Today is my birthday. I don’t really do anything different for my birthday. This year, I am more reflective and morose than usual and I am trying to figure out why. I have caught myself tearing up a half dozen times.
I was 10 years old that day. My mom had been talking about my birthday for several days. “Not the tomorrow, noooot the next day, not the next one, but the next one will be your double digit birthday.” I was beside myself with excitement and anticipation. We were going to have a party at the park. I was thrilled. Well, it snowed. I lived in Albuquerque. It never snows in Albuquerque, particularly in the end of April. It snowed. I went down the slide anyway and my pants were wet for the rest of the party.
I was 13. I had another party and had a new friend spend the night. It was fun, but I was so excited, I couldn’t sleep and so tired, I cried.
I was in medical school and had a “How to host a murder party.” There were so many people I wanted to invite, we had two going at the same time. It was a bit overwhelming and I didn’t really get to hang out with anyone.
I was recently sober. I have always said the worst possible thing anyone could ever do to me would be throw a surprise party. I think that is cruel. I started reminding my wife that I really didn’t want a party, much less a surprise party. I explained that this was the wrong time for me to be in such an awkward position and I didn’t like it anyway. I went on to explain that it might sound like I was encouraging it and falsely putting forth resistance. I assured her, I wasn’t. I found out she intended to combine my party and my daughter’s party. However, it would be surprise to me. It was going to be HUGE. I begged her to not do it. She did it. I smoked flank steak for two days prior to the party. I feigned surprise. I was miserable, but hid it the best I could. I received 3 bottles of wine and countless 6-packs. I was bruised by the back slapping. She was pissed I didn’t think it was a great time.
I think I have PTSD for my birthday.