Wednesday, September 14, 2016

A Tuesday with Tucker

So my birthday was yesterday.  Which turned what would have been an ordinary Tuesday (make the bed, feed the cats, sit in traffic, go to work, be annoyed by everything, sit in traffic, ride the horse, pour the wine) into a Tuesday that stuck me with the sort of melancholy that only comes with an occasion that forces you to reflect on your past year and take stock of your life and count your chickens every other dangerous metaphor you want to throw in there (New Years can also do this.  Be forewarned).  As Anne Lamott says, "The worst part about celebrating another birthday is the shock that you're only as well as you are."

I don't particularly like my birthday, because let's face it, adult birthdays are let downs.  If you're not a four-year-old in a party dress waiting for the ponies to arrive, it's kind of inevitably disappointing. It's what I've come to recognize as my birthday malaise.  I think forcing myself to be happy and chipper and in a good mood all day because people are wishing you happy birthday so that's how you're supposed to react kind of zaps all my energy, and leaves me longing to climb back under the covers and wait for the day to pass.  Compound that with certain people who made sure that I felt as unspecial as possible yesterday and I was feeling pretty down.  I wanted to tell them that I already felt pretty unspecial, so they really needn't bother, but I didn't.  (Side note.  It amazes me that adult women can be as mean as middle-schoolers.  I can't be the only one who still encounters this as I get older.)

Birthdays, like Valentine's Day and all other holidays, create this expectation that you're supposed to have special plans and have a really fun day planned and get treated like someone who's really important.  But when that's not the case, when your day is just an ordinary Tuesday, those well-meaning comments can feel like digs. Even though they're not.  Even though people are just saying exactly what they've been conditioned to say when they say, "so, any special plans this evening?"

But it made me feel like snapping at people.  I wanted to remind them that I'm single and I live alone and I've had kind of a crappy year, so of course I don't have special plans.  Yes, as I said in my last post, I'm figuring out how to be happy and grateful and content with my new life, and in honest moments (as opposed to morbid, self-pitying moments) I have zero desire for marriage or a family and I love my quiet little cottage.  But yesterday... although externally I was humming right along, liking all the facebook posts and cheerfully answering texts and eating my birthday cupcake, inside I was throwing a major pity party for myself.  Despite the 100+ people saying nice things to me via text and social media, I was barely holding it together.

These flowers prompted many remarks.
All of which were met with a grumpy "no they're not from a boy."
But then I got to the barn, and my friends were waiting with wine and flowers, and I shared a carrot cake cupcake with Tucker and Goose.  And I had my first genuine laughs of the day, without even a hint of awkward fake laughter that's barely covering up the sheer existential dread. What would we do without horses?  And horse girls!

Carrot cake is delicious
The frosting not so much
But - and this is important.  Do not go feeling bad for me. I did plenty of feeling bad enough for myself yesterday to cover all of us.  And for my facebook friends, don't regret wishing me a happy birthday or telling me to have fun or any of the other lovely things you said.  I loved them.  They made the day palatable.  They reminded me not to be so glum.  You all reminded me that I have no reason not to be happy about my life-stock and the number of my chickens.

I love this photo
Remember Eeyore's birthday party?  When Eeyore is all gloomy because he can't sing and dance on his birthday, and then Pooh and Piglet give him an empty honey jar and a popped balloon and he's happy again?  It was basically that, only slightly less adorable.  And ended with an empty wine bottle, rather than an empty honey pot.


8 comments:

  1. I can really relate to this post. That was how I felt for pretty much every holiday last year. I'm hoping it'll be better this year, but I don't know yet. Glad you got to genuinely laugh with some friends and your big pretty horse :)

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  2. Ugh that weird "i'm so happy" when inside you think you're just super mopey... my life right now.

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  3. I am not a big birthday celebrator, I sort of try to make myself but all I ever want for my birthday is more sleep hahah. Sounds like your horse friends made it pretty awesome!

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  4. Horse friends and horses are the best. I'm not a big birthday celebrator either and resent that consumerism/capitalism/conditioning (insert own c-word here) makes us feel bad for not wanting to make a big deal out of surviving another 365 days.
    The way I see it its your day & you're free to spend it as you wish 😈
    And fwiw under the covers/moping in bed is a great use of a day imo

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  5. :-) So glad you have a Tucker and amazing barn friends to get through the hard times. Also why are the hard times so often? It seems unfair.

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  6. Having one of those days this whole summer. Most moments of melancholy and despair followed by genuine laughter and joy and rinse and repeat.
    Looks like you managed some great self-care for your birthday, that's all that's important. And anyway, Happy Birthday! You are the only you in this whole world. That's worth celebrating (whether under the covers in bed or w/ a glass of wine, or both).

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  7. I really do hate that whole do you have plans question. Because I never do. I'm glad you've got your barn friends to turn everything around.

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  8. Yeah I basically can't let go of the four year old in a party dress so I dress myself up. I got yelled at for this last year by my stepdad. But fuck them, its my birthday and IF I WANT TO BE A FAIRY PRINCESS I WILL. So that's my motto. Id much rather be by myself and being myself than surrounded with adult expectations.

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