Wednesday, July 25, 2007

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.


Anonymous said...

start a new tradition Phish. Throw your own spectacular events every year...take charge and make it all about YOU, not whether someone else remembers or not. Celebrate your fabulousness girl xx


Chai said...

Pretty inconsiderate of them to do it on that day. Could have waited another week.

My parents on the other hand stayed together, when in my opinion, they (and probably us) would have been better off if they hadnt.

Cazzie!!! said...

Yep, same thing happened to me, only my mum told me when I called her up to let her know I had just completed the table seating arrangements for my wedding. I was at work at the time and I called during my tea break. The announcement threw me offside.
Sure, I knew from a kid that they may not last, she told me enough times that she didn't love my dad anymore..what was I to say?
It is never easy as a kid, and it sure aint easy as an adult.

Good for you for making the cup cakes.... please try and have a good deserve it, you ARE special...and it is YOUR day... so enjoy it Phishez!

Anonymous said...

First I say Happy Birthday!

Second I say screw Birthdays! They always seem to let ya down... I also get tired of being let down by people because I expect them to care. Celebrate everyday, or at least another day that may be more special to you, and ignore that stupid miserable crap most people celebrate.

If that doesn't work, do what Sunshine says.

Either way, I am thinking of you, and hope that you have a good day. Birthday or not. :-)

RAFFI said...

happy birthday.

don't be so hard on yourself. life has a lot of tragedies, divorce being one of them. try to look at the good (i know, easier said than done). and remember, you're birthday does not signify divorce, it signifies growth, maturity, and life.

best wishes :)

Sumiko said...

happy birthday :)
though they happened on the same day, divorce and birthdays are two completely different events. try to see them as two single events that happened on the same day because associating the divorce with your birthday won't let you enjoy celebrating the day you came into the world! your birthday is a special event and an unfortunate event just so happened to fall on the same day as one of your birthdays. i hope that makes sense... either way, YAY CUPCAKES!!

poody said...

How inconsiderate of them to tell you on your birthday! I am so sorry dear! I hope you can manage to have a good day. I for one NEVER work on my birthday. It is the one day of the year I feel is completly mine. When I was still with the Rat Bastard his birthday is the day before mine! I always hated that! I am special and having his so close sometimes ran over into mine! I was having none of that! Email me your eamil address and I will send you a birthday card! Promise!

Crushed by Ingsoc said...

I really hope you treat yourself and let your hair down- God knows you've been through the wars and you need to start feeling good about life and more especially yourself.

look to the future, you deserve a bright one.

Anonymous said...

I think the older you get, the worse birthdays are, anyhow. The only good thing about them is birthday cake!

If I could only choose one food and nutrition be damned, birthday cake would be it.

Spiky Zora Jones said...

Phish...happy birthday if it's it? I hope you heal from this hurt.

My parents should have divorced. looking back they would have been much more alive if they would have
looked into their hearts a little closer.

My birthday has passed. My party was members, I swear. I said I didn't care...but I did. I at least received b-day cards, but no cake. I'm a Gemini.

Trundling Grunt said...

Shit, that's a complete bummer.

But we all love you and can be your extended family... ok, that may be pushing it.

But happy birthday from me.

Trundling Grunt said...

Shit, that's a complete bummer.

But we all love you and can be your extended family... ok, that may be pushing it.

But happy birthday from me.

Anonymous said...

should you decide on celebrating (which i think you should) HAPPY BIRTHDAY! and enjoy the goodness of it :)

fingers said...

Aw Phishez, you poor thing.
That's a truly rotten thing to be saddled with.
Two thoughts:
1. Happy Birthday.
2. Change your birthday to a different date, so that it's not tinged with personal sadness. And pick a date that's easy to remember. Like maybe September 11...

Steph said...

sweetheart it's time to RECLAIM YOUR DAY!!!

You HAVE to do this. It's been in the shadows for too long and now it's time for YOU.

I suggest grabbing some of your nearest and dearest and getting totally shit faced in a glamorous setting.

DO IT!!!!!

Happy Birthday gorgeous girl. xx

Mel said...

I wholeheartedly agree. It's the one day of the year when you can make everything unashamedly about you. Hell, I make a huge song and dance in the week leading up to my birthday (which coincides with the dreaded New Year hangover) so nobody can ever forget that it's coming.
Be brash, vain and selfish, and spend the day with people who make you laugh, and really care about you. You're more than entitled to it.

Sakura said...

That is a really shitty way to break the news to you and I know birthdays can be a real shitty day, but I agree with everyone else you have to take it back,get super dressed up, go out, get absolutely pissed, dance on tables and have an awesome time.

Happy Birthday!

Cazzie!!! said...

Hey, I agree with Steph..reclaim the day!!

Sometimes Saintly Nick said...

I could have sworn that when I was last here comments weren't enabled!

O, well, I'll take the opportunity to say this again:

Your parents were inconsideration divorcing on their daughter's birthday! Really!

This year I hope and pray that you'll have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY. Please plan to?

Blessings and shalom, Phish!

Miss Smack said...

As above, x 1000 xxx

Webmiztris said...

I hope you have a decent birthday, phish. I know it's hard, and it was very uncool of them to do that to you and ruin your special day, but please try!

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday to you and I hope that you claim it all back as yours and yours only. And that people start remembering it for ya! You poor bugger, even when you are turning 87 it is still nice if your friends can remember your fucking birthday. Gees!

phishez_rule said...

Sunny - I don't know enough people to do spectacular events.

Chai - I would have rathered they not tell me til later

Cazzie - Why do they wait?

Kelly - I get the let down thing pretty frequently. Its easier to not have any expectations.

Raffi - But I wanna stop growing and maturing.

Sumiko - every unfortunate event happens on someones birthday

Poody - now your birthday is all yours.

Ingsoc - I keep telling myself that but it doesn't seem to happen.

Underhill - Cakes love my hips so much they want to stay there forever.

SZJ - My parents really should have split a long time beforehand.

Grunt - Thanks. Twice.

Echo - I'm gonna try to do something special.

Fingers - Thats sweet. But I have to ask - who are you and what have you done with the fingers I know?

Steph - I have plans for shit facedness.

Mel - I will try my best

Sakura - That pretty much describes me at karaoke.

Nick - how odd. I got your email. Thanks.

Smack - thanks.

Miztris - I have plans.

Betty - when I'm turning 87 I'm not even going to remember my day.

Josh said...

I'd have to agree with the consensus here... they could have picked a different day for that rather than mar your special day.

Happy Birthday, by the way.