Thursday, January 15, 2009

I can see 30 from here

My birthday was on Tuesday.

I turned 29.

Besides Christmas (the whole season), my birthday is my favorite holiday.

It was one of the worst birthdays on record.

I woke in a foul mood, as I am wont to do after days without decent sleep, to a husband who was being a total jackass. And I let him know it too. Work proceeded to be just as crappy as the morning had started and by the time I got home I was in a pretty terrible mood.

There was one thing that could still redeem the day and I had been looking forward to it

On my birthday I don't cook or do the dishes, that is the rule. I don't care if we go out or we eat mac n cheese, as long as I don't have to make it or clean up after it, it is the best meal ever. I walked into the kitchen from the garage and immediately my blood boiled and I was so ticked. The kitchen was trashed (from the previous TWO nights dishes as I cook and the Mr. cleans, supposedly) and he asked ME what was for dinner. AND he was still in his pajamas (he works nights and sleeps days so really, not as lazy as that made him sound)!

So while I cooked and started cleaning the kitchen he sat there and stared at me. Never once did he offer to help clean or cook dinner, or take me out so I wouldn't have to. I cannot even begin to describe how livid I was.

Then came the card. I'm not sure if I've shared this story before but two years ago on my birthday he gave me a card. And on the cover of this card was a couple holding hands and walking along the beach. How romantic, no? But my reaction was not what he had intended, nor hoped for I'm sure. I threw the card down and looked absolutely irate. He was totally perplexed until I held the card up and read it to him.

To my big, strong, black, beautiful woman.

Now, does anyone else see why I would be a tad bit upset by this? And really, it's not the fact of the wording, it's not even the fact that the couple on the cover were black. HE NEVER LOOKED AT THE CARD IN THE STORE. HE GRABBED IT AND LEFT***. He did admit he never looked at it after I confronted him and my 27th birthday was miserable. And we were on a trip, with friends. Very AWKWARD.

Back to the card. After that I told him he better be sure to at least read the cards he bought. S this year it never crossed my mind. I read this beautiful card about how this man loved his woman so much and how her soft, brown toned voice made him feel secure. I had to read that last sentence a few times to figure out what was wrong with it. Brown tones. Brown tones? So I turn the card over and ... you guessed it! It was a Mahogany card, Hall **marks African-American line of greeting cards.

I lost it. I threw the card at him and probably louder than I intended said some very un-Christianly four letter words and suggested he never buy me a card again. The rest of the night was spent in total silence.

He apologized. And I don't know if I'm ready to accept it yet. He still has not asked if there is anything he can do to make up for my horrendous birthday. I even told him I wanted a do-over and he laughed at me.

I know this must make me sound like a total spoiled brat, but I don't ask for much from my husband. I don't ask for gifts for my birthday (I can't remember the last time we did birthday presents) and I never ask him to cook. It's my one day a year that is just about me, not about anyone else and he just doesn't get it. And it doesn't help that I'm low on sleep and short on nerves and very much frayed.

Re-reading all of this still makes me want to cry two days later. I'm still angry and he is still being a jerk. I hate this. Someday it will get better, I know that. But someday seems really, really far away.

***lest anyone think I am racist, I am not. anyone would be upset because their husband was so inconsiderate as to even READ THE DAMN card before buying it.


Dooneybug said...

OMG!!! Not to make you feel bad, but I am laughing so hard I'm crying. What section is he in when he picks cards? Homeboy needs to move over an aisle.

So sorry your birthday was a disappointment. And how rude that he laughed about a "do over"! I think you should take yourself out for dinner and a movie! And maybe you should happen to "forget" his next birthday!

Rebekah said...

oh, man....First off I totally cracked up at the first "black woman" birthday card! But, I TOTALLY get why you would be mad. My birthday is my favorite holiday beside Christmas, as well, and if my husband treated me the same way yours did, I would have moved out for a week! NOBODY should have to cook and clean on their birthday.

As far as cards go...Last year I was fed up at not getting cards for my birthday, V-Day, the like and I asked Ben if he would make more of an effort. Because he doesn't write me love letters, I never get the chance to read the way he feels about me....and more importantly re-read it when maybe I'm having a bad day. He said if it meant that much to me he would do it from then on. birthday rolls around and he does in fact buy me a card....It has cookie monster on the front and some kid-friendly "funny" saying inside. When I told him that wasn't exactly what I meant by "card" he got offended and said he spent a long time trying to find a funny one (which I believe), but I wasn't really wanting funny. He could have written his love to me on a napkin and I would have been thrilled...but a card meant for a three year old with his signature on it....not so much.

Sometimes they just don't get it.

GINA and KEV said...

You're right. You deserve to have a day that is just about you. I'm sorry your birthday wish didn't come true.


If it makes you feel any better (or just makes you smile), my husband once threw the undercooked bacon I made for his birthday out our tenth floor apartment window. I walked in on him as this was taking place. He tried to deny it. Idiot.

Rebekah is right. Sometimes they just DON'T GET IT!

happymomof2 said...

OMG!!! I am so sorry that you had a lousy birthday! I truely hope that you get a do over you deserve it and I hope that it is 110% better than the first:) You are right men just don't get it!! I hope that you have a better do over birthday:)

lassie said...

I love my birthday too and I hate it when my husband ruins it. I get all bummed out because I have to wait a whole year for the next one.

This past birthday my husband was with colleagues all day and night- it was a Sunday. Really? Did he have to work all day and night on a Sunday...? Apparently.

I made him give me a do-over and it was actually great. I hope you get to do the same.

May 29 be a spectacular year for you!

Cassandra said...

Hope you get your birthday do-over.

I think I might look for that big strong black woman card the next time I'm at the card shop -- my husband would find it hilarious if I gave that to him for his birthday.

I wonder if you started giving your husband cards for grandma or world's best nephew or Happy Bar Mitzvah maybe he'd get the message?

Shinejil said...

I think it's not the details (which are really funny, taken out of context); it's the overall feeling that your husband isn't valuing or honoring you adequately that really hurts. That he can't even do what he's agreed to do--clean when you cook--and that he can't be bothered to open a card. The man needs to learn to WRITE a NOTE instead of blindly purchasing greeting cards.

Maybe you could try what's worked for me: emphasizing that household duties and cards are acts of love and respect to you, and that when he doesn't come through, he's hurting you. That this isn't like the chores Mom and Dad made you do; it's about expressing love and commitment.

If he dismisses that, I say go on strike. Screw cooking for a week and tell him you've had it with upholding your end of a bargain he can't seem to honor. Have your b-day do over, by hook or by crook, at your favorite restaurant.

And excuse the assvice. :)