Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Love, Loss and Birthday Cake.

Birthdays, for me, have always just been an excuse to get all of my favorite people in the same location at the same time.  It's selfishly to make myself happy on the one day a year I give myself credit to be a brat (well, almost one day...).  A lot of my friends were in different cliques and I knew them all from different places.  One group were the kids I grew up with and all hailed from Southern Maryland.  I spent time with them from high school throughout college and beyond.  There's another group from Southern Maryland that even pre-dates high school.  They were my middle through college and beyond crew (with even a few elementary and one pre-school friend included).  These two groups were the easiest to blend since they all at least knew OF each other, if not each other directly, so they all were fast friends, once jumbled together.

Amazing corn soup @ firebox
The other groups included people I met later in life, for instance, strictly through college (which means, they saw me at my very worst times and still continued to be my friends--i.e.:  they deserve a medal) and my work friends.  The work friends are split into another two groups:  Production crew friends and ad agency friends.  The two rarely get a chance to mix, but because I have had the (awesome) position of being full-time at an ad agency, yet in the production department, I get to be a part of each side of the coin when it comes to producing spots for TV, etc.  They are very different kinds of people, but both equally awesome and fun.

Delicious fluke @ firebox
Birthdays to me became the one day a year, I got to have them all get together and mingle.  I was really spoiled last year because I had my birthday outing which was a nice mash-up of friends, but then my going away party a month later which packed in all sorts of people who have come in an out of my life, including family members, bosses, co-workers, and friends from each phase of my life thus far.

I guess that's partly why this birthday was so difficult.  I've never had a birthday in my adult life that I didn't spend with friends.  If you ask friends out for a drink or dinner for no reason, they have every excuse in the book as to why they can't make it, and it's perfectly acceptable.  If it's missing your birthday, they'd better try their best to make it and show they give a shit.  It's the adult version of getting a present for your birthday.  You know you have a friend.

When your friends fail to show up, however, you are reminded that things have changed and you will more than likely start comparing your life's path now with how it was a year ago.  It's tough to swallow, sometimes, but necessary to accept.

Meeting Snoogs for the 1st time on my bday
I've been talking about loss a lot lately and comparing the loss of some friendships to dealing with death.  You go through the same exact grieving process.  I mean- to a tee.  Denial, anger, bargaining, depression and finally, acceptance.  Here's the thing:  If you're anything like me, you're hyper-aware of what is happening either during it or directly after, and you work hard to make that whole "acceptance" stage come as quickly as possible, and/or at least last.  Some people, however, since they aren't actually DEAD (this sounds bad), keep rearing their ugly heads into your life.  They acknowledge their shitty friendship tendencies and swear, for the 11th time, that things will be different moving forward.  So, you, being the doormat that you are (and thirsty for friendship), say "Okay...  I really hope so..."  And you wait.  You send them presents or messages just because (because that's what friends at least USED to do), and you get no response...  slowly, the grieving process begins all over again, and it becomes a never-ending cycle.

I have to come to terms with the fact that not everyone (or anyone) is as aware of their actions as I am.  I'm hyper-sensitive to what vibes I'm putting out, how I'm treating people, how I react to situations and how everyone else reacts to me, etc.  Not everyone is as neurotic, so some people genuinely have no idea that they're affecting you.  That's when you learn that you have to be blunt, honest and open.  If you don't tell someone that their actions are hurting you, then they will forever say, "how was I supposed to know?"  Now there are no excuses.  People know what they're doing and what effect it has had on me.

Flowers from my wonderful cousin
It's been depressing because along with honesty comes the responsibility of having to deal with whatever response you're going to hear in return.  Unfortunately, I didn't really expect the "deal with it" response, so I've been having almost more trouble with that one than the repeat offenders.

My mom used to always say that when I was in middle school I would have hundreds of friends, high school, a good amount, college, I'd have 10-20 close friends, and in my adult life, I could count my good friends on one hand.  She was, of course, right.  I just didn't expect the friends I could count on one hand to be who they've turned out to be.  I am grateful each day for those friends and they all made me feel very special on my birthday, and continue to do so throughout the year... you know, like real friends do.

Bday bracelet from Dan
I must also include that I'm extra lucky for having a best friend that happens to be my other half.  He went above and beyond to make me feel special and loved this birthday (and every single day).  I got my entire extensive summer reading list, some purdy jewelry, a nice big new salad spinner (YES!!), some ice tea accessories (too hard to explain), an amazing dinner at Firebox in Hartford (a YUMMY restaurant I've been dying to try) and most importantly, a NEW MIX CD!

So cheers to you, real friends.  Cheers to keeping in touch, helping each other through the tough times and being there to celebrate the great times for yet another year.  :-D


P.S.  All photos from this post were taken on my birthday.


  1. Looking forward to celebrating with you for a lot longer than that!

  2. where can I get that bracelet?!?!

  3. Honestly, I don't know. It was a gift, but I googled "Sparrow bracelet" and "Sparrow cuff" and came up with similar styles. Hope that helps! http://www.etsy.com/listing/87302079/steampunk-sparrow-bracelet-bird-bracelet?utm_source=googleproduct&utm_medium=syndication&utm_campaign=GPS