Because I am nine years old (we are talking emotional maturity here), I enjoy it when people make a big "to do" out of my birthday. Because I am unresonably high maintenance, I expect my husband to plan something special and wonderful on the one day each year that was made to honor my existence on this planet. Because I have such exuberance towards (my own) birthdays and I married an non planner person, I usually end up frustrated and teary when I find out that nothing was planned and realize that I really am not all that special after all. Until this year......
Today I turned *gulp* 36. I honestly have never had a problem aging, and actually pitied the poor souls who did. Age is just a number, right? Like a fine wine, we just get better with age. Well, pity me people, because this year 36 feels less like a party and more like a creepy, lurking obligation. I am that wine that they waited too long to open and then realize, when the fumes hit their expectant quivering nostrils, that it did indeed turn rancid. I feel old, haggard, creaky, acidic and plum out of brain cells. (What is it the old people take for memory retention? Ginkgo? PBR? Crossword puzzles?) Even with this number 36 looming over me, which I really didn't know I was dreading so much until I was wallowing in it, I still hold fast to those damn expectations that I have of my husband to WOW me with his thoughtful celebratory planning of his "fabulous" wife's day of birth. Expectations above the normal "So, what do you want to do for your birthday?" that he asks me the day before the event. Way the fuck above that.
After 7 years with my man, 6 of which I spent my birthday sorely disappointed and sullen (except for the one where I had food poisoning, which was sadly good in comparison), I was fucking determined to make my husband plan something special for me. We won't even talk about Mother's Day right now.
Three weeks ago I said to him, in my very own subtle and sweet way, "You have three weeks to plan something. If you ask me what I want to do, or make me plan my own birthday again, in any way, you will pay. If you need help, I have about 15 girlfriends who I am sure would give you ideas. Call them. If you make me hire a sitter, you will be sorry. I want YOU to plan it, arrange it and make it happen. If I cry again on my birthday, you will pay. Am I clear?"
He said "Yes Dear" and he didn't even belch first this time. He must have known I was serious.
To get my point across even more clearly (yes, it was needed, this is the man who thinks my name is Huh? I didn't want to leave anything open to interpretation), I also listed these birthday demands in front of my funny, witty, fabulous friend who happened to give me this card:
Guess what? The scare tactics and straight talk paid off! (So did saying it in front of my friend.)
Not only was I not asked the dreaded, "....so.... what do you want to do?", but he actually planned a lunch with my girlfriends and surprised me with three hours at a spa. That was Saturday. Today, he searched all over town for a rare and necessary gluten-free cake and presented it to me after dinner while singing "Happy Birthday" in a g-string. Not really, he was wearing his standard baggy butt jeans. The wonderful planning and the cake took all the sting out of the card that he selected for me. Mainly because I married an old fart 10 1/2 years my senior, so any age jokes coming from the geriatric genius over there are weak and dismissible. I posted the card below. He signed my children's names onto it too. Special. Apparently my Valentine's Day card has set the new standard for the type and quality of card exchanged in our home. Yay me.
So all in all, the husband scored some major "atta boy!!!" points for this stupid stupid day on which I am officially old.
In all seriousness, I want to thank everyone for the Birthday cards, greetings and wishes today. And a big thanks to those of you who gave me birthday treasures and goodies! I love them all and I love you guys! I have the best friends ever. I guess the husband isn't so bad either.... :-)