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Friday, August 27, 2010

Birthday Blues

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Today's my birthday, so Happy Birthday to me.  I'm a little down in the dumps because everyone else seems to have an opinion on how I should celebrate my day.  Really, all I wanted was to bake a delicious cake and have an easy dinner in tonight.  Nothing big.  Now, don't get me wrong.  It isn't that I didn't want to acknowledge my birthday.  It's just that, at Katie's age, it is much easier to eat at home than to go out to a restaurant and drop a lot of money on a meal that nobody gets to enjoy.

Nor did I want to have a boring birthday.  I wanted to do something with my kids today, something that maybe we don't always get to do, and have a little fun.  Maybe we would go someplace they like to go... a museum, or Chuck E. Cheese, or even just the park.  I had even thought about taking them to one of the state parks to have a picnic and go swimming.  We could do something to make a memory.

But, then I found out that my mother was taking today off from work.  Why?  I have no idea.  She's done this for the past few years, and always expects me to be magically free to do whatever she wishes.  It isn't like she ever took off when I was a kid.  Why now?

So, my mother started insisting that I couldn't have a carefree birthday.  I couldn't just stay in.  I couldn't bake my own cake.  I couldn't not go out to dinner.  She said that my husband was being lazy by not celebrating on my birthday.  In actuality, we have our own, pricey celebration planned to take place in a week and a half that she knows about.  All of a sudden, my nice, fun, yet relaxing day turned into my mother's project.  I would bring the kids over at the ass-crack of dawn and we would all spend the day at her pool, a typical summer event and one that really bores me.  Then, tonight, we would go to a very popular, crowded restaurant that doesn't take reservations and is out of our current budget given the fact that we are spending so much to drive to Charlottesville to see Lady Gaga in 10 days.  We would have to wait in a line to get in, outside, in the heat, with an already-cranky almost-two year old.  And then, more than likely, my husband and I would get to foot the bill after she had planned and insisted on the outing.  Remember, I want to stay in for dinner.

 This morning, I got up, called my mother, and essentially told her to go fuck off.  I'll have the day that I want to have.  I shouldn't be expected to drop everything just because she takes the day off from work.  At the very least, she should be willing to go along with plans I've already made, even if they are vague.  It's my birthday.  I'll do what I want to.

Now, I feel like a giant ass.  I wouldn't want my children feeling this way on their birthdays when they are adults.  I would want to see them and be involved.  But, what can I do?  If my mother is involved, she tends to take over.  I'm a grown woman.  I don't need rescuing.


  1. You know what - it IS your birthday. Do what you want and love it! (I hope the day gets a little better!) Hugs! And Happy Birthday! :)

  2. Thanks! We wound up taking a trolley ride downtown, eating at the Market Building with has lots of food stalls and is slated to close down next week, and wandering through the Farmer's Market. Now, I'm about to go bake a delicious cake. And, we're having chinese take-out for dinner. =)

  3. I'm sixty-one years old and still deal with how to say "NO" to my mother! And we don't even have a good relationship! Why do I allow her to manipulate me? Hope you had a great birthday! I'm proud of you for telling her no.

  4. first of all, HAPPY BIRTHDAY! (a little late....) it sounds like you ending up having a fun day after all...who doesnt love the farmers market and chinese food!!!
    found u thru sits! have a great sunday!!!

  5. Thanks for the birthday wishes. My day turned out to be very nice and my mother wound up coming over last night to enjoy the last few slices of my cake with me. Our relationship can be bumpy at times, but we're working on it, I guess.


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