How to Ruin Birthday Plans and Have a Terrible Day

Another from The Unconventional Newlywed blog

Today is Alex’s birthday! Today is also Wednesday. The worst day for a birthday celebration of ever a day exists. However, approaching this day, I was undeterred by the spiteful calendar and planned to shop for gifts in advance, found a special birthday recipe and cake to prepare in advance and was mentally ready for a glorious birthday feast celebration despite cursed hump day scheduling.

Delusions of birthday grandeur.

Then, it all fell apart.

Shopping in advance was thwarted by the husband himself, as he let me play surprise dinner hostess and did not let me insist we gather birthday feast groceries when we did our weekly grocery shopping on Sunday. “There are three more days,” methinks, “Time aplenty!” What a fool.

Then, life continues and no shopping for gift materializes into my daily routine. I blame this oversight on Alex again. I scheduled an afternoon of manly shop hopping for Monday after work. But, Monday was Veterans’ Day, Alex had the day off. That weenie had the audacity to persuade me to spend the afternoon lounging à la holiday with him. 

“We never get holidays off together,” he pleaded with puppy dog eyes. Pish poshQuality husband time over consumerism and media-driven unrealistic expectations of marriage? Ehh…but, I’ve got a soft spot for the guy, so I let this one slide.


Strike two.

 Suddenly, it’s Wednesday and I’ve got work till 12:30,  a meeting at 2, office hours for help with a godforsaken Flash animation project from 4-7. It’s okay, guys, stores are open later than 7 pm! I’ll stop by Trader Joe’s on the way home and have dinner ready by 9. People eat dinner at 9 pm all the time. I hear it’s great for digestion.

      Then! A ray of hope! My godforsaken Flash animation project is nearly completed at the unripe young hour off 5:30. It only took six measly hours of eyeball chafing! At 5:31, I see the completed project of a classmate, an undergrad classmate, and promptly begin to hate myself. 

“It’s okay, self,” I weep within my inner dialogue, “you can suffer through a bad, despicable, embarrassingly low grade this once. It’s for a good cause. You must go. Go now! Go make the charming birthday dinner feast!

In a huff, I dash to the T, reassuring myself that in the game of life, cooking and partymaking skills are superior to dumb old web-based communicating.

Until…

About to board the train, birthday boy texts:

My “thing” = 12-hour day of work, meetings, class project. NBD.

Remember that scene in Amelie where she watches her best laid plans fall to pieces? No? Here, watch it again:


      I melted right there in stinky, dank Kenmore station. A failed party plannerfailed secret birthday gift shopperfailed web-based designer (one thousand curses on you, CM510!) and now a failed birthday feast maker. Failed wifey duties to the tragic max. I honestly thought I could fit it all in. The crushing surge of disappointment made me wonder if I should ride the train to the end of the line, offboard, walk until I collapsed then cry myself to sleep.

In the end, I only rode to my stop, damning my own rationale and empty-handed entrance into the apartment. You win some, you lose some. Alex made his own dinner. Bought his own cake. I made it home in time to mope about the apartment, guilt-ridden and regretful.

Cute little boy spirit animal of the night.

Happy birthday, honey. Thanks for being a good sport.

More and oh-so-much more on the actual blog site.

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