Busted Birthday – Elaina – 04/07/16

birthday cakeBusted Birthday – Elaina Portugal

April 7th, 2016

Dear Reader-

I’m going to be 50 this June. It’s not a birthday that’s caused me angst. Aside from wanting to lose a few more pounds and attaining my motorcycle license, I’ve accomplished most of what I’ve set out to do. More importantly, I’m the first person in my family to get to 50 without a cancer diagnosis. There is much to celebrate.

A year ago Christmas, my husband and my sister started tossing around ideas for a big 50th party blowout for me. Perhaps a cruise with a bunch of my friends, or maybe a condo at the beach were a couple of their ideas. I hadn’t thought much about what I wanted to do, so told them whatever they planned would be perfect.

Then last summer happened. Our business took a huge hit and we scrambled for months trying to stay afloat. We didn’t know if we were going to survive. Through hard work, perseverance, diversification and a lot of macaroni and cheese, things are much better now. However with all of that, and the fact that my sister went back to work full-time, I wasn’t expecting any huge planned celebration for my birthday.

A couple of months ago, my husband gave me a budget and told me I could spend that on a birthday party/vacation. While I was ecstatic that we rose above the problems and could once again afford for me to have a party, I must confess I felt hurt and disappointed that I would have to plan it myself. Actually, I was pissed. I know, that’s pathetic. Rather than thanking my lucky stars for our good fortune and my husband’s tireless work ethic, inside I seethed that he couldn’t find the time to plan my party. And once I headed down that path I also compared the number he gave me for my party to the number I spent on his 50th birthday motorcycle. How pathetic is that? We’ve never been a tit for tat kind of couple, but there I was keeping score. Then I got even angrier at myself because I didn’t say anything. He had no idea how hurt I was, so how could he act if I didn’t say anything? As a matter of fact, he didn’t know I was upset until today.
After a day of pouting, I realized it was a wasted effort since I hadn’t said anything. I could be angry that he didn’t put me first, but the reality is, I don’t put me first. Part of my silence was knowing how hard he works and not wanting to put another thing on his plate. The other part was the fear of being let down and finding out it’s not just me who puts me last.  Disappointment and regret wouldn’t plan a birthday party and the only one who would be upset come June 17th when there was no party at all, would be me.

I decided on a weekend at the beach and scoured vacation beach rental websites looking for the perfect spot. I soon found out that in the summer, you can’t just book a weekend. You must book an entire week. I also found out that most every place books Saturday to Saturday. What kind of bullshit is that? I wanted Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday!

Finally, after weeks of searching, I found a place on Myrtle Beach that would rent from Monday to Monday, and it was in my price range, AND it was on the ocean. I booked my dates and paid half the money as a deposit. I told a few friends and started to make invitations to send to my friends back in Illinois. This past weekend, one of my friends sent an email with a few specific questions I couldn’t remember the answers to so I called the place from the number on the rental contract to get more information.

Guess what? They no longer manage the condo I rented and I no longer had a reservation and they hadn’t bothered to inform me. I know I should be thankful I found this out now while there’s still time to try and plan another party, but you know what? Today, I’m going to let the hurt and disappointment over having to plan my own birthday party wash over me, and then I’m going to let myself drown in the fact that I have to plan it all over again.

Tomorrow I’ll return to my strong, independent nature and cringe at my sophomoric temper tantrum. I’ll pick myself up by my bootstraps, laugh at my pathetic first world problem and be thankful I will be 50 and cancer-free.

But today? Today I’m going to cry.


To read more of our letters, click on The Path!

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2 Responses to Busted Birthday – Elaina – 04/07/16

  1. Peggy Wolf says:

    I’m sure the gaiety and laughter in Asheville on June 24 will trump these tearful memories.


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