Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Great Expectations, or, The Birthday That Wasn't

Yesterday I turned 37. 37 has been my favorite number for who knows how long (and for who knows why?), so I have been looking forward to this birthday for what seems like forever. And although, as an adult, I realize adult birthdays are much different from childhood birthdays - as an adult, I know not to expect clowns or pool parties or streamers or what have you - I have to admit I felt let down by all the hoopla that wasn't.

I'm sure it's not fair to the people around me. I just expected - I don't know - *something*. We had a little "Open House" for me on Sunday night, to which we invited a number of people, but only 1 family and 1/2 of another family stopped in, plus my parents. Not to denigrate them - we had a great time, ate some pizza, talked a bunch, but it was fewer than I had been expecting (and fewer than had RSVPed yes), and kind of rushed, and I had to get out my own cake and put the candles on it, and remind family to videotape, etc. And everyone was gone within an hour, and then *poof*, the kids were in bed.

On my actual birthday, I got two wonderful cards from my family and hugs. We were stuck at home for a snow day, but that was O.K. It just didn't seem wowy zowy. My husband, in particular, just wasn't enthused, and hasn't been for a while. Don't know if it's me or something else, but it was kind of a bummer. I actually expressed that to him, but it still didn't help. I think a little part of me wanted the parade, wanted the fireworks, wanted to be struck on the head by lightning so that I would glow to the world and say, "Yes, THIS lady is 37! Celebrate!"

It's a reminder to me that expectations are just that - expectations. They aren't reality, and they aren't always realistic. Just because 37 is special to me doesn't mean the world will react that way. So I go on, on Day 2 of being 37, and just have to celebrate me on the inside.

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