Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Boyfriend Birthday Vacuuming Revelation

Deep thoughts happen when I plug my Kenmore upright into the wall and start sucking river dirt and cat hair out of my ancient carpet. Like tonight. I realized that despite myself, I am repeating patterns.

Yeah, yeah. Stop pretending to be surprised. Or even interested.

2002 was the last time I was in a relationship when my birthday rolled around. Sure, there have been boys that I have been dating or stringing along or sleeping with right around my birthday time, but I wasn't in a relationship with any of these chaps. They weren't expected to send me flowers, or buy me presents or throw a surprise party for me. They were just there. And I avoided them on my birthday to avoid them feeling like that had to do something special.

On that last birthday with boyfriend, I fully admit that I acted like a total ass. PRex and I were on our way out after living together for nearly three years. I was exerting my independence, so I chose to fly across the country to spend my birthday with a college roommate, hiking and exploring western Washington State. PRex was not invited. And not pleased. My present from him that year? A hose. A well-deserved (and sort of ironic since he was the one who actually got hosed) present. He moved out two months later.

This year, Prof tried to nail me down on birthday plans nearly a month in advance. I dodged the question for a while and finally told him that I thought I was going to be camping and kayaking. After all, it was labor day weekend. There was a river release. It had been on my calendar for months. It didn't even really occur to me to change that plan and include him (he stubbornly insists that he doesn't want to participate in any activity that requires a helmet), until about a week before, when I realized that it was stupid to leave town and not spend some time with the bf.

So, I gave him Saturday, but still opted for a day trip to the river on Sunday, my actual birthday day. I tried to make sure he didn't take it personally. More than anything, I wanted to spend my birthday paddling, and its damn hard to make plans for anything else since a paddling day requires that I leave my house at 6am and get back about 14 hours later, completely exhausted and usually sporting a pretty decent headache.

We had a great day on Saturday. The weather was absolutely gorgeous. We slept late. Picked apples at a local farm. Ate apples. Ate lunch. Relaxed. Ate dinner. He gave me presents and lots of birthday attention. Then I left to prep for the kayak trip.

It wasn't until about 8pm when I was on my way home from kayaking the next day that I thought "what the hell are you doing? Seriously? You are going to go home and sleep alone, on your birthday? Dumbass." So I called him and informed him that it was my birthday, and I was coming over. I passed out on him at about 10pm, after I downed a facon-BLT and I had one birthday beer. Out. Dead. I tell you man, I am no good after a day on the river.

I'm really, really glad I was able to spend even those two awake hours with him on my actual birthday. So why did I try so freaking hard to exclude him from it?


kristen said...

I'll state the obvious...

1. defense mechanism... you dont want to be let down on your birthday so you avoid allowing someone to be in a position to let you down.

2. defense mechanism... because despite your best arguments otherwise, other people make you happy. however, you want to believe that you, and only you, make you happy (which part of the self-help section did you find that mantra, by the way?), so you refuse to allow anyone else to have a chance to do it. because if you did and they succeeded (sp?), then you would have to allow the fear that said person (and said happiness) may go away one day.

but really, i didnt need to tell you any of this ;)

Susan said...

You just stole my next blog entry!

Katy said...

Damn Kristen. Want to come be MY therapist? Nailed it!