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A Pink Purse

June 26, 2013

My birthday is this Friday. I don’t have big plans. Just gonna hang out at Pamplona’s with Pickle and drink wine.

I was in my apartment having lunch, on the phone with my friend Bill when my neighbor came up the stairs to bring me a package I had missed. I just ordered some books so I was expecting a delivery. I opened the box to find a large, pink purse. “What is this?” I said while talking to Bill. “This isn’t mine.”

I looked at the packing list. There was a message on it: “To: Kitten: Happy Birthday, From: Your Hopeless Romantic.”

He sent me a birthday present. A pink purse. Mr. Z sent me a birthday present from the other side of the world.

Bill was unfortunate enough to be on the phone with me when I was attacked by a case of the aaaaawwwwwww’s.

He sent me a birthday present.

I don’t expect much on my birthdays. For one, because I try not to be a materialistic narcissist. But also, it’s one of the many conditioned responses of lowered expectations that came from compromising myself to the expectations of my marriage.

My mom used to make a big deal of birthdays. We didn’t have a lot of money and it wasn’t about expensive gifts or lavish parties. It was about starting the day with your family singing “Happy Birthday” and a cake and candles and ice cream. It was a day of celebration. It didn’t matter how we celebrated. All we needed was to give each other attention and write a sweet message on a card. But we acknowledged the day with fun and laughter. Always.

This was the environment I was raised in. So, I took that with me into adulthood. I did the same for my kids. I tried to do it for my husband. He didn’t like birthdays because his mother usually didn’t even remember his. We were operating from two different ways of being. So, he didn’t really do much for my birthday and I learned to see the day as just another one. I expected a call from my mom (which she never failed to do) and sometimes I did something for myself but I expected little else.

Actually that’s a lie. I tried to expect less but the way of living I was raised with was better. It was more fun. It was joyous. I preferred that way of seeing the world. The truth is, as much as I tried to psyche myself out on my birthday and anniversary and Valentine’s Day and Christmas, they were important to me. I didn’t need much. Just acknowledgment. Just a card with a note that communicated that I was loved, liked, appreciated, valued. One year my mom gave me a giant jar of dill pickles. That was enough.

So there I was standing in my living room looking at a pink purse from a guy who says he loves me. A guy who’s been talking to me every day despite being on another continent. I started to tear up a little. Damn it. I forgot what it’s like to be treated like this. He sent me a birthday present.

These good things happen and they open the wounds a bit. That’s OK. The wounds have to be attended to so they will heal.

A pink purse to remind me it’s time to be OK again. It’s time to be myself again. It’s time to allow myself to be happy. It’s time to remember what my mom taught me. It’s time to celebrate my birthday.

Drinks with friends. My favorite bartender. Maybe a show at the Moon. And a pink purse.

Happy Birthday, Kitten!

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From → Rantings

One Comment
  1. Rose permalink

    I know this feeling all so well. I was raised in a “we celebrate everything” household, which was really and truly special. I was then in a relationship for years where anniversaries, birthdays, Valentine’s Day, and Christmas didn’t mean anything. Now I am in a relationship where I, occasionally, get shocked by some thoughtful “gift” out of the blue. It’s usually something he’s made in his welding shop (he can make some really neat stuff!) or a special meal he’s prepared for me. Sometimes it’s even me waking up and the mountain of dishes being done. It is truly remarkable when we find someone who can make us feel that special, special like we felt when we were a little kid and Daddy brought home a mini box of chocolates for us on Valentines day. This post has such good vibes and I’m sorry for going on and on, here on your blog but I’m just getting all worked up. Kudos to Mr. Z and great happiness for you that you’ve found each other. You SO deserve it!

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