Monday, September 3, 2012

Been Down in the Dumps Recently

First off, I had written this blog post, in its entirety, last night on my phone on the way back from my cousin's wedding, but since the Blogger Android app doesn't auto-save posts and my battery was draining faster than the charger could provide while writing the post, my phone died and I completely lost the post I had written. This is my attempt to recapture all of my thoughts from that blog post.

I have been down in the dumps recently but it isn't any single one big thing, but rather lots of smaller things.  I am only going to talk about one category of things that all center around last Thursday, or in other words, my birthday.  Birthdays are supposed to be a happy time (although after 21, there really aren't any to look forward to until the "I am able to retire" birthday).  They serve as a good excuse to get people together and see family.  Unfortunately, I also have several bad memories associated with my birthday that taint the experience.  I am going to work backwards chronologically.

My birthday in 2009 was rather nice.  We had some friends over, had steamed crabs and had a great time.  We had a LOT of leftover crabs so we took some to my grandparents' house with plans of going back there later in the week for dinner because we were going to have home-made crab soup.  The night we were supposed to go there for dinner, my grandmother called and left a voice mail for me saying they had to cancel because they were going to the funeral home for a friend who had passed.  We planned a new date but unfortunately it would not come to pass as my grandmother suffered a stroke just a few days before we were supposed to go back there for dinner.  Because of this, I think about Mom Mom around my birthday and just wish we had gotten to have that one more dinner together before she passed.  The pain from this has faded in the last two years such that I mostly just reflect on good memories, but the pain is still there.

Rolling back a ways now to 1998.  I had been dating someone a good portion of the summer who I met while we were both interning at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt.  I had just moved into my dorm at University of Maryland a day or two before my birthday, which was actually closer to her house.  I was supposed to head out there and pick her up and we were going to go out for my birthday.  Before I left, she sent me an IM that she wanted me to call her, and she proceeded to break up with me on the phone.    The relationship hadn't been very long, nor serious, but it still stung because it was my birthday, and I already had a somewhat negative feeling about my birthday at that point.  This doesn't affect me anymore, it was just another one of those shitting things that happened on my birthday.

Ok, now we hit the way-back machine and zoom back into my early childhood.  Some of my friends know what is coming next as I know I talk/bitch about it almost every year.  I will also say up front that I DO NOT want an email/phone call follow up about this.  I know this is a request that will probably be ignored, but it is worth a shot.

So, rewind to my birthday in either 85 or 86, I can't remember.  Location? Catonsville, MD. What happened? I was dressed up and walking down the isle as a ring-bearer in my father's 3rd wedding (which, incidentally, I didn't know was his third until much later on because I hadn't realized he was married before my mother).  My sister has pointed out that in some ways I got a pretty sweet deal that year as I received birthday gifts from people I probably never saw again, but that is like getting a free lobster dinner and then never being able to eat lobster again for the rest of your life.  This now meant my father was frequently away on anniversary trips on my birthday, and also led to an incident that to this day infuriates me when I think of it.  Sometime in college, they took me out to dinner for my birthday.  After getting wished a happy birthday, my step mother then interjects "Well, don't you owe us something?" I was very confused, ask what and she replied "It's our anniversary."  In my dad's defense, he did step in and say that wasn't fair of her but that situation shouldn't have existed in the first place.

Over the years I have tried to build other good memories around my birthday, but my birthday has felt cheapened for a very long time.  If you are single, and have children, the only days you need to avoid getting remarried is on your children's birthdays, which shouldn't be a problem unless you somehow have 365 1/4 children. It may just lead to a bunch of resentment to the point that it eventually bubbles over into a blog post.  And again, I say I do not want to talk about this with either of you, I don't want an email about this blog post either.  Over the years I have kept from saying anything because I was trying to forget the bad things, but this one keeps coming back every year.  I may be airing this on my blog for the first time, but many who know me personally know about this because it comes around every year and I can't forget it.  Each person has one day a year that is reserved for celebration of them.  Having that taken away by a random event (such as the birth of a younger sibling or their own child) is fine, but having it taken away by a planned event, such as a wedding, or a planned induced birth is just crappy.

PS - It has taken me a lot of time to build up the guts to finally post this last part, but I needed to finally vent all of my thoughts on this at one time.  There may be more blog posts about crap that has been bugging me lately, but this was the most timely to publish.

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