I love the fact that birthdays are a really big deal as far as Spawn is concerned. My upcoming 44th annus horribilis has got the kid all a-twitter (in the old fashioned way, not the social media way) with the notion of me celebrating something, anything. There has been mention of a surprise, though with Spawn that could mean just about anything, and considering the fact that The Day falls on a Thursday this year, the biggest surprise I could (and do) hope for is no homework and a lot of “yes ma’am” spread liberally through my house. I don’t want much, you see.
Well, besides the above-mentioned, my mother’s homemade German chocolate cake would be nice.
My husband is neck deep in a new store opening, and won’t be home for the actual day, and I must actually be getting older because I am all kinds of fine with that. I don’t remember when birthdays started to be kind of “meh” for me, but I’m just not all that het up about it. I don’t really want anything — at least, not anything that someone could actually give me — and I don’t want a big fuss made, which has been my mantra for several years now.
Truth be told, this year I’m just not all that into it. My husband will be working for the next week to ten days and therefore out of town much of the time, my best friend is working majorly sucky hours (3-11pm shift), my favorite cousin lives in Chicago (and she’d certainly show me a good time), and my dear sweet friend Denise has her kids this weekend and is unavailable. It’s times like this I wish I had googobs of friends, but it’s not my nature to be close friends with more than a few people, and that means that when everyone is busy with their own lives around my birthday, I end up on the couch by myself.
I’ve sort of made some tentative plans to take Spawn on a little road trip this weekend, since my husband won’t be home. As much as I’d love to have a “me” weekend, filled with lunch and drinks and shopping and general low-level hedonism, my Plan B is to road trip somewhere and spend money on my kid. Do I know how to live it up or what?
The only problem with Plan B is that my mother seems to be hell-bent on sucking what little joy there is out of it. Joy-sucking is one of my mother’s specialties, and though I don’t know exactly what the issue is that she has with Plan B, it’s probably fairly safe to assume it has something to do with her not being in control of it. I love my mother, yes of course, but the woman is a big-time major controller. (Though if I were to be fair about it I would have to admit that I tend to have control issues too, and thanks mom for lending me those particular genes.) If she doesn’t like something she rains all over it, which means whatever enjoyment you were going to get out of it gets tainted. She’s worried that Something Will Happen to us out on the road, and yes, Something might (might! maybe! statistically speaking!) but good lord that’s just no way to live life.
At any rate, the one thing I have semi-looked forward to since I pieced together the fact that I was going to have a dull weekend otherwise has now been rained on by my mother and I am pissed off about that.
(Dear God please don’t let me do this to Spawn amen.)
So I’m going to do what I always do: go ahead with my plans, perhaps even more stubbornly so, with the slow burn in the back of my mind that comes from being pissed. Because that is how I deal. And dammit, I’m (going to be) 44 years old — at what point do I get to do what I want without my mother weighing in on it? And even that wouldn’t be so bad if she didn’t just automatically dump all over everything just because it’s not within her control. Weigh in with a “good for you!” once in a while, just to balance things out. But no, my tentative plans got firmly concreted pretty quick. Whatever ambivalence I felt about Plan B is now pushed aside in favor of Doing It No Matter What.
Can we say passive-aggressive?