Oh, And It’s V-Day Too!
A lovely Valentine’s Day scene.
Unfortunately, this photo was taken in October!
On another note, it’s my birthday. Yup. I was blessed with being born on a Hallmark Holiday. Back when I was a kid, greeting card holidays weren’t so over-the-top commercialized. Now they just make me gag. I’ve always hated being born on Valentine’s Day. During my elementary (primary) school days I was thoroughly embarrassed by it and cringed at the, “And it’s Cheryl’s birthday, too!” announcement that was always the tag line at every V-Day party event. It scarred me for life. To this day I still can’t entertain the thought of doing anything remotely party-ish to celebrate my birthday.
I also have an aversion to anything heart-shaped, red, or cherry-flavored, which is an ongoing joke I share with one of my sisters. Knowing I’d been the recipient of one too many hear-shaped, red, cherry-flavored birthday cakes, my sister sent me a heart-shaped baking pan, a box of cherry flavored cake mix and a can of pink frosting for my 50th birthday. She cracks me up, but no, I did not bake that cake! As a thoroughly committed Tom-boy since birth, I remain to this day appropriately appalled by the girly-girlishness of Valentine’s Day. I find it nauseating.
From a commercial standpoint, having a Valentine’s Day birthday is a big rip-off. I’m never sure if I’m getting something because it’s a V-day present or a birthday present. And the fact that it’s an over-hyped “holiday” means it doesn’t take very much imagination to find an “acceptable” gift. Flowers? Check. Candy? Check. Are those birthday presents or Valentine’s Day presents? I can never tell. Many years ago I got engaged on Valentine’s Day. Or was that my Birthday present? See? I’m still confused! Want to have an impromptu dinner out to celebrate my birthday? Forget it. Mother’s Day aside, V-day is the most heavily booked ‘holiday’ at most restaurants, which pretty much negates the spontaneity of that idea. And besides, nothing says “you’re special” on your birthday like eating dinner surrounded by twenty or thirty other couples trying to express the same sentiments … for a different reason.
Most of my birthday cards are actually Valentine’s Day cards with “Happy Birthday!” cleverly penned into the greeting somewhere. Less creative (or rushed) folks just X out the Valentine’s Day reference and substitute “Birthday” after the word “Happy” Yeah. That says “special” like nothing else! And every year on my special day I have to go out and find a gift and a card for that special someone in my life. I can’t ever really have my “own” special day. Not even if I want to. Because thanks to Hallmark, I’ll come off looking like some kind of heartless bitch if I don’t get something for my sweetie on Valentine’s Day. Yes, it’s so nice to have to share every single birthday with someone else.
So heart-shaped cakes, jewelry and other V-Day tchatchkes aside, what would I really like for my birthday? Well the things that always hover at the top the list really can’t be given. Less (physical) pain. Good health. No more hot flashes. Dogs that don’t bark and carry on every time the alarm clock goes off. A phone that holds a charge for more than an hour. A husband who doesn’t work 13-hour days and 6 hours on Saturday just because. Family members who nurture and support each other in spite of different opinions or remote locations. (And that goes for both sides of my extended family!) The gift of being able to give more love and less judgement. Gosh, I could use two of those!
On a more practical level, I’d like a coffee carafe that doesn’t pee all over my counter every time I pour a cup of coffee or fill the water reservoir. (Who engineered that?) I’d love some new music. I exhausted my workout repertoire ten years ago. If money grew on trees, I’ve had my eye on a new camera lens for the better part of six months. And I’d love to send my horse for more training. But that’s all just wishful thinking.
Basically, there’s nothing I really want or need for my birthday. I’m at that stage where I’m cutting back, not trying to add to the consumption of stuff. Plus, I strongly believe in not sitting around waiting for someone to figure out what you want. If you truly want something baldy enough, then go out and pursue it yourself. So that being said, I’m starting piano lessons next week! Ha … if mom was still alive I bet she’d be thrilled … and she’d probably make me a pink, cherry-flavored, heart-shaped cake just to celebrate!