Unfortunately, ALSO because of the same said stint, I dread it with a rising tide of fear I can't even coherently describe. As long gone as the Sewer's been, the emotions I encounter when the day approaches makes me feel like I'm greeting Death first before I can properly say Hello to Life. There's a chime of reasons supposed by the Nearest and Dearest. Is it Age? Is it Being Alone? Bad Memories of Sewerage? Or worse, Bad Gifts??
To Understand. Quietly. Unobtrusively. To be of service in the same way I often hover in the background being supportive sans announcement, always listening beyond the words, or the agitation, and reaching way Way back to say whatever it is I hear the Universe wants me to ask or say. Handy with insight and intuition, whatever is needed to Be There.
I know I can't often expect the same but I also have to admit, that it's typically Cancerian for me that I FEEL (haha) the only time I'm justified in wanting this is for the 24 solid hours of my birthday. It's the day I put up the sign that says, "Cancerian Services Halted Today for Re-Birthing, Sorry for the Inconvenience. Love You All but Please deal with Your Own Stuff for 24 Hours, Back by Then. Thank You."
My mother, the Latin Piscean told me fond tales of her Name Day Celebrations that went on for five days, she would happily sigh and say, "Five days of whatever I wanted and usually, I wanted Parties." Uh, huh that's plural. Being a Cancer with Virgo Rising really does not predispose me to five days of non-stop libations.
Have a guess WHO'S cleaning the shit up after all that? So yeah, no thanks. It does however, make me hanker for the "Be About Me Genuinely or Leave Me the Fuq Alone" 24 hour Statute.
This year, the crack point hit me two days before in what I now refer to as Sobbing Monday. The Day I cried for Everything Wrong in the World and actually willed myself to bed at 9:30PM as I simply couldn't stand it anymore. I missed my mother, who always made every one of our birthdays special in however small but acutely specific way she could. It was the suspense of the night before and waking up to greetings, gifts, favorite foods and so much affection. Being one of a family of six children, business as usual halted for you that day and everyone was in on it. It was not a day I could doubt love in any of my memories.
Birthday Dread is like Cabin Fever with Cake.
The good news is I usually snap out of it by the time the actual day arrives. Also because I design fail safes to give me the imagined day of Me-Ness within the week, hence Birthday on Wednesday, Total Selfish Bitchdom on Friday. I take 2 days off, the actual day is a Decoy, the second one is really where it's at. Whatever works.
This year several things happened that makes me think that perhaps a Cure is on its way. The first happened the day before.
The Capricorn Ban-anna was a young woman I'd occasionally treat to coffee, mentored loosely and chatted with. There was something innocently affectionate about her little surprise, singularly conspired that made me feel as if my mother was there. It was so reminiscent, I couldn't help but crack a wide smile, and think that this was Mom all over again somehow, making herself felt through someone else.
The second thing was Carmen San Diego's dinner party. Highly itinerant, Carmen San Diego also happens to embody the same philosophy of being all over the place yet somehow getting there in her daily life. I really don't know how she does it, my Virgo Rising boggles, but clearly the woman is some kind of mad genius. She was smack bang in the middle of a job interview process, a bathroom remodel, pest extermination and temporary single parenthood with the husband off on assignment when she suggested she throw one for me, casually mentioning, "Oh you know, the house is Fukushima right now, but it'll be fine, I had four people for dinner yesterday. Bring the Frugens, we'll have fun."
We eat meatless tacos, debate her daughter's choices for graduation dresses and plot heavily on what all kinds of surgical procedures we'd have done if money weren't an object. I look around and realize that even Frugen#2, who staunchly declares himself as anti-social and actually mock-threatened to skip the party in favor of a steak house earlier, is rosy faced with wine and chatting away merrily. It really is the company that makes the day, and everyone was lovely.
Then there were the greetings, from friends far and wide all of whom either called or messaged in a collective swoosh, it became difficult to even briefly resent exactly why I invest in my relationships the way I do. I was watching Birthday Dread ebb away when I got a predictably short yet unexpected message from B, whom I really thought would never cross the birthday line to even greet me. I thanked him and left it at that, spending the weekend getting a massage, shopping and the compulsory days of worship at Sephora predicated by birthdays.
I'm thinking all this time it was just about the birthday, or that coincidentally, we both had a thing for X-Men when while cuddling on the couch he kisses me and says, "So hey, ritter Panda, this time last year, we were kinda doing the same thing." I never knew where the nickname Panda came from, but I'm assuming it alludes to cuteness rather than possible extinction. He's also been using a mock-Japanese accent on me ever since, when I'm neither Japanese or have a trace of any accent other than American. In all fairness, I DO speak to certain parts of B in a hybrid French-Eastern European accent, so I can't exactly fault him there.
I look at him wide-eyed and half-croak,"You mean...like an...uhm..anniversary?" He yawns casually and pulls me on top of him with a twinkle in his eye going, "Yep".
And it's true. I'd met him last year exactly three days after my birthday. I don't think I can mine "Yep" for a whole lot but I hope the times they truly are a-changing. For the B-etter.
For now, I'd like to say, Thank you to all my friends and loved ones for being amazing during the shut down. Cancerian Services are now back on line, ask me for advise, complain at will, and if ever I have to utter the rare no, it will be the sweetest, sugar laced honey drizzled no you will ever have the pleasure of hearing.