It wasn’t always about boys. I’m sure at some point, birthdays were great. There wasn’t always a birthday curse. I absolutely believe that the days when my mom baked me a chocolate on chocolate cake and made her German lasagna and there were presents to open and people to thank, that my birthday was happy.
I like to think that those days will come back to me, or that I’ll make days like them with my children. I want to believe that my life, my one day each year that’s solely about me, wasn’t always about them too. I really do.
But, alas, my memory does a disservice to this fateful day each year, and I sink my head low whenever I think about my birthday, remembering boy after boy who ruined it for me.
There was Daniel, who in a moment of rage told me on my eighteenth birthday when I threatened to break up with him that I’d be “doing him a favor.” Not to mention the fall out this night had on many of my high school friendships, including my three best friends, who are now still friends themselves, but I am not among them, because I was too focused on my dying relationship to realize I was losing them, too.
There was Daniel again other years too, the most poignant being the year we broke up and he didn’t buy me a birthday present. We went to the zoo and then out to dinner and he made me pay—for both him and myself.
There was Seth, who decided that the day before I turned twenty one was the perfect time to break up… and then only three days later admit to cheating on me. The luck in this one was that I blacked out that night from my supportive friends buying me ALL.THE.BOOZE.
There was Ben, who thought my birthday was the perfect time to pick a fight with a pregnant (read: hormonal) woman and leave her crying alone in Salem, MA. There was Ben plenty more over the years.
There was Jason, who broke up with me soon after my birthday, and became another guy to add to the list of those who decided my birthday celebration was a great time to pick a fight – in Charleston, no doubt, in front of friends.
And just last year, there was Stewart and even Travis, who only pretended to think I was good enough on my birthday, who decided just days later that I wasn’t who they thought I was. Or maybe I was, and they weren’t who they thought they were. Or maybe I was just a toy. I’ll never really know.
And let’s not forget the other guys in-between, or the stories about the guys between these. Story after story of a fight, break-up, or just straight up loneliness. Stories about how the stars aligned in perfect fashion to turn my relationships or dates upside down so that the world fell on top of me, leaving me with metaphorically broken ribs and out of air.
Each year, I wait patiently for the shoe to drop. Even now, happily in a relationship with the man I plan to marry, I wonder what this birthday will bring. Will it end in tears and harsh words? Will he decide he doesn’t love me anymore? Am I just being totally and completely irrational to even think these?
Can you blame a girl who countlessly let other people, guys especially, determine her happiness around her birthday year after year?
Maybe it was all me, expecting too much. My mom did make our birthday really special every year, and when I was old enough, damn it, they were still supposed to be just as special. I made sure of that for my friends and boyfriends, so I expected the same in return.
Until, I didn’t anymore. And instead, I try to forget that it’s my birthday. I act like it’s not a big deal, when I really think it is. Because this is MY day. Just like your birthday is YOUR day. It should be special. Because… you are special.
Just like me.
Does anyone else have shitty birthdays? Is it just me? How do I get rid of this birthday curse?! Comment below!