My friend found out that my birthday is the same day as my son’s elementary school’s annual auction. “Do you like a lot of attention on your birthday?” She asked. “I could arrange for some special attention that night, ” she added with a wink.
“I don’t think I need that much attention,” I laughed.
“OK, I just don’t want you to be disappointed on your birthday.”
“As long I can pick out the dessert and someone tells me happy birthday, I’ll be happy,” I assured her, thinking about my birthday three years earlier, the worst birthday ever.
My husband was really sick (he would eventually be diagnosed with bronchitis), and I was starting to feel a little sick myself. I was leading a training for my district that day, though, so I had to go to work. By the end of the workshop my voice was nearly gone and I was exhausted, but it was my birthday and I wasn’t going to let it get me down. I decided to stop at my favorite cupcake shop on the way home since I was close by and I wasn’t in that area very often. My taste buds were eager to get a bite of their scrumptious green tea cupcake, but when I got there I discovered they were closed. And not just closed for the day. Closed forever! I would never eat a green tea cupcake ever again!
I headed home in a cloud of self-pity and decided I would take my son for a consolation cupcake at the shop by our house after dinner. When I pushed open the door, I was greeted by the sight of my husband huddled under a blanket under the couch and my son playing nearby. “I have to go to bed,” he said, pushing off the couch and heading to our bedroom without so much as a “happy birthday.”
After dinner my son and I headed out for cupcakes, but once again I encountered a dark store. The sign on the door said they closed at 8:00, and a glance at my phone showed it was almost 8:30. You have to be kidding me, I thought with a sigh. “Guess we’re going to get ice cream instead, ” I told my son.
Half an hour later we were back at home. I ran bath water and put my son in the tub while I cleaned up the kitchen. As I was loading the dishwasher, my husband shuffled by on his way to the bathroom downstairs. I heard him reach the bottom of the stairs, cross the room, and open the door to the laundry room and bathroom. Suddenly, I heard my hubby racing up the stairs. I turned around to see him in panic mode. His eyes were franticly darting around the room and his arms were flailing wilding around. “Water!” He shouted. “There’s water coming out of the ceiling!”
I ran down the stairs behind him to see what he was talking about. I peered into the laundry room, expecting to see some water dripping, but instead saw a waterfall pouring down from around the light fixture onto the laundry room floor.
In an instant I knew where it had to be coming from. I raced upstairs to the bathroom where my son was in the tub. I pushed on the door, but it didn’t open easily. With a little more effort I got it open just in time to witness my son pour a pitcher full of water onto the bathroom floor. The bathmat had gotten pushed up against the door, acting as a stop to keep the water in the bathroom. The bathroom had been converted into a wading pool!
It must have been the fever on top of the water fiasco, because my husband was totally freaking out. I emptied all the towels from the linen closet onto the bathroom floor and convinced him to go back to bed, assuring him it was okay and I could take care of it. As I sopped up the water on the bathroom floor, all the disappointments of the day finally broke me down and I started to cry. It’s my birthday, I thought. No cupcake, no happy birthday, and now this. It was truly the worst birthday ever.
So, no, dear friend, I don’t need anything special at the auction for my birthday. After a birthday like that, a cupcake and a “happy birthday” will do just fine.