Thursday, October 1, 2009

Happy Birthday

I've long given up expecting anything for my birthday. My husband even asked this year what I wanted, but I couldn't think of anything. I'm satisfied with my life, with things I have... not wanting anything - except perhaps a clutter-free house. So no gifts. That saying, he did give me the chance to take off a weekend and fly out to a reunion. That is a big thing I am looking forward to. I guess that would be my gift. I'm more than happy.

But this year, two things happened for my birthday. The first made me laugh. The second made me cry.

I was with a group of people on my birthday. One was a young woman whose husband had been on a short-term, two week trip once. He wants to go again. She heard that my husband will be traveling for a month and came to question me. How do I cope? Well, my kids are older now - we do fine. She still looked puzzled, and walked away, but then came back with a very direct question, "but how do you go so long without ___?" (insert a three letter word that I shouldn't put on my blog, the one starting with an s and ending with an x)

Ok. That was direct. I answered her respectfully since she asked honestly. But I was tempted to say, "well, I just do... I mean, what option is there?" But I tried to keep a straight face. It was asked honestly.

That would have been fine if it had stopped there. But then she sighed, looked at me, and said, "Well, it's different for you - you're older!"

Happy Birthday - you're too old for ___. Thanks! 37 is not THAT OLD!!!

I felt like looking at her with a little bit of pity and saying, "honey, you think it is good now, just wait." But I didn't.

But I am still giggling over that. So are my other "old" friends. I guess that is how 23 year olds view 37 year olds.... (Ok, I know I am going to get in trouble for this post. I can see it coming.)

The second made me cry. My grandma wrote me a birthday card.

Now comes a need for a slight trip into history. About two years ago, when we went to visit a relative, my two boys threw rocks through a window of a vehicle which they thought was trash, sitting out in the fields behind a barn. It wasn't. We paid to get them fixed. We disciplined our boys - they paid the entire contents of their savings (saving for three years towards a camera) to help pay for this. They learned.

Anyway, this summer, we had to stay near my grandma, so we phoned and asked if we could stay a few days. She said no - grandpa was sick.

No problem. I understand that.

Well, she wrote me my birthday card. And wrote this, "well, I said no because grandpa was sick, but not only because of that. You remember that incident with the rocks a few years ago? I wasn't sure I wanted you to come after that, and honestly, I am not sure we will ever have you stay here."

Wow. Happy Birthday - we don't want you.

I cried. Off and on all night, I cried.

I could argue. I could say a lot of things, but... there is nothing much to say.

Why? Why in the world, even if you felt like you HAD to say that, why in a birthday card?!

I've decided I don't really like birthdays.


Angela said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie! I'm glad I met you.

You encouraged me last night when I needed it. That meant a lot. Thank you! :)

Karis said...

So laughing at the **x question! And I cannot believe she would say that about "well, you're older" -- that really made me laugh -- then again, I'm 31 so I'm closer to your age than hers. It's probably just as well you saved your words about "honey, just you wait..." She would never have believed you. :-)

I truly cannot understand why your grandma would have chosen to share those words with you and even more in a birthday card. I'm sorry for the pain that caused you.

Yay for the weekend off to go to a reunion! Enjoy, enjoy, enjoy!

Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday, dear Ellie
Happy Birthday to you

Becky Aguirre said...

So when, exactly is your birthday? Weird, cuz mine is next Tuesday and I'm turning 37, too! (Except my kids think it's more like 27 because I have not yet revealed my actual age to them! lol It's turned into somewhat of a joke...) So Happy Birthday! Hilarious about that comment, guess she'll get older and wiser someday, eh? :) And yeah, so sorry about your grandmother and the card...that stinks. I can see how that would be hard for you to hear...

Ellie said...

Becky - My birthday was on Sunday, last Sunday. Happy Birthday to you, too!

better enjoy **x while you can! You're getting too old for it after Tuesday!

(oh I should watch my mouth - especially on a blog!)

Alece said...

oh i am so sorry... SO sorry...

i hope there was redemption to be found in your birthday. and that you felt loved and celebrated as i know you are. no matter what grandma says.

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday, Ellie!
I had mine last Monday and turned 50. The young woman must think I am ancient. ;-)
Sorry for the insensitive and inappropriate comment of your grandmother. :-(
I hope you have a great trip!

Cindy said...

too bad you had to hear the "older" comment, I thought I was getting used to it until someone at a store offered me senior citizens discount! I couldn't even take it!

As for Grandma...well, sometimes I have to remind myself that God knows all about it... and how much it hurts...

Becky Aguirre said...

Yeah, Ellie, better watch it! lol JK, I think the whole topic is rather hilarious! :o It's my birthday today, so far, so good! Not feeling too much older yet...