Cake list

For pretty much every birthday around me in the past year, I’ve bought a cake. Never asked a soul for a donation, although I have tried to nudge others to perhaps take over the process if they would like if it’s one of their people. After all, I don’t care who gets the credit — just as long as the person does not go uncelebrated.

We’re at the second birthday today for my new department. I have a cake hidden in a far-away fridge. I don’t do anything special — I used to invite everyone within earshot and would get a big cake to feed us all. Now there’s such a tiny group that I just go buy a small cake. Whatever is prettiest, is my motto. No time for ordering or personalization. I’m a “whatever works” kind of gal.

As I was leaving home today with cake in tow, Mom said musingly, “Wow. Everyone purposely ignored your birthday last year, yet you don’t forget anyone’s.”

I told her that is precisely why there will be a cake if I can help it. Because someone told someone else last year that I don’t want my birthday to be acknowledged. So I went a whole day with no one saying a word to me.

It’s one thing if I don’t tell you my birthday is coming up. It’s another entirely if you decide that ignoring it is the right thing to do. Especially when, of course, I acknowledge everybody’s.

I almost wish Mom hadn’t pointed that out today. My reply, in addition to “I don’t want them to feel as bad as I felt,” was to note, “You just summed up my career in one sentence.”

(I will save THAT blog for another day.)

In any case, the way I see it is this: The world (colleagues, superiors, significant others however you define them, family and even friends) spend 364 days of the year using your hair to wipe their ass. For one little day out of your year, it wouldn’t kill anybody to show you some kindness.

That’s why I brought in my own cake last year (about a month after the birthday). And that’s why, if someone mentions their birthday, they automatically go on my cake list.

Sure beats the other list. 🙂 There is one person I left off my cake list for this year because all I ever get from that individual is a shit sandwich. But I know me — I always, always end up being the better person. It’s less celebrating an asshole’s special day than celebrating my own ability to do the right thing even when it’s also the hardest thing.

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