Wednesday, 18 August 2010
It's nearly my birthday. If you lived here you would know that because I am taking every opportunity to mention it. It entertains me to tell my family a couple of times a week that my birthday is fast approaching lest they forget it. I am reminded of my birthday each time the 14th of the month comes round. (I wonder if that happens to everyone but I suspect not.)However, I only drop it into conversation early in the year if it's a significant month: quarter birthday, half.
But as the big day approaches I get more wanton with my reminders. "It's my birthday two months today!" I chirp. My family smile indulgently at me. They are used to it.
I have always liked birthdays. Not just mine but the birthdays of anyone close to me. I like to mark the passing of time, make sure that people know they are thought of on their special day. Sometimes it is but thought that they get but that is, as they say, what counts.
After my children were born I began to play that game that mothers play. As each anniversary of their birth came round I would say to my husband, "Just think. Two years ago we were in the hospital. Can you believe how time has flown?" It occurred to me not long ago that my own mother probably does the same thing - it's just that the numbers are bigger.
And the number is pretty big this year. Forty four. Not one to make a song and dance over but worthy of note nonetheless. In my head, I plan celebrations for myself of varying degrees of extravagance and expense. A large party with caterers for everyone that I have come into contact with during the course of the year. A smaller house party for close friends with nibbles. Dinner out with a gang in a restaurant. A drink with a handful of close friends. Coffee and cake with a chosen chum. Where the plan settles depends on how I was feeling at the moment that I dared too commit myself to something and invite others to attend. This year I was feeling brave the day the plan became dinner out.
Because, whilst I go on and on about my birthday to my family like an eight year old, for weeks in advance until I drive them all potty, actually I don't really want much fuss. I'm not keen on being the centre of attention. I don't need masses of thoughtful gifts and cards to have an enjoyable birthday, although they are lovely to receive . I am happy to make my own cake. I would actually be quite content to spend the bulk of the day on my own and I often do.
I suspect it's more about making sure that I am remembered and not taken for granted.
Mentioning my birthday ad nauseam guarantees that I make myself the focus of my world for at least one day a year and I take pleasure from the planning of celebrations that I have no intention of seeing through to fruition. It's all part of that dream world that I inhabit so much of the time.
So I am now counting down and shamelessly dropping hints about nothing in particular because there's nothing I particularly need or want. My birthday will come and go quietly as it always does but there's no danger of it being overlooked!