2021 Happy Birthday

I did it! I enjoyed a happy birthday and am pleased to have now officially wrapped up that part of the year. Sweet Greg gets that even the words: Happy Birthday can make me feel immediately stressed, like the historical berating of “look happy” godammit: Only losers & the ungrateful are unhappy.

To me, my birthday still feels like a marker of another year in which I have failed to no longer be depressed, failed to forget and just move on already from things which were shaming and harmful and unnecessarily adding to the difficulty of life as I expereince it. Just another year in which I failed to beCOME worthy, to those who have been consistent and steadfast in attempts to shrink, erase, and silence me- and also demand a performance of happiness by me.

Festivities for the week kicked off with a four day getaway, with only Favorite- to the beach. Just the two of us. Eating when and what we liked, laughing, resting, laughing, sunning, laughing, so much laughing, and nightly binge watching Breaking Bad. I enjoyed every simple minute, the most amount. The much needed vacation eased me into the week of my actual birthday which was punctuated by an evening of favorite things, but also things equally enjoyed by the people helping me to celebrate: Flank Steak, Roasted Broccoli, Parker House Rolls, Salad, Baked Taters, Berry Cobbler, Ice Cream, and We Are the Millers. We ate and laughed until our belly’s could take no more. It was all super connecty and fun and nobody was more or less important for the evening. We were a solid WE.

Favorite always makes more than enough so nobody has to be careful about “taking too much”. And nobody anxiously and resentfully monitoring other people’s plates and fretting a scarcity. We eat a lot. We just do- not greedy or assholey, just voracious eaters with crazy fast metabolism. Sorry not sorry.

Why would a person host a meal and not make absolutely certain to have enough of everything and spare themselves the angst of possibly running out and then judging the people whose fault that is, for eating how much they ate? Like, it is totally avoidable. Don’t host a meal with potentially not enough food, for family and friends. It is insane to create a scenario in which you become judgy and stressed by the quanities eaten by others. Right? It makes no sense, seems petty, stingy and non good-hosty.

I get that for non-family and non super close people events(like social stuff), we must be mindful of our portions and others. I 100% understand and respect that.

While I am deeply disturbed by throwing food away, I am more ok doing that, than not having enough for everyone to satisfy themselves. Ok, rant over for now.

I did receive generous and thoughtful gifts, reflective of my likes and needs and– I want and love all -my- shit. I guess all these words boil down to my realizing and needing to articulate my very basic need and(now) choice to feel seen, heard, safe, welcome, and included within my chosen relations.

EW- I am flashing back hard to birthdays past-rant resumed:

My thinking is that gifts for a special occasion should reflect an appreciation for the recipient’s unique personhood – specific to their likes, interests, needs. Yikes- for Items presented, with an unjustified expectation for a shared appreciation with the “giver”.  To me, these items, posing as gifts are actually assignments, asking a recipient to possess a thing which is not liked or needed, by them, does not reflect generosity or love.  

To be judged as miserable for dissimilar regard for the item is menacing. I am an a-hole for not liking a thing(which has nothing to do with me) or for not pretending to like it???? How about you keep your gift, since you love it so much. Thanks but no thanks! This type of gifting has been beyond stressful and unenjoyable, for me. And here, I am referring to people with close and frequent proximity to me, not loose social or work affiliations. Those loosely connected can feel free to gift or not gift however they like. I hold no expectation for them.

For anyone, posturing as a person of closeness, in need of assigning me an item of their liking as a gesture, feel free to do so on any day but my birthday or Christmas.  I can promise to arrange my face into a smile and fawn over an obscure item of your liking, presented in the form of a gift, on any of the other 363 days of the year.

But I did have a great birthday first with Favorite and then with Sweet Greg–with my boys present for each. Food, Laughs, Truth, Everyone equally wanted, needed, and welcome. This seems simple and basic. Like connection 101. And yet it remains new to me, only in recovery, and divorce from my marriage and FOO have I experienced special days in these ways. Jilan Catherine Ghoneim

Much Love,
Magda Gee

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