the lost birthday.

I know… shut up about my birthday. [Which is tomorrow, by the way! I know, shut up, Sandra.]


The year was 2009. Just like this year, I was turning 29. I was still at my previous job then and as always, cake was provided. It was the same ‘trick’ every year [which never worked on anyone]. Everybody but me would gather in the conference room. [Well, those I worked directly with or were my friends and probably a few who just wanted cake.] I’d get a phone call from one of them, usually my manager. “I’m in a meeting… we need you to come in.” As though I didn’t see the exodus of many co-workers less than five minutes earlier…

When I arrived home that evening, like most nights, I bitched about making dinner and then made it. Ate dinner. Dinner over. John brought the dishes to the kitchen. A cake or something had to be hiding somewhere. Hell, I don’t care about gifts but I want my birthday cake, dammit!

Alas, he returned empty handed and promptly retreated to his not-really-a-man-cave to work on some project.

And no, I didn’t tell him. I waited for him to remember. Which he finally did. Ten days later. On Father’s Day. Which I [on behalf of my children, then 4 and 1] did not forget.

I really didn’t make a big deal out of it at the time. Sure, he knew I was pretty fucking irritated, but that was it. My kids were so young… I didn’t have the time or energy to make a big deal out of much of anything.

But you’re damn right I keep this in my pocket to pull it out whenever necessary. Or whenever the hell I feel like it. Believe me… he hasn’t forgotten since.

And neither have I. As ridiculous as I’ve been this week mentioning my birthday so often, it’s really a defense mechanism. Just trying to make myself happy. [True, in whatever way you choose to interpret that.]

Every year part of me hopes for something unexpected on my birthday. Not some fancy gift or anything like that. But maybe not just John sneaking (not sneaking) out in the morning to grab my favorite coffee and ‘locally famous’ breakfast treat. It’s sweet and all, but it’s the same every year. No thought involved.

I know this is awful, but I overheard him talking to my daughter earlier tonight asking if she wanted to go with him in the morning. She said yes and asked him if there was going to be a cake later [that’s my girl]… and he said no. I mean, sure breakfast will include plenty of unhealthy deliciousness with cake-like nutritional value (you know, none). But it’s my fucking birthday.

Last year, I made my own cake. It was delicious.

my cake.

© whatsandrathinks

About what sandra thinks

Sandra is a writer, blogger, poet, artist, emotional disaster. She thinks far too much and sleeps far too little. Sandra lives in the Northeastern U.S. but dreams of an oceanfront home in Hawaii where she could learn to surf. She loves books, brutal honesty, coffee, and the color black. She hates insincerity, beer, whipped cream, and facebook. And she is uncomfortable talking about herself in the third person.
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80 Responses to the lost birthday.

  1. Tiegan says:

    Poor you! That sounds terrible.

    I’ve had a similar experience, but not as bad. My friends didn’t say happy birthday until like the middle of the day even though I’d seen them hours earlier.

    I wonder sometimes if that proves what sort of friends they really are. 😛

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Anthony says:

    First let me wish you a Happy Early Birthday, Sandra! I hope you get all the cake you can stand.

    While reading your post I felt something I hadn’t felt in years. It was the familiar chill I used to get when I was married. Usually brought on by being a forgetful son of a bitch. 😕 😆 But it quickly passed as I remembered, I walked away from that train wreck long ago. 😜 But as a fellow forgetful SOB, remember we are big dumb creatures of

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Men can be such idiots. I won’t forget to wish you happy birthday tomorrow, promise!!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I forgot to tell you the line ” just like this year, I was turning 29″ — that is why I will never stop reading your blog. You crack me up every time!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. magarisa says:

    Happy early birthday, Sandra! I, for one, ignore my own birthday. For me, it truly is just another day. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  6. VictoryInTrouble says:

    Oh man! I don’t think I would ever forgive him! 10 days!! Damn. I love your cake but if that isn’t a hint that you want a cake the next year I don’t know what is!! I hope your birthday is wonderful!!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Eric says:

    I’m gonna be pretty busy tomorrow so let me take this opportunity to say, “HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SANDRA!!!!!!!” 😊

    Liked by 1 person

  8. I’m so sorry to hear about that. I’m often disappointed at my birthday as well. Since it’s so close to Thanksgiving, people think they can just assume thanksgiving is my birthday, rather than actually remembering the damn day. My husband males an effort to ensure my birthday is remembered, but he for the most part, has no creative bone in his body. He thinks going out to eat is good enough. Which, I’ll be honest, it’s nice my day is recognized on the actual day, rather than the holiday, but still, some actual thought might be nice. Last year he surprised me with an idea. It was a word clock he planned to create himself filled with my book titles, and some little encouragement quotes, like we love you, and do it. He didn’t finish until after Christmas, but he built the thing from scratch. He soldered all the circuits and LED lights, programmed the titles, and phrases and the time between each one, he even set up this nice start up sequence that spelled out “Made with love for Sarah” followed by a big heart. The idea was creative, but actually completing it required much more technological skills. I’m always grateful for that gift, and I always have it running next to my big monitor (also purchased to help me see text better). It was the sweetest gift he’s ever given me. I don’t know if I’ll ever get anything quite so nice, but at least I have that. For your kid’s sake, I hope they realize how special birthdays are and that you deserve to have a special one just like them. Happy 29th, again. 💕

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Happy birthday!!! I hope you have a fab day and hubby gets with it.

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Miriam says:

    A huge happy birthday from me to you my dear friend. Men just don’t get it sometimes. I hope he gets his act together. But if he doesn’t my big fat rich wicked chocolate cake will be on your doorstep before you know it. With 29 candles on it! 🙂 What ever happens, hope you have a great day Sandra. xo ♥♡

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so so much Miri… you are a wonderful friend! And that chocolate cake sounds REALLY good. I want to eat it right now even though it’s 1:40 in the morning! I could try (pretend to try) to be optimistic about John, but I’m pretty sure that will be the path to disappointment. I’ve dropped a few hints… and they are very obvious.. so now, even if he acts on them, it will only be because I pretty much told him to — not because it was his idea, you know? That just makes it meaningless and I wouldn’t even want him to bother at that point! But I’m good… I’m not sad… at least not at the moment — I make no promises! But I know who he is… and even though it sucks for me, I doubt he’ll ever change… much. Maybe a little… but, you know, pipe dreams!

      Liked by 1 person

  11. This is so me. My birthday and my parents Anniversary are 1 day apart so my birthday was routinely forgotten, in the end I got used to it while secretly still being a little disappointed.
    I keep my folks right when my Sisters birthday comes around, but she doesn’t seem to tell them when it’s mine…ffs!!
    Happy birthday for tomorrow, if I could make you a cake I would x

    Liked by 1 person

    • Aww, thanks… so sweet! I am very careful with my kids’ birthdays — they are both not really at the best times. My daughter’s is about 3 weeks before Thanksgiving and my son’s is about 3 weeks after Christmas. We’ve thrown them parties every year — I hope the holidays never overshadow their birthdays. They’re probably far enough away, but it’s the busiest time of year! Thanks again! 🙂


  12. I could help by sneaking out and eating that cake. 🎈🎈🎈

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Happy Birthday to one of my FAVORITES! You’re a bad ass Wife, Mom, and Blogger. I’m happy I get to read your blog and that you’ve come into my blog world. Hugs and I hope you get some fucking fantastic cake today!

    Liked by 1 person

  14. Yeah… I just tweeted you before reading this so I hope it doesn’t sound ridiculous and overly cheerful! Happy 29th! And hopefully more than the coffee and sweet is to come. Some guys are idiots… H is a terrible gifter. Actually, usually buy my own gifts and tell him what he got me. I can’t remember the last time he surprised me with something. Even with hints! And he says stuff like “I thought about getting you flowers….” and then I’m like “well where the hell are they?!?” Moron, I swear! So if it’s any consolation, you’re not alone! Love ya, babe!❤️

    Liked by 1 person

    • I know… Men tend to suck say this. I hate to generalize because I’m sure some are great… but yeah…most are like ours. I think John is going to take my car for an oil change… And pay for it. Practical and far from romantic, but now I don’t have to do it… Or pay for it. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  15. What is so difficult about remembering one day a year? I will never understand men. On January 1, mark three days on your freaking calender Mother’s Day. anniversay, and birthday. It is so freaking easy. You can do it on your phone. Geez. Happy Birthday. Hope all your wishes come true.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Marquessa says:

    Happy birthday Sandra! I’ll bake you a cake!!! 😚

    Liked by 1 person

  17. I am so feeling your pain. Last year – nada, zip. This year (last week), he SAID “happy birthday.” I’m not a big birthday celebrator and would be happy with a card….

    This is why I try not to celebrate. Because disappointment.

    Happy birthday!

    Liked by 1 person

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