I want reviews and opinions. On not just the writing but the storyline. Am I crazy?
|Yesterday morning in the cool October darkness as the clock rolled around to12:01am Thursday October 13th , it become official. I turned forty years old. I don't know why I've been dreading this for a whole year, but I most certainly have! I thought turning thirty was bad. But no! No. It was a walk in the park compared to this. I actually thought I was going to have a nervous breakdown yesterday. I couldn't go to sleep the night before and I kept waking up ... so pleased it was not yet midnight because I was still thirty nine. Now I am not!
I changed jobs within my company and started in a new department on September 6th. I already know some of these guys but not all of them, and not very well. I didn't expect anything and didn’t have any problem with that. But they surprised me! They gave me a card full of nice sayings and a cheesecake which was delicious and we ate it all up! So that was super thoughtful and wonderful.
But as the morning crept on I felt this overwhelming sense of sadness covering my soul, darkening my shadow a little bit more, making me feel more finite, more disposable. I just couldn’t shake it. Honestly I still can’t. You see I never really contemplated a future when I was a kid. Growing old? Nope. Never going to happen. At least I didn’t figure it would. I always thought that by the age of forty I would be dead. Why? I don’t really know; which is even more bizarre I suppose. How does that happen? Maybe we weren’t taught to think long-term as children? I’m not really sure to be honest. That’s just how it was.
Well guess what? I'm still here! And life is still life ... every day I find new aches and pains inside and out, mental and physical and no one can understand the gravity of it and no one cares. So I do what I do best … I cover it with a smile and a good morning and keep trudging on. Never once allowing anyone to pull back the layers of thick skin and peer underneath to the bleeding red inner core that screams for help. I have trained for years to keep that hidden and to always be the 'helper' never the 'helpee.'
My friends texted me and emailed me and that made me smile and made me miss them even more! My brother, who I never see or talk too, but never fails to acknowledge my birthday sent me a text message too. That made my heart happy as well. Tons of posts on Facebook wishing me a happy day comforted my aching spirit ... but nothing really made it whole.
And in an act of desperation I turned to the one person I should be able to count on for anything. I expressed my sadness to my husband and he in turn made it worse. You see I'd been waiting ... watching ... since the first of the month ... wondering if he was going to do something, anything ... I mean I am turning 40. That's something, right? Maybe? But as the day grew closer I saw nothing, heard nothing, felt nothing. He muttered about grilling out, inviting my family, but when I didn't have the money to fund it, that was quickly shut down. After many heated text messages my husband just tells me to leave him alone. I'm crying at this point. I go to the bathroom and try not to sob out loud. I stifle my tears as I've always been taught and resume work as usual.
My parents never asked me to come up, never mentioned doing anything together. I mean this is the day, the birthday day, so what is going on? I am 40! My mother texted me wishing me a happy day and saying she would bring my gift before work the next day, this morning, Friday the 14th of October. I thought it was very strange but ok, whatever. That's cool. That's something to look forward to right?
Later my husband tries to strike up the text messaging again, after I guess, he realized he's an idiot and hurt my feelings, or maybe not, maybe he just convinced himself I'm insane and he does not care. I really don't know anymore.
My father called. He doesn't get that I'm at a new job where it's quiet and I don't have an office anymore or free time to talk like I once did. So it's hard to have conversations when the world is listening to you and all he's doing is screaming about how crazy everything is, including my mother. And once he'd third degreed me on my birthday conversations with her and found out she is to meet me in the parking lot Friday morning he was enraged! He wanted a dinner, he wanted a get together, why was everyone so selfish, what was going on, he didn't understand, just on and on as I ‘uh huh’ patiently and wait ... and then finally he catches himself mid-insanity and apologizes as he always does in these conversations and says he wants to see me and he's sad now ... and wishes me a happy birthday again and we hang up.
My heart truly aches inside. I keep biting back the tears, willing my eyes not to be so damn pathetic and weak. Finally the horrific misery of the terrible day ends for work at 3:28 as I clock out 2 minutes early because I'm about to bolt from the place and scream at the top of my lungs about how wretched life is ... but instead I walk calmly to the elevator smiling and wishing everyone a great afternoon, profusely thanking everyone for birthday wishes and confirming what a fabulous day this has been. Could I be any more of a liar??
Reaching the car I fall in, tears filling my eyes. What the heck is wrong with me? Too many drugs in the 90’s? Split personality? Possessed by a demon? I just don't know anymore. Why does this matter so much? Why do I care?? I get home and in the far reaches of sheer stupid hope and constant belief humanity is awesome and will surprise me ... I peep around the house maybe hoping to see a bunch of balloons, a passel of weedy wildflowers in a fruit jar, a dollar store cake mix cooking ... but no, no. Nothing. I look through the mail and he's stuffed a card in there and I open it and it is nice, very nice and I do appreciate it. But! But! I am your wife! I have been for over 17 years now. It is my 40th birthday. You knew this was coming when October rolled around. You couldn't go buy me a pair of socks or a bottle of anti-cramp meds? Something? Anything?
Then my sister is calling via video chat. This is actually still the highlight of the day, continued from yesterday. I got to try and talk to those four little munchkins of hers through wavy communication lines that faded in and out because of my deep country-not enough cell phone signal, but it did not matter. Seeing those little faces all smiles and laughing and trying to sing happy birthday, it melted the ice from my core and made my soul burst with happiness. It was the best thing I'd seen and heard all day long. It makes my eyes water right now because I can't stop seeing their little faces and knowing just how much I love them and am so glad they exist in this wretched world! After a bunch of breakups, phone meltdowns, kids eating crayons and trying to say happy birthday while drawing weird stick figures with lots of hair, they finally said goodbye. It was too cute and so special!
Then he says he will cook dinner. Which is super nice, don’t get me wrong. But it wasn't what I like to eat; it was what he likes to eat. And he cooked. And we ate. And more silence. Sometimes I feel like I’m doing something wrong by being unhappy. Why is that? Is that fair? To be blamed because you aren’t happy? It doesn’t even make sense does it? Or maybe it does.
I said later after we ate: “I feel like something is missing.” He says, “Oh, I thought there was a cake mix but there wasn't.”
THAT'S IT! That is ALL! He never ONCE said I am sorry! He never once said I will go buy one right now. It was only 7pm! I was actually stunned into silence. I didn’t know what to think or say. I started feeling like the idiot then, again like I had done something wrong because I wasn’t happy.
I managed to sit there for about an hour until I became completely consumed with the fact that I do not matter and I am an idiot. I am married to a person who must seriously hate me and enjoy mentally torturing me. And as I saw 8pm turn the corner I got up and went into the bedroom. I didn't bother switching the television station or seeing what was on. I threw myself on the bed, took the comforter up over my head and cried myself to sleep, literally freaking cried myself to sleep!
When I woke up the day was over, it was no longer my birthday. Thank goodness!!!
When the alarm went off and it was actually time to get up, I went into the living room to see a text from my mother. Sorry I can't make it. What? You were it ... the last ray of hope ... the one I thought I could count on. Now you bailed on me too? Really?
So here I sit, confused. I have never NOT had a birthday cake! I mean no presents are one thing, but no one to even bake you a freaking cake? And it's supposed to be this big thing huh? You are 40! Oh the excitement! Yea it's exciting alright. Everyone leaves you high and dry when it matters the most. The one person I thought I could count on is my husband and I couldn’t even get a motherfucking buck seventy five fucking cake mix out of him!
Maybe when I was a kid, somewhere deep inside I knew it was going to be awful, mundane, boring, pathetic, stupid and a waste of the world’s time to exist. That I would be just another tiny speck of shit in a pile under the outhouse floor and therefore I didn't plan for anything beyond forty? Maybe that is it or maybe I should get a clue and be happy for what I have? Yeah well sometimes you can only be as happy as those around you let you be. Maybe it's time to break free or burn it down! Who figured I would turn forty one day? I sure as hell didn't. Maybe that's been the whole problem all along...