Birthday bashing

There’s a joke that you can put four Geminis in a room with the sole task of deciding what they want to do that night. You can come back five days later and they will still be there, because each one says, “I don’t know, what do YOU want to do?

This makes me a good date for the guy who likes to plan. Hell, I don’t mind if they order for me too, so long as red wine is involved. They don’t have me asking for stuff they don’t want to do, and I get to see how romantic they are.

Seriously, when the last one would give me choices, I still couldn’t narrow it down. I’d tell him I’d gladly follow his lead. He might have thought I was a doormat but, really, I didn’t care as long as we were hanging out and having fun together.

(We always had a blast. And he always had red wine ready for me.)

(Of course, I think he judged me by the activities I did suggest and request. So, you know, I’m not overly sad that I don’t have to worry much about that anymore.)

Same thing with friends. We were to have a big birthday bash at my favorite restaurant, one I haven’t gone to in years. The restaurant decided they couldn’t accommodate us, and oddly enough it was a Gemini who made the alternate plans that turned out to be fabulous. Again, four Geminis would equal no consensus. It all works out. (I can’t remember the last time I had that much fun, stumbling from bar to bar in search, and receipt, of free birthday drinks!)

Night before, I went out with some other folks. They asked what I wanted to do. I REALLY wanted to go to the favorite restaurant, but alas, I picked an area that was convenient to all. Because, peacemaker, yo. Again, everyone was happy so I was happy. Total birthday win.

Back when I was little, my mom would try desperately to throw birthday parties for me. But being born on Memorial Day weekend meant everyone went away with their families. And I was always left feeling A) unimportant and B) like, why the hell can’t we ever go to the beach, too?

So as I grew up, I learned to celebrate alone. Oh don’t get me wrong — I threw some fabulous parties in my day. Mostly when the urban tribe was all too broke to go away and anyone would show up for free liquor and a cookout. Besides, I used to be a fabulous cook. I enjoyed all of it.

So last year everyone flaked. I mean everyone. If not for a last-minute invitation from friends who felt sorry for me to join them during their plans, well, yeah.

Maybe that’s a part of the reason I don’t make any demands. If you have plans, what does it really matter what they are?

Of course, I see the same thing playing out in all my relationships — love, home, etc. I wouldn’t say I’m a master (mistress?) at keeping the peace, because I can be an asshole when I want to be. But I feel like so little is actually my choice. Rather, my choice is allowing everybody to get what they want in hopes I will get what I want. Which is happiness.

Of course, the birthday is the one time of year I feel like it’s on my terms, whether at home or otherwise. The people who wanted me, reserved me weeks in advance. And I’m still puzzling over a couple of strange communiques over the weekend, and a lack of them coming from a certain direction.

That’s OK. I also have some big invitations from other corners of the world to come see them. I really have to ask to be able to use some of my vacation days. Not that I want to disturb the peace; after all the last job that put me out on the street was the one where I used and enjoyed the hell out of my vacation days.

Wait, what was I just saying about putting what everyone else wants before what I want? Damn it, this is how it starts … and, I hope, where it can come to an end …

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