The story of my birthday revealed itself as a real Catch-22. In some ways it reminds me of The Gift of the Magi...but a darker alternative version.
Saturday, my birthday, I was pretty pouty from the moment I woke up. I guess I was expecting to be disappointed. As the day unfolded, things didn't go exactly the way I wanted them and I got even more pouty. Well by the end of the evening I realized my foul mood would not be rescued by an extravagant (or even minor) showing of attention from my husband. When this expectation sunk into reality, I became completely pissed off (read: bitchy).
The day had come and gone and I thought my husband had made no attempt to make me feel special. I was angry for a whole two days. I thought I was married to the most Horrible man on Earth. Remembering all our fights in the past (probably only one or two so far), after which I was always the one who gave in first to apologize or make things right, I was determined to make him suffer until he could take it no more and came grovelling for forgiveness. This didn't happen for a long time- thus, I was angry for a long time and man, was that hard work.
Now my husband's side (because there is always another side). To my husband, I woke up crabby for no reason. I pouted around the house and gave him the silent treatment. He had, in fact, bought me a gift. It was a gift that he had picked out with great care. But as my attitude grew colder and meaner towards him, his desire to give me this gift waned. By the end of the night, as I became a Total Drama Queen Bitch, it disappeared altogether.
When I slept on the couch and refused to talk to him for two days, he became more angry (and confused-he had no idea why I was acting the way I was). He was bitter for my continued coldness. He thought I was acting out at him for no reason.
Finally, he sent me an email telling me he was sorry. I was still pissed because he didn't say what he was sorry for. But his email explained that he didn't know what was wrong with me. What was wrong with me? Is he crazy? No, what is wrong with him! How the hell do you not do anything for your wife's birthday. He actually did buy me a gift but was too mad to give it to me. Really? Oops. Now I felt a tad bit like a selfish high maintenance drama queen.
So, I was crabby because I thought he did not do anything for my birthday.
He bought a gift but didn't give it to me or celebrate my birthday because I was crabby.
This is a prime example that women are from Venus and men are from Mars.
By the way, my husband gave me a gift card to Nordstroms, a bow-tie (I was dying for him to wear a sexy bowtie for me), and the movie Sleepless in Seattle which I had been wanting to see. So last night we watched the movie and he wore the bowtie (only) and we made up. While I ended up getting a gift on my birthday, I feel awful for all of you out there who have confessed to receiving nothing for birthdays and celebrations. Everyone should take the advice expressed int he comments and tell your husbands what your expectations are. Maybe this should be a topic in engagement retreats and pre-nuptial counseling.
BTW- the person who made an anonymous comment which I deleted-- I know who you are- it's really obvious because you are one of the only people who knows about the content that you posted. Seriously, that was rude and I don't appreciate it.