19bday.jpg

I’m not a birthday person. Six years ago, if somebody had told me I would become anti-birthday I would have gasped in disbelief and horror. And yet, here I am. Fully and completely anti-birthday. I tend to have very low expectations, in hope that if I don’t expect anything I won’t be disappointed. But that somehow, doesn’t seem to help. Birthdays just plain suck.

I hate them on the basis that I resent the hell out of time for making each year go by faster than the last. Because I never seem to be able to catch up. And because I can’t ever really fulfill the expectations that come with the day. People expect happiness and joy and self-absorbed excitement. And I just can’t do it. Can’t fake that I’m extra happy about a day just like any other day, only worse. I can’t help the fact that thoughts of my birthday fill me with feelings of dread. They just do.

And even though I wish I could just skip over the entire day, or even just sleep through it I always have this little flicker of hope that maybe something extra special will happen to make it worthy of the hype.

And that’s my big mistake. No matter how low I think my expectations are, I always have that bit of hope and I’m always, inevitably disappointed. It’s a cruel, rather ironic cycle. The less I expect out of them, the less joyous they become.

Granted none of them have sucked quite so much as my 14th birthday when instead of showing up with cupcakes for the class, my mother took me out of school and I spent the bulk of my day hiding my scars and holding back tears as I was interrogated by a couple shrinks. The only presents I remember getting that day are a diagnoses and my very first prescription for an SSRI.

Yesterday was my birthday. I received not a single phone call from any of my friends.

Except for Bunny.

I answered the phone expecting to hear Winifred’s voice and instead was greeted with a very professional, albeit cheerful “Hello, Turtle. It’s Bunny. I’m calling to wish you a happy birthday.”

I have no delusions that Winifred dialed and prompted his one-liner but what ensued just put the icing on my cake, so to speak.

Some small children don’t do well on the phone. Bunny is not one of them. He asked me what I was doing to celebrate and I informed him that we would have cake tonight, but that was pretty much the extent of it all. He wanted to know if I had baked it and I told him that I had not, my mother had. He paused to think about this for a moment and then giggled exclaiming that Buddha had taken mom’s lip gloss and put it in the toilet. I laughed and assumed that was the end of the birthday talk.

After a long bout of decidely maniacal laughter Bunny settled down and then very abruptly and decisively informed me that I should come over tomorrow so he and I could do something special together. I needed a treat he said. Something special. Maybe we could go on one of our walks to Starbucks and get one. And by the way I needed to be given my present. Eventually he handed the phone to Winifred insisting that we settle on a time for our date.

My dad is helping pay for $600 off my car loan and I’m thrilled, but nothing can compare to Bunny’s phone call.

Advertisements