It was my birthday a few days ago.
All in all, it was a lacklustre event. I mean, I’m no spring chicken, and it wasn’t a milestone year, but everyone still wants to be made a fuss of and feel a bit special on their birthday, even if it isn’t one of ‘the big ones’ – don’t they?
Yes, the phone rang early in the morning with various family members and friends calling to wish me a happy birthday. Yes, the kids came in and jumped on me at around 6.15am and the cuddles were amazing and yes, I did get spoilt!
So I know I shouldn’t sound too ungrateful.
My kids (under 10 years) are my entire world, I worship them and they really tried to make a fuss of me.
They made beautiful hand made cards and pictures and my daughter gave me one of the drawings she did at a school holiday art camp, and I cried, genuine tears because I was grateful for the little loves of my life who tried their best to make mummy feel special.
I cried also because my husband didn’t make much of a fuss.
For starters, he bought me a card that read in delicate gold script at the top… “For my daughter-in-law…”! I mean seriously! He swears he picked one that said “For my wife” when he stood in front of the rows of cards at the newsagent, but clearly he didn’t bother reading Hallmark’s chosen words when he wrote inside: “I will love you always, your husband…”
I should mention here that my husband has had a lot on his plate, so to speak, lately and hasn’t been very ‘present’, and he’s dealing with bigger stuff than my birthday – but still, he might as well not have bothered.
In the weeks leading up to my day, he did ask me several times what I wanted, as he knows me well, and I’m all for telling someone who’s going to spend money on you what you would like, rather than letting then waste money on some or other item that you don’t like/will never wear or won’t use.
I should also say, he had wanted to buy me an expensive watch, but I felt that was indulgent and unnecessary. So I emailed him the link (subtle, huh?!) to a necklace I had been eyeing out for some time on a designer website, which was much more reasonably priced than the watch he’d wanted to buy, and exactly to my liking.
When I checked with him a few days before my birthday if he’d managed to order said necklace, he said: “Darling, won’t you just do it quickly, I haven’t had a chance and don’t have my reading glasses on, here’s my credit card, do it please.”
So I ordered my birthday present from my husband and am still waiting for it to arrive.
The day of my birthday itself, was made up of a kids birthday party, lunch with girlfriends (whom I adore and who all spoilt me rotten) and dinner with more friends, but there was a lingering gnarling thought churning through my head all day… how many Facebook posts would I get?
Sadly, even as the grown, somewhat mature woman that I am, I wanted to get lots of messages of love and good wishes on my wall.
After all, doesn’t the number of birthday posts directly correlate with a persons ability to be loveable, and worthwhile?! So I paced myself, as I didn’t want to check too early in the day and find only a few, or worse, none at all.
I checked once or twice as the day wore on. Nothing. My mood altered somewhat further. I started to feel resentful, after all, I always write posts for my Facebook friends when it’s their birthday! How could they miss it?? It says it on your page as soon as you check in!
Finally, when I climbed into bed that night, there they were… four posts!!! Four bloody posts!! That’s all I got, out of almost 200 “friends”. I went to bed feeling like crap. Most unloved.
How sad is that!!! And it didn’t get any better. The next day, when I was sure all my friends and family around the world in various time zones would have realised it had been my birthday and posted… nothing, not one more.
So there it was. I felt pretty miserable – and even more stupid for buying into that kind of misery, but I felt sad too. Why did no one post on my wall? Am I despised? Am I unloved? I was tempted to write something on my own wall along the lines of…
“So you know how people are always thanking their people for all the billions of beautiful, warm and kind birthday wishes that they received on their birthday…..well, I got four, out of all my so-called Facebook friends – the same friends who I always write birthday posts for – I got four posts, that’s it! Thanks guys for leaving me feeling so UN-loved!”
I resolved not to write it.
Instead, I wrote this as my rant release.
Then, last night, my hubby turns to me and says “Hey babe, how come I can’t see any of those pics you put up on Facebook, or any of your posts for that matter?”.
“I don’t know,” I responded.
“Maybe check your privacy settings,” he said.
And I did.
And I was “privacy-ed” up to my bloody eyeballs! And my birthday was turned to “OFF”!!
And I realised why no one bothered to wish me. And all was good with the world again…
The author of this post is known to Mamamia but has chosen to remain anonymous.