I dread my birthday. I know. It sounds stupid. I've spent the last few days dreading my birthday. I'm still young enough for it to be a time of anticipation. But its not.
This year my birthday marks the fifth anniversary of my parents divorce. For the last five years I have avoided my birthday because its so strongly associated with the divorce. I still do.
The day that they split up they took me to the airport so I could catch my flight back to uni. They were fighting in the car on the way down. I hated it. I always felt so small when they fought, even when I was an adult. Which, to be honest, wasn't as often as it sounds. My dad used to pick on us kids more than anything else.
I remember them dropping me off. I sat at the gate with a parent on either side. They refused to speak to each other. When the flight was called to board I left. I think I might have hugged my Mum. I said goodbye to them and walked through to my flight. I had a squirmy feeling in the pit of my gut that I should look back. It was one of those 'what if its the last time I see them together?' moments. But I knew if I did look back they'd be standing apart from each other. Mum with her arms crossed and scowling at the floor. Dad being the unemotive rock he was raised to be.
The next day was my birthday. I got the call at about 9 am. One from Mum. Then a text from Dad. Then a call from my sister. When my brother texted me to ask if I had spoken to Mum I knew something was up. She rang back about 5 minutes later to tell me they'd decided to get a divorce. My first reaction was to go tell my best friend. I knocked on her door and when she opened it I just announced 'Happy Birthday Phish, we're getting a divorce'. The look on her face was clear. She hadn't remembered. Neither had anybody else.
I don't celebrate my birthday. Right now I feel like I never have. I can't be bothered reminding people and it hurts too much when they don't remember. So I don't expect anything. Its easier that way.
Today I asked some people who work with us occasionally if they'd like to come to morning tea on Friday. I know some of the people I work with will bitch and moan and complain about people who aren't in our birthday fund being there. So I have decided to make two batches of cupcakes (of which I'll eat about three worth in raw batter alone) and a batch of coffee biscuits.