So - remember how I told you all that I kept on forgetting about my birthday? I don't think I explained enough about how I'm usually SO excited for my birthday. I remind everyone that it is coming. I usually set up my own party, so I know I'll have one. I tell people at work so they remember to get me cake.
This year - I did none of that - and most of my friends, family and co-workers came through! It was such a welcome surprise. The friends on my street took me out a fun dinner, my buddies at work all took me out for Thai food, and there was even an ICE CREAM cake for me at work in the afternoon. My phone was ringing all day with people calling to sing to me.
When I got home, Aaron gave me a Kindle as my birthday present. I'd always been interested in these (I'm a huge reader) but never really looked into it. Usually I find books that I want to read and request them from the library or the paperback swap. I'm loathe to BUY new books, mostly because my house would be completely overrun with books in months. But I love to read. This thing is AWESOME. It uses a technology called 'e-paper' - which isn't backlit or has any glare - it really reads like paper. And it's lightweight and can store (I think) up to 200 books at a time (a big plus for me - who on a week long vacation will carry 3 or 4 large books with me). And - if you delete a book from the kindle, it's always available on Amazon to sync back up when you want it. Oh! And you can also get magazines and blogs sent to it (it doesn't use wireless technology, it uses 3 g - like an iPhone). I know it's first gen, and I bet I'll be buying the next version at some point, but now? I'm in love.
And then we went out for a great dinner with friends.
So - all around? Great birthday. Now, as I prepare for my father's arrival in a few hours - I'll share some of the ridiculousness that is my relationship with him.
About 8 years ago, I went to meet Aaron's family for the first time. They are a pretty intimidating crowd, and live on Nantucket. I don't know if you know the island, but I can just say it's a really ritzy-titsy place filled with what I would call 'fabulous' (and not in a nice way) people. Anyway - this trip coincided with my stepmother's birthday. I did not call on her birthday. I totally forgot about it. Surprisingly, I was totally tied up in being nervous meeting my (at the time) boyfriends family on totally unfamiliar turf. So - when my dad called later in the day - I felt bad that I hadn't called, but apologized, and wished her a happy day.
This turned into a HUGE fight - my father said I was totally disrespectful by forgetting her birthday, and that I should apologize. I thought this was going rather far, but I did (for the second time) apologize. He then laid down this law that 'As my father, he should expect to have a phone call once a week from me, plus a phone call on all major holiday's and birthdays'. I then, for once in my life, stood up to him, and mentioned that we didn't really have a great relationship to begin with, and the reason I didn't call him so much was because we rarely had anything to talk about. And then he said if I was that disrespectful, he would disown me. And we creased to talk for about 6 months - at which point I just decided to call one day and get it over with.
Now we are on a truce where I'll call pretty much once a week - but I have mentioned numerous times that the phone DOES work both ways. And that whole drama totally highlighted to me that anyone that is willing to disown his daughter for not calling on a birthday? Not really worth the effort of reaching out for a big meaningful relationship. Although I'm not willing to cut him out of my life completely (he's 78 and it isn't worth it to me - he isn't going to change, but he also won't be around forever either) I'm not willing to go out on a limb to strengthen the relationship.
The kicker? They didn't call yesterday to wish me a happy birthday.