Tuesday, August 22, 2017

The Party Of No

When the month of August started, and my birthday was ten days away, I told my wife I wanted pizza. There are dozens of restaurants in our area, and her family goes out to eat a lot - but they always go to the same places. And her mother always pays for us. Her money, her choice.

But I thought that I would play the "birthday" card to go to a place I wanted to go to. And so I asked D if she wanted to invite the only two people I'm even semi-comfortable with - our only 'couples' friends, who have twin boys that have been friends with our daughters for years. 

They were not available on my birthday weekend. They were on vacation. 

But that's okay... Connecticut has better pizza anyway. My lifelong bff had e-mailed me a while back and asked when I'd be coming to town. I told him when I'd be in CT, and that maybe we could go to Bar. "Bar sounds good." He said. "I haven't had a mashed potato pizza in forever!"

I was looking forward to seeing my bff, splitting a pizza, and having some "bro time". There have been so many things on my mind that I want to share - and either D knows them all and dismisses them, or I can't talk to her about them.

My bff had plans for Saturday the 19th. If we had come to CT on Friday, maybe we could have met up. But D wasn't going to do that. So...no bro time, and no Bar.

At this point I am done with my birthday. My mother will be 75 at the end of September, and she had an idea. There is a lighthouse cruise in Connecticut that she would very much like to go on, and if I could tell my sister about it and emphasize to her that this is Mom's 75th birthday and she really wants to do this, she will make it happen.

When my sister popped in to Mom's for a visit on Sunday morning I pulled up the webpage for the CT lighthouse tour. I told her this is what Mom wants to do for her bday.

Older Sis looked at it for all of five seconds and said...

Yeah! Sounds good. Let's do it.

But wait... my nephew won't have his daughter that weekend. Older sis thought about that briefly and dismissed it. Not a deal breaker. She doesn't have to come.

But wait... now my wife has chimed in. Even though she agreed weeks in advance to go back to CT on the last weekend in September for my mom's 75th birthday... she hadn't actually looked at the calendar.

And now she has realized that her father's birthday is that Sunday. And she should be with her family that weekend. 

Now I'm pissed. This isn't even for me, it's for my mother. On her 75th birthday. 

But what could I do? My not-yet deceased mother can't compete with D's deceased dad.

On the way home from my mom's we passed the highway sign for White Plains, NY. I wonder what's going on in White Plains this weekend? I wondered aloud. As if I didn't know.

There is a major sports card and memorabilia show in White Plains every year on the third weekend of August. I have not been there in eight years. The first five years, we didn't go because we had very young children..and no money. Then, two years ago my aunt died and left me a check (through my mother) with three zeroes on it. My mom strongly encouraged me to do something fun with the money - and I could think of nothing more enjoyable than buying baseball cards guilt-free. 

Although..paying bills is fun too, I guess. 

Since then I haven't even bothered to ask; if I can't go when I have $1000 in my pocket I sure as hell cant go when I only have $100.

I can daydream about telling everyone to back off and let me do what I want, but it just isn't happening.

Which brings me to yesterday.

My bff e-mailed me a belated Happy Birthday and asked when I'll be in town again - so we can hang out and have pizza on not my birthday. 

But it doesn't look like I'll have any time for 'bro time"...

My sister suddenly decided that her grand-daughter should be with us for the lighthouse tour (so that D wouldn't have to be away from her family on her father's birthday) andso now she wants to re-schedule that for not my mom's birthday.

And our couples friends want to re-schedule our proposed pizza party for not my birthday.

I wish I could tell them all that I'm not interested.




  1. Can you enjoy doing any of this stuff on a different day and pretend that it's a birthday celebration? I know it all just sucks, though. A couple of days ago I saw an article about standing up to racist family members and thought of you because of all the conservatives you have to deal with at your wife's family gatherings. If it's any comfort to you, I haven't had any kind of birthday celebration in years. No one even wishes me a happy birthday. I don't think anyone remembers my birthday.


    1. "Can you enjoy doing any of this stuff on a different day and pretend that it's a birthday celebration?" That's pretty much the only choice I have: I either get to do the thing I want at a time of everyone else's choosing...or not at all. Like, when I asked about going out for pizza with our couples friends? I planned to do that on/near my bday. We're going tonight - and D never even mentioned my bday to them.

      "I don't think anyone remembers my birthday." My bff sure doesn't. My wife and oldest daughter didn't say anything (my youngest said it at least a dozen times over 2 weeks) and no one at work even knows mine.

      Thanks for thinking of me. :)

  2. ummmmm YEAH your living mother's birthday kind of does trump D's deceased dad's birthday. I don't mean to be unsympathetic or anything, I know he died recently, but your mother is STILL ALIVE and can still enjoy her actual birthday with her son. I really think you should put your foot down on this one. You literally never have a say in anything ever, it's time you told D fine you do what you want, but on this day I'm spending my mother's birthday with my mother.

    1. Well, with this one my sister and my mother chose to led D do what D wanted. Because it didnt matter to them when we did the lighthouse tour - even though my mom specifically asked to do this for her bday...

      I give up.

  3. Mashed potato pizza?

    Living person birthday trumps dead person birthday. Or, you could go to your mother's thing while D goes to her family. If she insists on celebrating birthday of her father. I mean, I get it, but one can go to the cemetary any time, really.

    Happy birthday (very late).

    1. Yeah, it sounds weird..but it's really good. Probably an acquired taste though.

      I would maybe ditch her and go to my mom's on her actual bday if I could drive and/or lived in the same state. Unfortunately i only get to see my mom if/when D feels like driving there. (My mom can no longer drive long distances)

      Thank you! :)

  4. I don't envy you navigating through these dangerous familial waters.

    1. It's not fun. Both D's family and my own are difficult to deal with.

  5. Glad your side of the family was willing and able to reschedule the lighthouse tour. Hopefully everything works out and you end up having a great times with your friends and family in the end.

    1. Thanks Fuji...it's possible, but it's going to be spread out over a couple months or so.