That's not what the Death card means

Happy birthday to me. /drinks
written 2017-11-05 07:51:17

It was my birthday on Friday. I'm super old.

It's a weekday, and I'm currently employed, so there was nothing unusual there. I got up, went to work, came home from work. I received some cards in the mail, sent thank-yous to the senders, and got some texts wishing me a happy birthday.

I didn't get anyone wishing me such on Facebook. This is by design, though, as I instruct Facebook not to share that information with anyone. I do it because I would like it if people remembered my birthday because they like me and are thinking of me. I am less touched by a gesture prompted by Facebook, which last year included "click here to send Matthew a gift" and this year includes "click here to donate to a cause rather than selfishly sending Matthew a gift".

Yes, this is unreasonable and fails to accept how things are today. Facebook is omnipresent, and like phone numbers in our contacts list, we have subcontracted the work of remembering birthdays to a machine. By not cooperating, it's my own fault if no one wishes me a happy birthday.

I'm going to keep doing it.

I went through the Obamacare process and learned my insurance bill is going up. I don't know by how much yet, but I'm going to price out how much going without insurance will be. If I die before I can post here again, sorry everyone. The GOP killed me with capitalized healthcare.

I received no gifts, two checks, and a friend paid me back some money she owed me by PayPal. I will probably spend some money on some things, so I can say I got something for my birthday, because I am very shallow. The idea that your birthday should stop mattering about the time you get a driver's license is a good one. It is just a pain to the people around you.

Since my birthday fell on a Friday, Ingrid and I usually go to a Mexican place. We call it 'tex-mex Friday' because we are fucking unoriginal. I skipped lunch so I wouldn't be half-full when it was Burrito o'clock. Ingrid came home, declared she wasn't very hungry, and asked if we could go to dinner later. I said that was fine. She smoked up, turned on a Miss Marple flick, and fell asleep on the couch.

Again, like the Facebook thing, I don't blame her. She worked all week, including writing up her 90 day self-evaluation at her new job. Last week she did her job, a colleague's job, and served five days of jury duty. I get it.

But, uh, it did mean that I didn't eat on my birthday. Like, I had some Pringles. And a couple of bagels at work. Not bagel sandwiches, not bagels with anything, just bagels. But no meals.

The following day, our friend Andy had a surprise party. We went to Qdoba (at no time, I'm proud to report, calling it 'tex-mex Saturday'), bought a birthday card for Andy, and went to his parents' house. When we arrived, we didn't really know anyone. When people arrived who we did know, most of them blew me off. Including Marty, which was unpleasant. When it got loud and crowded, I found an empty room and played with my phone. The only person who talked to me (despite many people coming into the room to get beer) was David, who I thought was angry at me over some fantasy football shit.

Eventually Andy arrived, was surprised, and we agreed this day would have been better spent playing D&D. I got him an RPG he had his eye on, but I didn't get to "give" it to him because I wanted to get the hell out of there before the designated gift-giving portion of the evening occurred. I hope he likes it. See above, "I'm very shallow", I would have liked to see him receive it to see if he really liked it or if he was just being polite.

Marty didn't talk to me the whole time we were trying to leave. I spent about five minutes sitting in a room with just him, Sarah and Ingrid. I have no idea what he's mad about. I didn't forget his birthday (it's the 13th) and I got him a RWBY board game for it. I could hear him talking about work inside the party. I can't envision wanting to talk about work while not currently being paid to do so.

Ingrid just thought I was being needlessly grumpy and oversensitive. She went to bed without saying 'good night'. And she's right. I'm terrible. But I guess I thought I could get a little leeway for a special occasion.

The upshot here is that my birthday isn't a special occasion. I got it.

There needs to be some aphorism akin to "you're not paranoid if they're really out to get you" to apply to being a dour cynic when things really don't go your way. But the prevailing wisdom is "you decide if you're happy or not". I've never been any good at that.

This is the part where I ordinarily hit 'delete' on a social media post. Because it's entirely self-involved, talks shit about people, and is generally mopey. But this isn't social media. There's like three people reading this, and you're all in different states, and none of them is here. I don't have a therapist, so maybe this is a replacement.

I woke up, took my blood pressure medication, and wrote this down. Let's see if I feel any better.

--7:35 AM EST, November 5, 2017, Philadelphia PA, maybe it's less than three

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