often pick up stuff she thought people would like in her daily travels. The problem was she they put them in a safe place and forgot about them. This is what has been endearing. Since they died I keep finding all kinds of stuff she had tucked away for me, my siblings, my nieces and nephews, and her friends. For me, it is one of the fun things of being responsible for all that needs to be done to give these little treasures I find to the recipient even if said recipient has grown too old for the gift.

I loved my Mom and Dad a lot and am so grateful that as I became older we talked about our family with each other and came to terms with our family’s past with each other. This is truly the greatest gift they ever gave me, besides the whole conception thing. Though I was there, I don’t remember it, but they claimed it was fun. Yuck! But, still, for me, with my parents, the birthday thing was a HUGE issue. They never got it right, and even though in what I jokingly refer to as "in real life" I am a competent and highly functional alleged adult, in regard to my birthday, in reference to my parents, I literally was a petulant, miserable brat until the day they died. So, this is my legacy of eternal assholeness to myself. I was the witch who was pissed at her parents once a year every year for their failure to grasp something, anything, that would please me.

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