My head is pounding and I am struggling to stop crying. I don’t know why I hoped for anything better. I set my alarm to wake up for 7:40am so I would have time to get ready for church. My husband had the fire going, and bacon cooking in the kitchen. I was in a good mood to start out. I took my dog outside, then fed her.
When I came in, the fire was nearly out. Just burning paper, I guess. The bacon, which despite eating mostly plant based foods, I would have eaten today, was for my husband alone. Arrogant of me, I suppose, to believe they were for me (even if it was my birthday.) I got ready for church, but by then there was no time for breakfast.
I don’t do well even missing one meal. At church I was so hungry it was hard to stand… so weak it was hard to pay attention. One person said, “Happy Birthday!” He seemed to mean it. I didn’t feel well. When I got home, I had oatmeal and cappuccino, and felt more awake after.
It was 10:30am. My husband went to his chair to read, so I went on my computer. The time went by. My dog was sick (I found out later that night she was walking from my couch, across my end table, over to the cat stand to eat Finn’s food. Oy! I put her baby gate between the table and stand, and she felt better after that.) I took her out many times, and had to clean her up several times, too.
At 2pm, an hour before I usually start it, my husband put the chicken on. I had agreed that for birthdays, holidays, and when away from home, I would eat meat so we could eat together. He wanted an early supper so we could go to a missionary event at our church that night. I agreed to eat at 5pm instead of 6.
I had planned on making the meal that night, despite it being Sunday, because it was very important to me that everything was done the way I like it (and he tends to change things with food.) Only he was in the kitchen, and I can neither go in when someone is there, or hover to ensure he does it ‘right’ (because he gets offended) so I stayed on the computer, and at one point took my dog for a walk.
They knew I was going for a walk, for I had trouble finding the leash and harness (after her surgery, we weren’t able to go for a while, and things were out of place.) Yet despite being my birthday, no one offered to come with me.
At 4:10pm, I heard my husband mashing the potatoes. They shouldn’t have even been turned on until then. At 4:20, I smelled sweet peppers (not the vegetable I like with roast chicken.) I started crying. At 4:38, he announced it was ready, and I went into full meltdown. Everything was wrong. Everything was different. The potatoes were cold. The chicken was upside down, so instead of enjoying the crispy skin (pretty much the reason I agreed to this meal) it was soggy, and I cried more for the chicken who lost its life for this. The vegetable was the wrong type. The spices in the gravy were in different amounts, so tasted different, and it wasn’t thick enough (I had him thicken it.) It was just wrong!
It took me twenty minutes (a record for me, maybe) to fight the meltdown and come out to eat. I know he was trying. I know he didn’t mean to ‘get it wrong.’ I know this, but it hurt just the same. I cried the whole night. After all, this was my 40th birthday. It should have been different.
My son made me a cherry cheese pie (I can’t eat cake – and shouldn’t be eating dairy, but I do like it, and so asked for this.) It is what he does. When they brought out the candle, I tried to make a wish (Yes, I still do that, and it still matters) but Clara growled at my son, who sprayed her with water, making her growl more. I cried for her. I cried for him. I cried for Gryff, my dog that died leaving me heartbroken, and needing to find another. I cried for me.
I sent my husband out to the meeting. Though I fully intended to go that morning, I couldn’t stop crying that night, and leaving the house was no longer an option. He would have stayed, but there was no point. Had I been near my mom, things would have been different – but she is 4,000km away. His family is here to plan things like this for him, but I only have him, and this wasn’t enough.
I am not angry. I am sad. I needed this to be a really good day – different from the others – and it wasn’t. It hurt. It piled on the pain from all of my losses, and said, “This is all you deserve, and this is all you will ever get.” My head and my heart are full of pain.
Happy 40th Birthday to me.