Wednesday, August 2, 2017

Self-Indulgent




I have never had my birthday all to myself. My sister's first husband was born the day before me (in different years, obviously) and by the time she finally kicked him out for good I was dating my wife. Her birthday is in November, but her niece Bridget was born four days before me. Andso ever since I was the age she is now (she'll be 22 next week) my birthday got swallowed up inside her birthday. Which shouldn't be a big deal, or even a small deal. And yet...

I'm at the age where I'd really rather not have anyone remind me that I'm a year older anyhow. It's not that I want anyone to shower me with presents, it's just... every other day of the year I have little to no say in what I do. Go to work, come home, watch kids, do chores, eat whatever D feels like making/buying. Rinse and repeat. If I want to go anywhere, it has to be within walking distance or on the way to somewhere we're already going. If I want to buy anything more than a bottle of liquid candy D will tell me "we don't have the money".

Most days, the only decision I get to make for myself is when to go to sleep. 


Birthdays are supposed to be different. I should be able to go see a movie, or watch a movie at home, or request a certain meal, or play my music loud. I should be able to go out with friends or family if I choose, or stay in my pajamas and do nothing if I choose. 

But I can't. I have to go to the in-laws and do whatever the hell Bridget wants. 

That's not the issue. I don't really have a problem with her specifically. It's her bloody awful parents. Her mother is completely neurotic with regard to cleaning and cooking and hosting duties. If the temperature is above 70F (a 100% certainty in August in NJ) she will whinge like a child about how hot it is outside - yet she will never even think of having the party inside since she would have to clean up after everyone. 

Also her mother is 94 and in a nursing home/hospice, and she will be even more on edge than normal as a result. I'd be sympathetic to that- except that she will speak of her mother like a burden in a long list of burdens, often with the phrase "I need this like I need a hole in the head" and she'll make it clear to everyone (in her usual unfiltered tone) that she will be happy* when she doesn't have to visit/care for/worry about her mother anymore.

*I doubt that she will ever be "happy" about anything 


And I haven't even mentioned the politics. 


Bridget's mum (and I'll call her "mum" because she is obsessed with England) is such an unapologetic Trumpeteer that she's indicated she'd be totally cool with a Trump-led dictatorship, and every negative word said or printed about him is "fake news." Bridget herself is a Republican (though she prefers the term "Libertarian") but because she is capable of reasonable, rational thought she has actually challenged and debated her Mum with such retorts as "You were fine with Hillary's e-mails being public but not Donald Jr's?" and "When Obama tried that, you called him a dictator. Now you want Trump to do that?


Naturally Mum dismisses her daughter as a "brainwashed liberal" and laments ever sending her to college because all those leftist professors ever do is indoctrinate young minds with their anti-First Amendment agenda and turn 'em all into Socialists. Or something.

My brother-in-law pretty much goes along with most of this - though he's more of a Ted Cruz-loving conservative than a Trump-ican (that's..not..better.) D's sister and her husband are just as obnoxiously supportive as Mum, and the only person in the whole family with enough guts to play referee is no longer with us. This will be the first special occasion we have to endure attend without Pop, so I can't even block out the political chatter by talking to him about sports.  


This is not how I would choose to spend any day, much less my birthday. But, again, I don't have a choice. The food and the drinks and the cake and the company and the topics of conversation are all well beyond my control. At least Bridget plays some decent tunes.

Yesterday, when the calendar flipped to August I had a surprising thought. I expected a sense of doom and despair to fill my soul as yet another birthday approached. Instead I was struck by how defiant I felt - It's my birthday month and I'm going to enjoy myself, dammit. My first instinct was to search eBay for some nostalgic things to buy - things that I got as birthday(or Christmas) gifts when I was a kid. Things that remind me of a happier time.

a Super Nintendo (mine is unplayable)


not functional or practical, I just want it

1988 was the best year to be a young baseball fan


I had planned to order these things immediately, so that they'd arrive the day of (or before) Bridget's birthday party. That way I'd have something positive to focus on and look forward to. Unfortunately I was not able to order them in time (or at all.)

The only saving grace is that Mum usually is very generous with her (husband's) money and I often end up with a hundred or two in a card for putting up with her shit. Perhaps then I can buy back some of my childhood and/or buy myself a decent birthday. Maybe.


At my other brother-in-law's birthday party (not Bridget's dad) I spent most of the day lying on the porch swing, listening to his 70's/80's playlist for the 100th time and daydreaming about what music I would play if I had my own birthday party. That got me thinking about what I would do if I had total control over my birthday....

1. Wake up when I'm ready to wake up, and not a second sooner. 

2. Go to breakfast with the family at a diner of my choosing - and I don't want to hear any complaints. (if it is raining outside, skip this step and sleep in.)

3. Check e-mail/blogs/sports card stuff for a half hour. Open gifts if applicable. 

4. Walk to the next town over and see a Saturday matinee at the small movie theater (I do this once every summer.) After the movie, stop by Urban Burger for lunch. (If it is raining, watch a movie in the living room with the family. Order pizza.)

5. Go to my mother in-law's. Invite no one over for cake. Let the girls swim in Grandma's pool while I sit on the porch swing, guzzling Mountain Dew and listening to my birthday playlist:




6. Once it gets dark, go home and watch Nickelodeon with the girls until they are ready for bed. Grab a snack, head upstairs to my room and watch Taryn Southern videos until I'm ready for bed. Perfect day complete.

Except that most of that stuff won't - or can't - happen, simple as it may seem.

My 5 year old has gym class that morning - and my 7 year old has a birthday party at the movie theater shortly thereafter. We can go with her, but watching The Emoji Movie with a room full of wee ones isn't exactly the movie matinee I had in mind. (also: no diner for breakfast. I will likely have a choice between cereal or waffles. as always.)

If I get any gifts - which is unlikely - they will likely be the aforementioned card from Bridget's Mum, possibly one from D's Mum, and a homemade card from the girls. Maybe. I will likely have bought myself some nostalgic things by then. if so, I'll discuss them here and/or on my other blog.

No burgers, no pizza, and no cake at Mom-in-law's. I'll probably have at least one of those the next weekend when I go to CT and visit my own Mom (and possibly my bff.) Also, I don't have an iPod dock or laptop with which to play my playlist, nor any audience to play it for. If I'm lucky I'll have some Mountain Dew or Monster in the fridge - unless I drink it all before my bday.

The last one is definitely doable. Nickelodeon is always on in the living room, and new episodes of Nicky, Ricky, Dicky, and Dawn, School Of Rock, and possibly Henry Danger have been airing on Saturday nights, so I suppose I could spend some TV time with the girls.


As for ending my night with Taryn on my mind....I may be able to pacify myself with some of the things discussed in this blog post, but the inability to watch her videos for an hour before bed is more of a psychological impairment than a scheduling conflict.

I've been bored at work lately, so I've had some time to ponder this problem. There is an endless, and I mean endless supply of Taryn Southern stuff out there. I know it seems like I obsess over her but I've only begun to scratch the surface. And that's because I often feel that my mental state is too fragile to handle women like her.



Isn't that stupid? I can't watch her videos because I start thinking about how ridiculous it is that someone with all these desirable qualities exists - I shouldn't have such an adverse reaction to her perfect life and her perfect face and her perfect body and her perfect personality but more often than not it cuts me up inside, to know that there are a whole ton of people out there who are on her level or even more desirable when I am so bloody unremarkable and unattractive and worthless that I don't even accept that we are of the same species.. and then my circuits overload until I end up collapsing in a heap of self-pity.


Needless to say, she's not the first woman that's had this effect on me. And I hate it. I've built people up while tearing myself down my whole life, and I've paid a heavy price for it. I wish I could just enjoy her videos like all the other dudes who follow her and enjoy her stuff and toss compliments her way, without pondering the world of difference between her looks, talent, experiences, etc.. and my own.

That's what I want for my birthday. Enough self-esteem to binge out on Taryn videos without bruising my fragile little ego.



Nah, fuck it. I want a talking baseball stadium.






18 comments:

  1. Chris, I'm trying to think of a diplomatic way to say this....

    Dude....YOU MATTER TOO. Put your foot down. Insist on doing exactly what you want on your birthday. Quit putting everyone else first for once. It breaks my heart to read about all these simple things you want to do on YOUR BIRTHDAY but feel like you can't. YES YOU CAN.

    If you don't insist on your family treating you with respect and consideration they never will. Even your daughters are old enough to learn that sometimes they have to sacrifice what they want for someone else.

    Please, please, start treating yourself with kindness and insist your family does the same.

    I hope I'm not speaking out of turn here. I don't want to offend you...but dammit, you deserve to be happy in life! What you've described here is unacceptable. You deserve so much better.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Jennifer, you're too kind. Maybe I do deserve better..but then I dont really tell the whole story on here. I get to do little things here and there, like this afternoon I decided I was going to listen to my music and blog, so I told everyone I'm going upstairs until 5pm. And that's what I did. But yeah, overall I do feel suffocated by restrictions - financial and otherwise. Also I cant stand the mess downstairs.

      Do I deserve better? Sure, I guess. But I've no idea how to change it now.

      Delete
  2. I agree with Jennifer. It sounds like you literally never have a say in what your family does, and that it not how a family should work. PUT BOTH FEET DOWN. Your wife and her family should not be dictating every single thing you guys do in your free time. You should be able to decide at least half of the time what you guys do on your days off.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The movie bday party and gym class are out of my control, but there are days when she plans things for me without asking for my input. I come home from work and she tells me that she made plans with her mom and I have to either go or stay home and watch the girls. That's kind of annoying, but only because I cant do the same with my family/friends.

      I asked her to call up a couple friend of ours and invite them to a pizza restaurant for my birthday..but they're going on vacation that week. Nothing I can do about that, either. :/

      Delete
  3. My mother, who passed away on Christmas Eve, was a huge Trump supporter. The one benefit of her passing is I don't need to hear her defense of Trump.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The man is indefensible at this point, I cant believe so many people fall for his bullshit. I'm sorry about your mom, but I'll feel the same way when Bridget's 94 year old grandma passes. It's sad what this assclown has done to us.

      Delete
  4. I don't think I've ever had a pleasant birthday, so I hope you get one sooner or later. I never see my sisters, but at least I know that no one in my family supports Trump. My oxymorons (adult children) certainly don't.

    Love,
    Janie

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Janie. I'm sure it wont be so bad. Tomorrow on the other hand...

      You are so lucky that you're not burdened with any Trumpsters in your family. I've got too many in my own fam, and I'm sure there are a few at work (though no one has mentioned him since the inaguration)

      Delete
  5. i read a little bit and i already agree with Jennifer/Mich. really. especially when you said at some days, the only choice you have for yourself is the time you'll go to bed! that's unacceptable!

    God, i got stressed just reading this. i have nothing to say other than i want to run away far from your in-laws. in the other direction really. until i'm in another state that is.

    you SHOULD be defiant. it really is your birthday. really. do for yourself what you'd do for other people. if you think it's unacceptable to treat someone this way, you shouldn't let yourself be treated like this.

    omg that doesn't sound like a bad day. and it doesn't sound like you're saying you want to hike mountains either! which is what i'm going to do when i go camping later this year. not mountains. small hills really. but hiking just the same!

    Metallica. omg. Mayday Parade i havent' listened to them in forever.

    but Whom The Bell Tolls? really? that's interesting. my Childhood was plagued with Nothing Else Matters and Master of Puppets. then i discovered King Nothing. oh my God what a tune.

    Lacuna Coil was a thing before but i never got into it.

    "Except that most of that stuff won't - or can't - happen, simple as it may seem." SHOULD happen being the key word here. come on. it's your birthday!

    i wonder... what we do is we ushed to mash birthdays together that are similar. i didn't like this so what we did was that i only had a birthday on a day that was easy enough for others. next year, mine is going to be on a Sunday. my Sunday is your Monday. it's the first day of the working week! nobody will celebrate it then. so it's either the weekend before/weekend after/when it's convenient for everyone. you know. <3

    "I am so bloody unremarkable and unattractive and worthless that I don't even accept that we are of the same species" that is certainly not true. i find that it's all mental. if you think you're unremarkable and unattractive and worthless, you will certainly act like you don't deserve much. you have to convince yourself you are more than that. and to be honest, you are. just look at you. wonderful man with this great big heart. you should be able to go out and conquer the world within your confines. really. it's the way they say and project things. like *insert health food hype here*. they'll bombard you with it, tell you how much they love it, how wonderful it is, how your life is not the same without it. and when you have a taste of it, it's just something positively ordinary. or something positively revolting. or maybe they're right. but honestly, the best things are the things you know are best. simple days like these shouldn't be out of your reach! and whatever it is you want to do. <3

    comparison is the thief of joy. but i find myself wondering what it is about that person that i'm jealous about. where is my void in my life so i can work on that and bridge it. because you do deserve to be happy you know! <3

    what the hell is a talking baseball stadium? and why don't you have one already

    love you xxx




    - Sam Lupin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "i read a little bit and i already agree with Jennifer/Mich. really. especially when you said at some days, the only choice you have for yourself is the time you'll go to bed! that's unacceptable!"

      bit of an exaggeration...I can go upstairs and do my TV/internet/sports card thing (if the girls dont come into my room) but for the most part, yeah.

      "God, i got stressed just reading this. i have nothing to say other than i want to run away far from your in-laws. in the other direction really. until i'm in another state that is."

      Me too, Sam. Me too. (and I could have stayed where I was but I was miserable there. hahaha. who knew?)

      You're going hiking? That sounds like fun, I hope you have a great time. Not sure about camping/sleeping outside. what's your wild animal situation like out there?

      "Metallica. omg. Mayday Parade i havent' listened to them in forever."

      Bridget got me into Mayday. They're good but I like their Punk Goes Pop covers more than their own stuff. Metallica..yeah, I've heard great things about Master of Puppets. But I'm a Ride The Lightning guy. And the Black album, of course.

      "next year, mine is going to be on a Sunday. my Sunday is your Monday. it's the first day of the working week!"

      Please tell me that Friday is your Saturday, cause if you only have one weekend day then y'all are working too hard.

      "i find that it's all mental. if you think you're unremarkable and unattractive and worthless, you will certainly act like you don't deserve much." I hear ya, Sam. I wish i knew how to break that cycle. I'm trying.

      "comparison is the thief of joy." You know who used to say that? Joy.

      "i find myself wondering what it is about that person that i'm jealous about. where is my void in my life so i can work on that and bridge it." My next blog post will be all about the specific answers to this as it relates to Taryn (or not)

      "what the hell is a talking baseball stadium? and why don't you have one already" It's a primitive tech toy from the late 1980's that simulates and announces an actual game based on your input. I had one when I was a kid and I want it again..but the eBay seller wants at least $60 for it. I don't even have $6, so that's why I don't have one. Yet.

      Delete
  6. i read your comment reply on the old post and ah, you're such a dear. i'd be lucky to marry a man like you in due time. though with a little bit more things in common (*subtly talking about the baseball obsession here* <3 though i'm sure you can say the same about me!)



    - Sam Lupin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. You're the sweetest, Sam. I know 90% of my blog is sports things, Taryn Southern, and Fall Out Boy..and yet you still read and comment and enjoy it somehow.

      Baseball is in my blood...even when I'm not actively following it, I still cant shake it. I guess it's like HP for you. I try to follow along, but it's another world of which I only have a faint understanding. ;)

      Delete
  7. ^^ not an "oh, i'd love to marry someone like you" but more of an "oh, our interests are worlds apart."


    - Sam Lupin

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I know what you meant, no worries. Just make sure you practice what you preach when the time comes. xxx

      Delete
  8. Well I hope in some how or some way you do get some of your birthday wishes to come true. I know the feeling about sharing special days as I married into my wife's family and my special days are now shared with others. Have a happy birthday and a great day. The playlist is pretty sweet, too. I am about to take the dog out and will be pulling up a few of those songs. Take care, my friend.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I hope your in-laws are a lot more friendly and open-minded than mine. Hope you enjoy the weekend (and the playlist!)

      Delete
  9. review reply:

    categorising them by month and year. subcategorising them based on relevance (for me, this is the health section and if they have cute tips on clothes or relevant articles for me!). it is a lot of magazines to be fair. stretching down to 2007 when i bought my first issue as a 12 year old. :)

    "That picture really says it all. I know that's how I feel after a caffeinated beverage." it's the same for me. unless the beverage contains a lot of sugar too. then my head lights up and like wow. i love my mood after a Caribou Coffee white chocolate mocha.

    reply to your reply:

    hiking only happens in the 'winter' unfortunately. and it's very low key hiking too. now it's a blazing summer. nobody wants to go out at this weather. everyone wants to stay in with the air conditioning. it's 45-50 C here with humidity (approx. 113-121 F. the highest we had here this summer is 136F!!)

    as for wild animals... really none! if you don't count camels that is. no animal wants to live in this humidity.

    Ride the Lightning is so not my kind of album. i love their self-titled album, Load and Reload. i like a little from Death Magentic too.

    "Please tell me that Friday is your Saturday, cause if you only have one weekend day then y'all are working too hard." YES. IT IS. your Friday is our Thursday.

    "I hear ya, Sam. I wish i knew how to break that cycle. I'm trying." i hope you figure it out one day. honestly, you deserve so much better. i think you're a wonderful guy. :)

    "You know who used to say that? Joy." if that's a joke, it's a really bad one. i love it. :)

    ah, next blog post talking about that... i'll read that one day. i'm very lazy today you must excuse me.

    "You're the sweetest, Sam. I know 90% of my blog is sports things, Taryn Southern, and Fall Out Boy..and yet you still read and comment and enjoy it somehow." because you're a sweet man!

    "I guess it's like HP for you." you must really REALLY REALLY like baseball then.

    "Just make sure you practice what you preach when the time comes." i hope you're here to read it when time comes! and to tell me when i'm not practicing what i preach! ;)

    hope you have a wonderful Sunday.


    - Sam Lupin

    ReplyDelete
  10. I've had birthdays where all I want is for someone else to make the decisions. Not this year, though. This year I wanted to pick where I wanted to eat.

    My family is different than yours, though. There's a general rule that birthday celebrator gets to pick the meal. And while tangential family members have birthdays close to mine, they're not close enough to swallow mine.

    Things will continue to be out of your control until you decide you want control. They'll fight you for it, but if you stick to your guns, you can win.

    Oh, and I'm so sorry about the politics. I'm blessed to live in a liberal family.

    ReplyDelete