I bought an Agatha Christie book on Ebay -- Mr Parker Pyne, Detective. Inside was written a message:
“To Barb: Happy Independence Day!! Love, Mel 7/4/87”
I wonder about Barb. Who is she? Is she still alive? Do she and Mel still love each other? Did they have a good Independence Day in 1987? The only thing I know for sure about Barb is that she doesn’t have the book anymore.
I hope they still love each other and will have a happy Independence Day this Saturday.
Edit: My mistake, Independence Day is on Sunday this year.
I kept reading until I came to this post:
I think it’s curious that the book was gifted on Independence Day. Birthdays and other gift-giving holidays, sure … but July 4th?
Maybe Barb was/is a big reader and Mel knew she wouldn’t enjoy the fireworks and general mayhem … so gave her a book to help pass the time.
I was not amused. This was my reply to the above post in the thread:
Okay, for the record, Independence Day is Sunday not Saturday in 2010. Second, I was born on July 4th, so I have hundreds of books with inscriptions dated on July 4th. Lots of people are born on national holidays as a matter of fact. My grandmother was born on St. Patrick’s Day. My youngest daughter was born on Valentines Day. My partner was born on Thanksgiving Day. And my parents were married on Christmas Day. Just a few examples of dates that people might have been given books with special inscriptions.
And yes, this did strike a nerve.
So, after noticing that I was unusually upset by this I decided that I needed a time out from the Internet. I had some phone calls to return so I grabbed a glass of water and sat down with my pad of paper. I made the calls but still felt irritated. I decided that I was hungry so I ate my lunch. I still felt that the hair on the back of my neck was still ruffled.
Why? Why was I letting this apparently unintelligent and insensitive person get the better of me? It hit me like a ton of bricks. My birthday is Sunday. No big deal. I am not afraid of turning 48, nor am I depressed at aging. I am in good physical condition and actually love the way I look for the first time in a very long time. I finally snapped. For the first time in a very long time, I have no clue what I will be doing for my birthday and I really don't like those kind of surprises.
Prior to life with SWCNLBN, the ex-husband considered having us all float down the Guadalupe River, with me in charge of the safety of the kids, while the remaining adults got plaster a great way to spend my birthday. Not so much on my part. Being the designated driver is one thing but the designated babysitter on the day I should be pampered was not my idea of a fun time. Not to mention that this also included camping in a tent or staying in a lower end hotel where we cooked and the place was not so modern. He did take me out to eat a few times in the 17.5 years we were married but most of the time I planned my own day and he just showed up when ever he could manage to get up.
In the past (w/SWCNLBN), I knew that we would have a lazy breakfast. Meaning she would either make me eggs and toast or she would take me out, depending on how late she was getting ready. Followed by a day of me floating in the pool while she cooked steak and seafood. I usually ask for surf and turf for my birthday meal. All accompanied with the consumption of too many adult beverages. If we were still awake, we would watch the fireworks downtown. The birthday presents were opened at some point between the food and the cake and before our guests left our house.
When my brother lived in Houston I could also count on the fact that he and his wife would be there. That meant that I had at least some of my family in attendance annually. There was one year that SWCNLBN actually spent my birthday in NJ with my family for a family reunion. It was just my parents and my direct siblings and their respective spouses and kids. Other than that, there were many summers that I had to fly to Rochester to spend it with her family at the lake so that we could celebrate her nephew's birthday. Regardless of the location, I never was uncertain of the outcome.
2008 was the start of the new life. I was in the apartment and had celebrations over a few days. My Posse gave me a pool-side party. They cooked and supplied the adult beverages. I didn't ask for or expect gifts. Just not being alone was all I really wanted. Megan and Stephanie also gave me a great day. The brought me some wonderful gits and we had a great time. The apartment was small but it felt like a palace with my family with me. I had not met SF yet. I would not meet her for another 23 days. I was as happy as I could be given the circumstances.
2009 was unusual. We celebrated my parents' 50th wedding anniversary in OH over the Fourth of July weekend. It was my first trip home since SWCNLBN and I had gone our separate ways and was the first time SF was meeting my family. I was nervous and excited all at the same time. It was not much of a birthday. I did get a cake and some cards but the weekend was about my parents and this wonderful celebration of their remarkable love.
So, I realize that with Birthday 2010 looming, I am clueless about what to expect. I have not heard from my kids and I know that SF does not have their numbers. I know that SF has asked me what I want for my dinner and if I want to go out and eat would I prefer Saturday so that we have more time. Other than that, I am in the dark and I don't like it one bit. It has nothing to do with me thinking that anyone will forget, I am just so accustomed to having all of it laid out according to the script for the last 10.5 years that I seem to have forgotten how to relax and just go with it and let it happen.
So, it seems that I need a time out to get myself calmed down and relaxed. I have nothing to fear and I know that I am loved by so many. Deep breaths and I should be okay. In the interim, I think I may need to break down and get a Dr. Pepper. Something I have not had in over a year....