Born (58 years ago) To Be Aggravated
By: Ann Brown
My birthday is almost over. Only thirteen more hours. Thank God.
I have a shitload of things I want to do today and they don’t seem, I don’t know, birthdayish kinds of things, so I have to wait until tomorrow. Which, frankly, flies in the face of everyone’s wishes to me to have a great day today. Because a great day is not, at least not for me, a day when I have to hold off on writing a To Do list for Robin. Well, technically, a To Do Alfucking Ready list. Shit I’ve been holding off saying to him. Burying it. Seething. Amassing evidence, making my case. In legal terms, I’ve been in Discovery and now I am ready for Opening Arguments. Well, not arguments, exactly. He doesn’t get to talk.
Truth be told, spending my entire birthday writing this list is just about the greatest way I could imagine spending it. I have three new glitter pens – turquoise for household maintenance projects, orange for special projects, and gold for writing my feelings about his not having gotten these things done – and a pound of cardstock. I am so totally amped. I am going to run out and get a back up gold pen. In case the first one runs out.
All that’s left is for me to wait thirteen more hours until I can buckle down to work.
Which persona will I be when I write the list… Long-suffering martyr? Eggshell-tiptoeing enabler? Nazi work captain? Superior high falutin’ life coach? Workaday bitch? According to Robin, I tend towards the Mt. St. Helen’s school of communication – I spew off a few, unnoticed puffs of steam and then, POW. Next thing he knows, he is coughing up bits of lung and ash and wondering what happened to the sweet 25-year-old girl he married. The one who believed he was perfect just the way he is.
I’ll tell you what happened to her: she got tired of waiting for the fucking den carpeting to be replaced and the fucking deck to be powerwashed, and she got mean. And fat. And, as I glance at today’s circled date on the calendar, old.
Hmm. I might need a few more pens.
Still, if one subscribes to the notion that what one does on one’s birthday sets the tone for the entire year, then, I must put off writing The List until tomorrow. Because I really don’t want to be That person. The person who, on her birthday, presents her spouse of 32 years with a list of his trangressions against her. On cardstock, written in color-coded glitter pens. Laminated. Framed in a 20 x 40 gold leaf frame. With six wallet-size copies.
I want to be that Other person. The one who devotes her birthday to being grateful for the blessings she has. Yes. That’s who I am going to be. It can’t be that hard.
Especially if he brings home a cake tonight.