on why i cried the day before my birthday OR what good is a blog if i can't fill it with self-indulgent blather?
There comes a point where you stop expecting nothing and start expecting something bad.
And even though you tell yourself it’s just another day just another day, your birthday’s still your birthday.
Maybe I don’t remember much about my eighteenth birthday. . . except what I wore. I looked good, and I should have because I hadn’t eaten for days. I had just rung in 2000 with a ballet performance and an early night on my parents’ sofa. It turned out that my friends were really his friends and he was dating someone new. My birthday was our first day back at school, and soon after Baron’s new girlfriend started sitting at our lunch table. The restaurant I wanted to go to was closed because it was Monday.
For nineteen I was back with Baron even though we were long distance now. My parents didn’t like him, and hadn’t for years. “He didn’t give you a birthday present,” my brother pointed out. “or a Christmas present. And that is kind of bad.” He was right; I knew it. The restaurant I wanted to go to was closed because it was Tuesday.
My twentieth birthday was the first of several in-transit. I spent it with my parents before going back to school. I had a boyfriend, Steve, waiting there. Even though he tried hard, I knew it wasn’t going to last much longer. It turns out that our liking the same movies (say, Breakfast at Tiffany’s) or the same music (say, the Indigo Girls or Lisa Loeb) wasn’t such a great foundation for a relationship. I don’t need to date anyone who cries more than me. We lasted a few more days when I got back. The restaurant I wanted to go was closed for the week.
Twenty-one tried. I woke up at my parents’ house, and flew back to Hugo in New Orleans. I spent the night out with him and Harper and Knox, but no one else was really back in town. On my twenty-first birthday, I only time I showed my ID was to get on a plane.
On my twenty-second birthday, my father made me cry in a restaurant. I was worried about my thesis, but instead of saying he believed in me or that he knew I could do it, he said, “It will be easy.” Milton bought me a travel easel. He sent a picture of it to me in Georgia. I hadn’t called him for the whole of winter break. I didn’t call him when I got back to New Orleans. I didn’t even have to break up with him; he took care of that. And I never collected the travel easel.
Twenty-three and twenty-four sucked all around. I don’t even remember, but they were spent living at home, with my parents and . The restaurant I wanted to go to was closed for renovations at least one year.
For twenty-five, I was ousted from my bedroom by my parents who were ousted from theirs by my cousins who were having a crisis. My dad didn’t remember until late in the day. No one at work remembered. And my cousins didn’t understand the excitement over a new Pucci scarf.
Twenty-six was with David. Except it wasn’t with him at all. He worked all day. No presents, no plans. He called around six to ask where I wanted to meet him for dinner. I decided I’d break up with him if there was no cake, and there was no cake.
Twenty-seven was spent traveling back from Julianna’s wedding, back to a lot of old loose ends and one new promise to do better. Airports are lonely places for birthdays. The restaurant was closed because it was moving across the street.
So that might be why I cried the day before my birthday, but can we blame it on PMS?