Posted by: birdsandsquirrels | November 11, 2009


As I kind of expected, it was not a very good day. I’m sure my attitude made it worse. Not one person managed to send me a card for my 35th birthday yesterday. I got several messages on Facebook, and three phone calls. My husband rushed after work to buy the only cards I got. I guess I’m old fashioned, but when did a wall message on Facebook become an acceptable way to recognize a milestone birthday of a close relative or friend who lives far away? My mom and sister didn’t even manage to send me a card. To be fair, they are both insanely busy right now, but still. 35!

One old friend of mine turned 35 a month ago and I felt like an ass that I couldn’t travel across the country to be there for her very large party. To make up for that, I sent several thoughtful things to her, timed such that they would arrive on her birthday. Not three days late. Not two days early. I found three perfect cards that reminded me of specific times in our long friendship and I put effort into writing them out. For another relative’s recent milestone birthday, I worked for weeks on a 20 page large scrapbook/collage thing of all of my various memories of her and times of her life. Again, I made sure it arrived on her birthday, because I couldn’t be there in person. Both of these people called me yesterday in the evening and left a voice mail with some version of the same bullshit “I have a card for you but I just can’t find it,” or even better, “I guess I’m not a card sending person anymore.”

Wow. That hurts. I am a loyal friend. I work hard to listen and be there for the people in my life, and things like my 35th birthday being forgotten or unacknowledged by many of the people in my life makes me feel like I just don’t matter. Maybe it’s a good lesson. Maybe I should look at this as a new phase of my life where the focus shifts from my old family and friends to my husband and soon to be daughter. No more spending time and money trying to come up with thoughtful birthday and Christmas gifts. No more running out to the post office to buy extra postage for a square envelope and to mail them out on time. No more putting effort into maintaining relationships that clearly don’t mean much to the other person.

Yesterday was shitty in other ways too. Physical therapy hurt and took forever because my physical therapist was teaching a student. There was far too much pulling my yoga pants down too far and poking and pushing on my tailbone while I laid on my stomach on two piles of 4 pillows. They had me do too many very tiring exercises. I left feeling like I had been hit by a truck, when normally I leave feeling better and in less pain.

S got home and we couldn’t decide where to go for dinner. He wasn’t in the best of moods, and I think he resented having to give up time in the evening to meet with the doula. We finally went to a restaurant that we both normally love, but by then, the mood was sour. The doula meeting took 90 minutes when I thought we’d be out of there within 20. We fought in the car on the way home. We sat in silence the rest of the 15 minutes home while I felt very sorry for myself and let silent tears fall. We got home at 9pm. I couldn’t wait for the day to be over so I got ready for bed and tried to fall asleep.

I’m sure that my wacky pregnancy hormones are at work here, and that doesn’t help an already shitty big bad birthday.

Oh, and roadkill. I can’t stop crying for each and every dead animal I see on the road, and there seem to be a lot this year. Squirrels, raccoons, possums, deer, and the occasional cat and dog. I start worrying about how long it took them to die, and if they were in pain.



  1. I’m sorry your birthday was kind of a bust. Birthdays are kind of depressing now that we are getting older. I hope today is better!!

  2. Sounds like a crappy day on all counts! Your daughter will be here soon enough, and then you’ll be too busy focusing on her to worry about crummy friends and other “little” junk in your life. If others aren’t reciprocating your above-and-beyond-fantastic-friend thoughtfulness, they don’t deserve that much of your time, energy, or money.
    Hope things feel better soon!

  3. I’m so sorry you had a crappy birthday! Don’t worry about it! Just think, next year you will celebrate it with your daughter in your arms!

  4. Argh, that is not the best birthday ever. I wish it could have been happier. I have high hopes for your 36th, since you will have a precious baby there to get frosting all over themselves.

  5. Sorry about the crappy birthday 😦 Hope next year is better. I don’t think the sour mood was from the pregnancy hormones- I would have been bitchy too. So sorry hun. I’ve been there many times.

    And road kill gets me too, I feel so awful for them. And I am so glad that up to date (and please let this record continue) I have not hit anything with my own car… I’d take it so bad that I think I’d go into shock and end up in hysterics for awhile. And then I’d never forgive myself.

  6. I am sorry your birthday turned out to be so disappointing. It sounds like you are an awesome and above average friend when comes to recognizing milestones like birthdays! It is tough when we have expectations and others don’t meet them. Can be so, so disappointing.
    One slight reframe (can’t help it, I’m a psychologist) – it doesn’t sound like people “forgot” your birthday exactly, more like they didn’t acknowledge it in the way you wanted them to (facebook rather than card, call in evening rather than card/call in morning, etc.). It is of course ok to be disappointed, but notice if you’re telling yourself something that is making you feel worse that might not be completely accurate – one way to help feel a bit better is to remind yourself that although they didn’t do it in the way you wanted, people did acknowledge your birthday. You ARE loved, you ARE remembered, even if they didn’t show it in the ways that you would have wished and would have shown it to them.

    Just think, though, last bday before you’re a mom! soon you’ll be able to teach your daughter, through your raising of her, what birthdays and loving people are all about!


  7. Happy belated birthday, bird. Am so sorry it wasn’t great for you. I totally understand the feeling of being disappointed in those people you’d think could take the time to reach out to you. I am going through that right now with my bed rest, actually. And I can COMPLETELY relate to your feeling sad about the animals. It’s amazing how much more sensitive you feel while pregnant. I’m sure your 36th year will be off to a better start once your beautiful baby is here!

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