Dear Diary

Dear Diary … Yesterday Was a Strange Day

Dear Diary:

I spent the entire day oscillating between sad, lonely, despondent, resigned and then back to sad again.

I don’t have many days like that, but when they happen, they tend to thwack me over the head so hard that I’m left grappling for balance the next day.

Like now. I’m grappling.

I’m so tired. And I have yet another headache. I can’t stand people who whine and complain and yet here I am, whining and complaining.

I’m tired because I spent the entire day, yesterday, fending off this overwhelming depression. It just sat on me all day long and no matter how many times I tried to throw it off and get up, I couldn’t.

Why did I feel this way, you ask?

It was yet another birthday.


I’ve never been a big birthday-kind of girl. I mean, sure, they were fun when I was a girl, especially because mom always made such a big deal out of our birthdays. And even though I turned my nose up at her efforts, or her sheer silliness, inside? I loved it. I ate it up. My mom never failed to make me feel special on my special day.

And then, I grew up. And got out on my own and though the people in my life continued to make me feel special on my special day, I pushed them away … and I don’t really know why. I think I reached a point in my life where it all started feeling so … silly. So … narcissistic. Which is stupid, because one SHOULD celebrate the day one is born. But I don’t know, all of the attention bestowed on me started making me feel … weird.

I don’t like people making a big deal out of my birthday. Honestly, a “Happy Birthday!” is the extent of the acknowledgment I need or want for my birthday. I’m not really interested in receiving gifts because I’m always wondering, in the back of my mind, how OBLIGATED did they feel to go out and buy me something?

I always picture people turning up their nose and thinking, “Oh GOD, it’s Karen’s birthday. I better get to the store and buy her a card and a gift because she’s my wife/mother/daughter/friend and it’s the responsible and RIGHT thing to do.”

Honestly? If people feel like that, I would rather they save their money. I don’t want pity gifts, thank you very much.

And yet, it’s nice to be remembered on my birthday. There’s a side of me that is secretly tickled whenever someone DOES buy me a gift, even though I ADAMANTLY request no gifts. It’s like I’ve given them an out and they have CHOSEN to not take it.

I know this doesn’t make sense. But feelings sometimes don’t make sense.

Kevin gave me a card. And the boys gave me a card. Only, they didn’t. Kevin picked out the card FOR them FROM them to give to me and though I appreciate the sentiment and I realize that he doesn’t have the time to take them card shopping, it still … bothers me, on some level.

The boys would easily forget my birthday if Kevin didn’t say something. And again, this … bothers me. It’s not something that will scar me for life or anything, after all, they are teenage boys, absorbed in their self-imposed worlds (I certainly don’t remember doing much for my parents’ birthdays when I was a teenager), but still … *sad face*

Hello. I’m momma.

I always take the boys out to shop for Kevin’s birthday cards. They pick out their own to give to him and it amuses me to watch what they pick – they are so indicative of their personalities. And any time the boys need to pick out a birthday card for their friends, they pick it out themselves (though there is generally a lot of grumbling because THEY’RE MALE and shopping for cards, heck, shopping in general, is just not something most males get into).

I do this because I think it’s important that they THINK about someone other than themselves.

I have gotten to the point where I dread November 9th.

I am uncomfortable being the center of attention.

I am uncomfortable with the whole social awkwardness that birthdays sometimes impose on loved ones.

I am uncomfortable growing one year older.

I am now in my mid-40’s. How the HELL did that even happen?!

1 thought on “Dear Diary … Yesterday Was a Strange Day”

  1. ::sigh:: I almost feel like I could have written this in a lot of ways and it’s only just started to develop this… ambivalence towards my birthday. Like after 21 it just started to seem strange. I’m turning 27 this year and part of me thinks “It’s not like it’s an important birthday” but then part of me wants to be fussed over… but then I get nervous that life will get busy and nothing will happen and I don’t want to get my hopes up if my husband drops the ball (because let’s face it, the three year old won’t remember). And yet I know that next week I’ll be making the hugest fuss over my husband’s 24th birthday because I LOOOVE other people’s birthdays. Because I know how I feel, you know?

    The sad thing is, my birthday is Christmas Eve so I know people aren’t going to just forget it… but I will always wonder if they really want to express their sentiment or if they feel obligated because it’s that big black hole of a day that they can’t escape…

    Yes I’m a head case.

    :-/ Anyway all that is to say that I hear where you are coming from (I think?) but nonetheless happy birthday again. Celebrate it now that the anticipation is gone and enjoy yourself for a day. Relax. You are fabulous.

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