Sunday, December 31, 2006

The No Good, Very Bad Start To My Birthday

My birthday is today, December 31. Yes, New Year's Eve. And yes, I've heard it all from "Wow, what a good tax break for your parents," to "Boy that must have sucked for your mom to miss out on partying on New Year's Eve."

There's something those of us who have December Holiday birthdays understand it binds us together: We get shafted on our birthdays. I used to think it was just me that felt this way, but it's not.

When we're kids in school, we never get a school birthday party (in all fairness, neither do the kids with summer birthdays, but at least they can have swim parties); we never get swim parties; everyone is always out of town for the holidays, so our parties are generally sparse, unless you want to hold off for a couple of weeks after Christmas. And actually, that still holds true even now because this year, on Thursday, the people at work asked if we could wait and do my birthday next week when more people would be there.

Then there's the people that just lump our birthdays in with Christmas. That happens too. For example, take my dad. Don't get me wrong, I appreciate all that he and my stepmom do for us and the fact that he LOVES Jody. J's birthday is in October, two months before Christmas. Last year for his birthday, they got him a Bowflex; this year, they gave him a Glock 9mm. Oh, and for our 6th anniversay, they gave "us" a rifle. Christmas is generally a cash donation with the instructions that it is to be split evenly, not M gets more because it's for her birthday too. Then a week after Christmas is my birthday. The last two years for my birthday, I have received a set of apertif glassses (?!?) and a gift certificate for a massage. I'm just not seeing the equality here. Of course, J says its just because they like him better.

I don't want to give the impression that I'm bitter, but I will say I'm resigned to it, it's what I've come to expect. The whole birthday thing, that is.

So anyway, my friend Samantha came to Abilene yesterday to spend the weekend. I have all sorts of fun stuff planned: first, we'll run by her family's place at Lawn, then we'll go to my dad's and play with the horses for a while, then Samantha wanted to learn to shoot a gun, all followed by a nice dinner cooked by my dad on the grill at their house.

My dad calls first thing yesterday morning and says since it's just going to be me, J, and Samantha coming that we're going to eat with the hunters. For my birthday. Great, I can't wait to go to the hunting camp, where it's cold and spend my birthday dinner with a bunch of strangers. But ok, I'll be a sport.

Samantha arrives, I'm getting the guns and ammo together so she can learn to shoot, and the phone rings. It's my dad. He freaking cancels on us. He cancelled my birthday. And not even for a good reason. I wish he'd just lied and made up a good reason, because now, my feelings are hurt, because while I've accepted and come to expect the inequality that will undoubtedly come in the form of a $50 gift card, the one thing I'd at least had some expectation for (spending time with my dad for my birthday) didn't happen. And he didn't even say I'm sorry about your birthday, or have a good birthday, or anything. Jody was standing there and said something to the affect that I didn't want to eat with the hunters anway and I just burst out on tears. I think I scared him, because he told me to go buy myself a new digital camera for my birthday.

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