FireDad asked me what I want for my birthday, which falls near the end of this month. I looked at him and said, as I do every year, “I don’t know.”
I didn’t do it intentionally. The “I Don’t Know” answer is an automatic reflex. “What do you want for dinner?” I don’t know. “Where do you want to go on our date?” I don’t know. “Why can’t you ever just answer my questions with a decisive answer?” I. Don’t. Know. I usually have answers to these things. Something spicy. The theatre, and not the movie kind. Because I like to drive you crazy? Right?
The truth is that there are a lot of things I might want to open on my birthday. A funky fisheye lens and adapter from Photojojo would be swell. Or some good books. Or even what I assume is a horrible book, though I still feel compelled to read it. I’m also eying this awesome necklace on Etsy.
But I didn’t feel like telling him any of those things. Sure, stuff is nice. But, what I really want for my birthday is for someone, be it my (loving, attentive) husband or my (loud but loving) sons or my parents or my friends or my (stinky but loving) brother or, really, anyone to make a Big Deal about my birthday. Not with gifts. Just a Big Deal. I want someone to bake me a cake. Or buy one. Or cupcakes! I want a nice dinner with my family. Or without them. I want music to be playing. I think I might want a glass of wine. Or three. I want to hear laughter. I want to be surrounded by my friends and family. Not a fancy thing. Not a big thing.
I want a birthday party.
When I was thirteen, which is a big birthday for a girl, none of my friends remembered that it was my special day. No one said, “Welcome to teenagedom!” No one gave me a card. No one passed me a note in the hallway wishing me a happy day and year. I got on the bus and cried all the way home. The year that I turned twenty-five, FireDad had to work. I stopped at the grocery store to buy myself a cake mix, some frosting (these were my pre-baking/cooking days) and margarita mix. When the cashier asked if I was throwing a party, I said, “It’s my birthday!” She said, “You’re baking your own cake? That’s sad.” I cried the whole way home. I know the song goes, “It’s my party and I’ll cry if I want to,” but I’d really like to experience a birthday without tears. Unless they’re ones of happiness or laughter.
I’ll soon turn twenty-nine. I remember being young and thinking that 29 sounded positively ancient. It’s not. In fact, I’m realizing as those numbers loom at the end of this month that it is so very young. And you know what? I’ve done a lot with my twenty-nine years. And I’m proud of it, of myself. Even though LittleBrother told me, just this morning, that twenty-nine was “vewwy, vewwy owld.” I’ll remind him of that some day but, knowing him, he’ll probably just laugh. I could learn a lesson or two from his easy-going personality.
I’m unsure if I’ll throw something together for my birthday or not. I know that my parents will probably drive out, given that my birthday is on a Sunday. April weather is fickle so I can’t necessarily plan a cookout or anything spectacular. But I know I want people to be around, and not just my three favorite boys. I’m not asking for a surprise party (I hate surprises). I’m just asking for a get-together. Without a house/brush/vehicle fire calling my husband away from the house as happens almost every year.
Is that too much to ask?
So, who is coming?
[Disclosure: Some of the links above are through Amazon Associates. Others are not. And if you buy that Etsy necklace for any purpose other than gifting it to me, I’ll cry. See above for how I feel about crying this birthday.]