So last year on my birthday, I gave away some stuff online as you might remember. That was loads of fun, but this year - despite having two jobs and not even having one last year - I am super broke. So there will be no giving away of gifts today. Not because I don't love you guys, but because I have nothing to give but blood, toil, tears, and sweat. And USPS frowns on mailing those.
As a general rule, I have pretty mediocre birthdays. Whatever family I'm near takes me to dinner, I get a few presents, if I'm lucky a friend might take me to lunch. I can't remember the last time I had a party. I have on occasion tried to organize a party for myself (which is so blatantly sad as to be cringe-worthy), but no one ever shows. I try to get a dozen people together at a bar, and end up sitting by myself nursing a mojito while I receive texts saying how sorry people are they couldn't make it but to 'do a shot for them!' Even as a kid, most of my birthdays consisted of going out with groups of my parents' friends - who I love dearly and always will - because I didn't have enough friends to make a party.
As a result, I've become pretty defensive about birthdays in general. I will make the biggest deal in the world if it's yours, but I'd say at least 80% of the people I consider to be my friends don't even know that today is a special day for me.
The reasoning goes like this: if people know it's my birthday and it ends up being a letdown, then I'm sad and disappointed and go to bed listening to Juice Newton albums. If no one knows and my birthday is a letdown, I can always comfort myself that had they known it would have been amazing and awesome and other adjectives beginning with 'A'. Aardvarkian perhaps. The flip side being that there is literally no possible way that this day can go how I hope it will. I have doomed myself to repeats of the last ten-fifteen years. Quiet times at home, quiet dinners, a quiet life.
So here I sit, in an empty research lab, wearing my pretty dress and heels because I wanted to look nice today. I don't want to be sad - I have family that loves me and friends that care. I know that I do.
But I never feel more alone all year than I do on February 21st.\
Edited to add:
Okay, this has gone a long way to making this birthday pretty awesome. Anathema (not her real name) knows me too well... Rocket Science Barbie.