Friday, January 18, 2013

You Say It's Your Birthday

Angelus: Now that's everything, huh? No weapons... No friends...No hope. Take all that away... and what's left?
Buffy: Me. 

          --Becoming, Part 2

After a particularly depressing New Year's Eve last year (Glenn and I had a fight, Griffin, Keifer, and I walked to Longhorn for dinner and ate without him, the three of us came back and watched whoever was standing in for Dick Clark, we saw the ball drop, and Glenn had no part of us), I decided significant life changes were necessary. I know it seems as if I'm heading toward making some kind of proclamation regarding my relationship with Glenn, but I'm not. The changes I decided to make had nothing to do with him. They had to do with me.

Although I was depressed over my alienation from Glenn that night, I was equally depressed that, other than spending the night with him (which I didn't do anyway), I had nothing to do. It was the supposed most party-filled night of the year, and nobody had asked me to do anything. And it wasn't the first year that had happened.

I realized that, discounting my kids, who had no choice but to hang out with me, I had no one.

I felt like the most pathetic person in the world.

A loser.


And it was a fairly new feeling.

Up until my mid-thirties, I always had a best friend who I was incredibly close to (as you know from reading this), and all significant days were spent with the best friend of the time period and a smattering of other people. A few years ago, though, the best friend thing kind of--all right, completely and utterly--dissipated, and I was left to my own devices. Over the past few years, invitations popped up here and there, but for various reasons--I was tired; I was on a diet and couldn't eat anything good and didn't want to be surrounded by food; I had to run in the morning and didn't want to drink; I was moody; I didn't want to leave Glenn; I was lazy, I was lazy, I was lazy--I mostly said no.

If you say no enough times, people eventually stop asking.

At least that's what happened to me (or at least I like to think that's what happened to me. Maybe I'm just a miserable bitch and nobody likes me. I certainly wouldn't rule it out).

Which brings me to:

Kelly's Year of Yes

Since I'd come to the conclusion that saying no was what ruined my life, I reasoned that by saying yes to every invitation that came my way, I'd eventually build up some social status again, and by the time the next New Year's Eve rolled around, my life would have changed completely. I decided that New Year's Eve (or maybe I decided the next day although for the sake of the story it sounds better to say that I decided then and there) that for the next year, I'd say yes whenever anybody asked me to do things.

But nobody asked me.

Which brings me to:

Kelly's Birthday Blues

I never thought about where my birthday cakes came from when I was growing up. Every January 17, a cake just appeared (just like they did every August 20 for my sister and October 9 for my dad). After I got married at 23, they kept showing up (of course by then I knew where they came from).

I also never really thought about who I was going to be with for my birthdays, either. I'd had the same people in my life for so long, I'd always taken the guest list on birthdays (and Christmases and Easters) completely for granted.

Well, let me tell you a little something about taking things for granted.

Your life might be moving along in a way you can only describe as swimmingly for oh-so-long, but before you know it--bam!--there you are, 38 years old and buying your own birthday cake.

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