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  • jdettmann

Gracious Is My Middle Name

It was my birthday yesterday and I behaved like a shit. It happens every year. I spend the lead-up acting all nonchalant about it and not giving a toss about what plans are made and what presents I get, and then I complain about it all after the fact.

I actually had a very, very nice birthday. May Blossom decided that I should enjoy the day for as many hours as possible so she got up at 4.15 am. Then there was tea and breakfast in bed, a gift from H and May Blossom, cuddles, the discovery of a hamper of gin and tonic fixings on my doorstep, a visit to my parents, coffee with a dear friend, a two-hour May Blossom nap during which I did nothing but watch British crime shows in iView, sushi with my mum, two bunches of flowers, an evening visit from my family to drink champagne, eat chips with lime and give me presents, and finally dinner from a fancy restaurant eaten while watching Midnight in Paris on the couch with my darling H. Guess what I decided to get shitty about when we retired for the evening?

I’m ashamed to even write this, but I got pissed off that my gift was a pair of ugg boots. Expensive, lovely, soft ugg boots. Ugg boots that I said I wanted, that I went to the shop with H and selected, and ugg boots that I actually love. I was just sad that I have become the sort of person who wants and gets ugg boots for her birthday. The kind of person who can’t make it through a single movie, even on her birthday,  without needing to go to bed. Totally fucking ridiculous things to get angry about, especially angry at someone else whose fault those things are empirically not.

I carried on and on while H was trying to get to sleep. By the time I got the the point where I, for various nonsensical-in-hindsight reasons, suggested we cancel our anniversary dinner tomorrow night — as if not getting to spend the evening trapped in a restaurant with my charming self would be some sort of punishment — I’m pretty sure H was thinking ‘THANK GOD.’

Eventually I snapped out of it and calmed down, because we needed to sleep and the second-best best piece of advice we received before our wedding was ‘Never go to sleep angry’ (the best piece was ‘Never fight so loudly that you wake up your children’, from the seven-year-old daughter of my completely mortified cousin).

By this morning I was even more contrite and ashamed and embarrassed. As penance I have let May Blossom to listen to her favourite song ‘We’re Going To The Zoo’ for two hours on repeat. It’s the audio equivalent of self-flagellation.

Are you ever appallingly behaved on your birthday?

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