My birthday was on Monday. I specifically said to all my nearest and dearest that I didn’t want the day acknowledged, given that it was less than a month since my father died and I didn’t feel at all celebratory. They mostly understood: I did end up with some low key very thoughtful gifts from my youngest, including owl fleece pj pants; a gift of future hair from my eldest (hairdresser) – her accompanying card made me cry and some home picked flowers and gardener’s hand cream from my mother. A card from my brother. But all delivered while I was at work and genuinely able to forget it was my birthday and they were honouring my wishes not to mention it (unless in passing) until much, much later (day after).
But apparently the whole birthday cult thing has seized upon our society. Facebook actively reminds people. I have to say, I can’t think that any of those people who happily wished me a happy birthday and got the morose response that I was too sad to bother (and by the way, Father’s Day could ram a cactus up its arse sideways as well) benefited from social media that day.
But even worse was the friend/ex-friend I ran into at the last venue stop of the day. I don’t want to go into detail right now but suffice to say that she is family, she let me down at a time at time I needed her most and I can’t seem to get past it. She will be at my father’s wake tomorrow and yesterday she greeted me, in front of paxs and professional colleagues with a cry of “Happy Birthday!”. We couldn’t talk; I had tasks to perform and I would never involve with any non-tour business until my obligations (both stated and personal) were met. She said that she would call that night; she never did and I was so relieved.
I hated the fact that she had said “Happy Birthday” in front of so many of my passengers. Luckily, at the end of the day they barely notice I am a sentient being, rather than a nagging automated transport system.
I had to accept well meant birthday wishes or look churlish; either that or explain why I wasn’t noting it and that was distressing for all involved, rather than just me. It was hard.
To add bruise to blow (thank you, Evelyn Waugh: insult to injury is so mainstream these days), our regional rag paper chose to publish my father’s obituary on my birthday. My God, that hurt. I looked at those pictures of him alive, vital and I could feel it squeeze, visceral, in my chest.
I’m attaching the scanned copy. Yes, it means anybody with two brain cells to rub together can work out who I am but then this blog was never a real secret. It was more put over here to make potential employers work hard for online negative stuff about me and to give ex-husband/boyfriend stalker types an extra five minutes of work to find me and they have anyway. I just don’t have the emotional resources anymore to care. I’ve proved myself.
I was so proud of my father and I would be happy if others would read about him.