Sunday, 17 June 2012

The Birthday Card

I turned 30 today. A milestone I have been waiting for since the past couple of years now.

The excitement started a year ago and as the day arrived it dulled down to nothingness.

It’s difficult to keep it going when you’re the only one who thinks it’s an extraordinary occasion and not just another birthday.

I’m an odd creature always felt so and my 30th birthday just confirmed my suspicions.

When I was handed a lovely birthday, I smiled and said thank you but soon realised my jaw was clenched in a death grip. I could feel the anger rise to eventually settle to a flame of disappointment.

This was very confusing; the card was lovely, thoughtful and should have made me smile. I hated it! To add to this I was handed a second card by another person, it was even more thoughtful and my anger runneth over.

All morning I tried to figure out why I was so angry, I was not expecting anything more in the form of gifting so then why. Sometimes you shouldn’t ask questions when you’re not ready for the answer. Even before I could finish asking this question I remembered every birthday of mine till I was 21 years old. Growing up in an abusive home every birthday was spent healing wounds, wiping stains, cleaning up broken pieces of something that meant the world to us or getting wished by the policemen who now knew it was your birthday and unfortunately you called them every year the same time.

I remember it was always the first week or day of school on my birthday and after a hectic night my sister and I had to go to school with swollen faces and tired eyes. Always to the prelude of a big expensive gift was the card my father would give me when I came home during lunch break. I would take it, politely say thank you and keep it so safely that I never had to see it again.

Looking at this card now, even though it was given by people who love and cherish me and who have never hurt me, all I can remember is screams and cries hoping someone would come and  help us.

My 24th Birthday ended the stigma of “bad” birthdays but I’m ashamed to say that I still can’t cherish birthday cards as I should. I don’t think I’ll be able to contribute to Hallmarks bottom line.

Oh well!