Motherhood, insanity and everyday life.

Friday, October 15, 2004

Birthday Whine and Blessings

Today's my birthday. I'm 44. If you know me, you know that I'm really big on birthdays. I'm not sure how it happened, but that's the way it is. To me, your birthday is THE most special day of the whole year. It's the day when everyone should be surpremely nice to you and make you feel really special. I try and do this for my family and it took a while for my husband to catch on that this is how I do things. He comes from a family where it was common for siblings to be wrapping a gift on Christmas morning while others were opening their gifts. They sort of treat birthdays and gifting as an obligatory thing. But they're OK with that, so it's not really a problem for them. That's not my way, for some reason.

However, I have to give my mother-in-law HUGE kudos. Every year, like clockwork, she sends a birthday card and a check. On time, eternally thoughtful she is. My mom, on the other hand, every year will call me and say: "I'm sorry that I didn't get around to getting you a card - I really meant to. Happy birthday." Every year, this makes me mad. Here's why: It's not like my birthday is a surprise. It's the EXACT same date every year. She could buy a card TODAY for next year. But every year this seems to sneak up on her.'s not like she's busy. She's at home reading, making doctor appointments and watching the Today Show. I don't want a gift. I have everything I could possibly wish for. But a card would be nice. It shows effort.

Every year I try my hardest not to let this bug me but every year it does. I do my damnedest to avoid the phone so I don't have to hear my mother utter that sentence. Maybe she'll surprise me and send a card. That would be really nice.

Here's why this is an issue: I feel like if I was a really mature adult, this would not bother me. I'm 44 for heaven's sake. People shouldn't care about being acknowledged on their birthday at this age. But I do, and I guess I always will. I'm such a dopey person that until last year, I figured that everyone knew that October 15th was MY birthday. Until last year, my stomach would flip when I heard that date. Finally, I'm outgrowing that a bit.

Yesterday I received SIX cards in the mail. That was amazing. I stood them all up on a table, looked at them and felt really loved. It just really touched me.

Here's something else that bugs me (hey, it's my blog, let me whine if I want to!)I hate e-mail or digital birthday cards. I can't even explain why. Sometimes they take more effort than real ones, but not much. They just seem like such a....cop out. Like you didn't have time to run to Walgreen's and buy a card, sign it and stick a stamp on it. I guess because I love getting real mail. Actually, that's sort of what it is - I'd much rather have a long e-mail with birthday wishes than a "digital" birthday card that somebody clicked on. It shows effort.

OK, I have to stop now. I'm ranting and I sound like a TOTAL bitch. But I just had to let that out and, after all, it's my blog, right? OK, I'll be much more upbeat from here on out.

My hubby bought me a cool speaker thingy for my iPod and my kids made me an adorable card with Dan Fogelberg on it. Sigh - he's such a hunk. Even though I know he's a tree-hugging, left-leaning ultra liberal who I probably couldn't stand being around. Nevertheless, he wrote some GREAT music in the 70s.

Today my friends are taking me to Cedarburg for shopping and lunch. Wow. Just the best. What a great way to spend my birthday. Then tonight my hubby is taking me out to dinner - I'm not sure where. I love surprises. And next week my other friends are taking me out to dinner. How cool is that?! It's like extending your birthday by a week!

They say that with age comes wisdom. For me, it's taking a lot longer. It's one of my huge flaws: scorekeeping. I tend to focus on the negative instead of the positive. Maybe my birthday resolution will be to change that this coming year. After all, I'm so blessed with family and friends which is the best gift of all.


At 8:49 AM , Blogger Karen said...

I think you ARE a total bitch for ragging on your mom. She's the sweetest woman in the world who spends lots of time worrying about you, your kids, your family and your siblings. She's had a tough life and you are the most ungrateful person ever. Nevertheless, Happy Birthday.


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