My Strange and Wonderful Birthday

Well, I’m twenty-seven now. I wanted to post yesterday, but my blog went down (and then came back in the evening) for some inexplicable reason. *shrug* I guess it was just having the same sort of day that I was.

Birthdays have been a strange thing for me. From childhood on, I’ve always gotten very excited for my birthday. And yet, the Universe seems intent on making me believe that birthdays suck…or maybe just mine. When I was little, I’d often end up sick on my special day. I can vividly remember getting one of those frequent, painful ear aches on the way home from the awesome COSI museum in Columbus (a popular choice for birthday festivities). As a socially inept, but approval desperate tween and teen, I often ended up with interpersonal disappointments on my birthday (such as the year my only friend at the time didn’t even wish my a happy birthday). Even as an adult, the day was always, at best, a mixed bag of pretty good, standard birthday moments…and rotten luck. It was as if the cosmos was trying to counterbalance the level of excitement I felt in the birthday build-up period by dumping a cold, cruel reality in my lap.

Perhaps I finally learned my lesson. This year, I just didn’t feel excited. I was looking forward to it, sure (because hey, what woman doesn’t love a nice present now and again)…but I wasn’t lit up like a Christmas tree in the mall with exuberance about the day. Good thing too…since the very first event that greeted me upon waking was a total meltdown from MiniDork (And I do mean an epic meltdown…a sent-back-to-bed-and-missed-school-because-you-are-clearly-too-tired-to-act-human-and-I-am-opposed-to-the-torture-of-preschool-teachers kind of meltdown). Her behavior continued to be on and off tolerable and obnoxious the rest of the day. But I decided to take it in stride. I was going to have a good birthday anyhow…and “maybe,” I thought, “this year, since I haven’t gotten all excited beforehand, and don’t have any expectations for the day to be awesome, it will make all the difference in my birthday luck!”

See? It wasn’t what I was going for, but my hair didn’t turn out so bad. Now if only this pregnancy would stop making it fall out like crazy.

And that’s what I kept telling myself when the only thing I wanted for my birthday dinner turned out to be unavailable (because the Schnitzel shop I’ve been dying to try for over a year had apparently closed for good without indicating so on their website). I even managed to stay feeling calm and happy when my poor mom accidentally friended my lame-ass bio “dad” on Facebook and called to warn me and apologize (it’s OK mom, really)! And when I tried to do my hair all special to feel extra pretty for my birthday, and I discovered that, apparently  I bought the shittiest* curling iron possible (even on the hottest setting that thing does not get close to anything resembling hot…warm, sure, hot? no), I said “whatever, I still look pretty good” and moved on. And I clung to the having-a-good-day attitude even after walking four blocks in frigid wind to get my free birthday Starbucks treat and they told me they couldn’t redeem birthday treats at that location…I clung to it even though my usually persuasive pregnancy hormones were telling me it would be an awesome idea to start crying in the middle of Safeway.

And then Douche-Bag-Dale decided to message me. And I just couldn’t hold it together anymore.

I was pissed.

SO pissed.

I thought I’d be OK. After coming across his MySpace profile a few years ago, and after his awful mother tried to write me a letter (in which she bad-mouthed the mother who was always there for me and sacrificed to give me the best life she could), I felt like I had dealt with my “daddy issues.” But the nerve of that guy! It just infuriated me.

He didn’t say “I’m sorry” or even “Happy Birthday” (probably because he’s a loser who doesn’t even remember what day my birthday is), but is all too happy to imply my mother’s been feeding my lies about him and to request I give him a chance to tell his side of the story. Topping it off with some shitty attempt at flattery…hint: it is creepy to tell your grown biological daughter she’s a beautiful woman when you’ve not spoken to her in her living memory. It’s just weird. Don’t do it.

Now, you should know that my mother has said very little about him at all, mostly because she’s too classy for that kind of crap, but also because I suspect it’s a painful topic. I know very little about Dale from her…but I don’t need to hear his side of the story because what I do know, is all I need to know.

I know you are the sort of man who tries to get full custody of your kid and her half sister, but when you don’t, you never visit, never call, never write, never send birthday cards, never contact me in any way. {And dude, don’t even TRY to pull that bullshit “your mom made it so I couldn’t” line that your mother did – I could not have been easier to find for somebody who wanted to find me.}

I know you are the sort of man who ends up spending time in jail for being a deadbeat dad, but still doesn’t pay a cent of child support.

I know you are the sort of lazy loser who only, finally, makes contact after a quarter of a century of absence  because you stumble into the easiest possible way to do it (a Facebook message, really? That’s your attempt at reconciliation? The only thing lamer would have been a Facebook “poke”).

I know you are a selfish, son-of-a-bitch, who thinks that after abandoning your own offspring (and leaving her with all the baggage that entails), you would dare, DARE to contact her to what? Defend your pride? Assuage your guilt?

Dude. I owe you NOTHING. NOTHING.

You are so in debt to me that I don’t even know if you could provide restitution if you even cared enough to try. Sending my mom and REAL dad a check for 40 grand would be a start. Actually uttering the words “I’m sorry. I was a tool, and nothing I can say will change that.” would be a requirement for sure. But frankly, I think the only decent thing you could do for me (though you still owe my mom and dad back payments you cheap asshole), is to leave me the hell alone!

There comes a point where it is too late to fix your mistakes, too late to ask for forgiveness. And I’m pretty sure twenty-five years is that point. After leaving me alone for twenty-five years, years I spent wondering why my bio-dad didn’t love me and what was so wrong with me that he didn’t care, years I spent desperate to be liked and making a slew of bad choices driven by that desperation, years I spent angry, depressed, and hurt, years I spent on and off in therapy largely driven by these stupid daddy-issues, it is the height of selfish, self centeredness to come to me and ask for anything, including a chance to plead your case.

You could have come to me when I was seven and wanted more than anything to think that the dad who was somewhere, out there, loved and wanted me.

You could have come to me when I was a stupid teenager who thought I’d somehow get along better with you than my parents (because, you know…it couldn’t possible be that the hormonal teenager was largely to blame for not getting along with her parents).

You even could have come to me when I was twenty, and would have killed for a chance to tell you off in person and make you pay up, even if it meant inviting you into my life.

But you waited too long. You owe me too much. I have learned too much about myself, and life. And I have too much to lose, to let you insert yourself into my life, and my family’s life.

On the off chance that you miraculously overcome your paternal laziness and have spent ten minutes on Google to find this blog, and are reading this post, read this:

Stay away from me. Stay away from my family. I owe you nothing. It is not my job to make YOU feel better about YOUR shitty choices and CRAPPY performance as a “parent.” It is YOUR job, if you finally want to be a father to me, to do the RIGHT THING for once. And the right thing is to mail my mom a check (send it to my grandparents if you need to, they’re still at the same address), and then disappear. It shouldn’t be too hard. You’re good at that. The RIGHT THING is to stop acting like a selfish prick and let me live my life in peace, because the ONLY thing you have EVER given me is grief. I don’t want it. And I don’t want you. So stay away. Never try to contact me again. EVER. And maybe then, just maybe, I might believe some part of you actually cares about me, and my happiness.

And should you ignore that request, should you fail to grant me the one decent thing you could do for me after a lifetime of assholery, I will do anything and everything I can to force you to leave me alone, even if I have to get a freakin’ restraining order.

PS: Tell your mother that all the same applies to her and she has no fucking right to know anything about me or my life.

So, yeah.

When I say pissed. I mean really, really, really pissed.

I finally gave up. I surrendered. I said “uncle” to the Universe and accepted my fate as the woman whose birthday will always suck somehow. And I called ManDork at work just so I could cry a bit (at this point, resisting the hormones was impossible).

He came home from work that evening, a free birthday Peppermint Mocha in one hand, and a chili-cheese burrito from Taco Bell in the other (what? I know they’re crap, but they’re yummy crap, so back off. Don’t get between a pregnant lady and her burrito). We snuggled as a dorky family on the couch to watch Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer and snack on “reindeer food” (puppy chow, made by ManDork). And my sorrow was soothed a bit.

But then a true birthday miracle occurred…

I won FOUR MONTHS OF FREE HOME CLEANING from Aspen Clean!

See, they had run a “Strike Back Against House Work” contest through Facebook (so it IS good for more than being harassed by estranged family members!), and I had entered, hoping against hope, that perhaps I’d win and would have someone else to clean my house before and after MicroDork is born. And, praise Thor, I won!

I actually won something!

And not just any something, but something EPIC!

You have to understand that it is really, terribly difficult to be so far away from my family…especially with a new baby. I didn’t have family members come help me when MiniDork was born. And I won’t have extended family come help with MicroDork either. Only, this time will be even harder because ManDork won’t be able to take much time off work, and I’ll be trying to not only care for a newborn, but a four-year-old as well. I can never help but feel jealous whenever I see friends having babies, who post how grateful they are that their mom came to help out, or whoever. My life just isn’t that way, and it isn’t anybody’s fault.

And it’s hard, being a mom with adult ADD isn’t easy. Even without the extra responsibility of children, I’ve never been very good about housekeeping. It’s not something easy to understand if your brain works normally, but anybody with ADD will know what I mean. Tasks that should seem easy, if mundane or tedious, to most people, can be completely and utterly overwhelming for people with ADD.

A huge, huge burden has been lifted from my shoulders. It’s like, my stress level shrank down into a tiny little bird and flew out the window. I even feel OK after the whole Douche-bag Dale melodrama. People are going to come to my house, on Tuesday, and clean it. Instead of freaking out about how I’m going to get all the food and decor and cleaning done before MiniDork’s birthday party next weekend, all I have to handle is food and decorations (the fun parts)! Instead of worrying that I’m going to feel completely embarrassed by my messy home in front of the parents of MiniDork’s school friends that I’d like to make friends with, I get to relax and know that my house is going to look even better than I could make it on my own.

After Tuesday, I get to decide when the regular cleanings will begin. That means I can schedule them for the weeks leading up to MicroDork’s birth, and the weeks immediately following. I’m going to have help. I’m going to have help with this baby. I’m going to have people come, and take care of one of the things I hate doing most, allowing me to bond with my new baby stress-free…and to have more time to ensure my first baby doesn’t feel replaced. Any of you who are parents must know who special that is to me.

I’ve been browsing the AspenClean website…and they are awesome cleaners. Did you know they will even load your dishwasher and make your bed for you?

I’m not being hyperbolic when I say that winning this has been one of the best things to ever, ever happen to me.

I am so incredibly grateful to AspenClean for not only running the contest, but choosing me. I am so happy, so giddy, so relieved, and so excited that I’m pretty sure I am going to cry at least once today (which I’m sure has nothing to do with my hormones…no…of course not…). I really feel like I’m living a dream come true, because this is EXACTLY the sort of fantasy I’d daydream about. Have you ever played that game when you imagine what you’d do if you won the lottery (not that we play the lottery, but still)? I have. And one of the first things I always say I’d spend my money on, is a cleaning service. So right about now, I’m feeling like I won the jackpot.

You know I’ve got to be sincerely grateful when I say that winning this has been enough to completely turn around my birthday. Instead of yesterday being the birthday that jerk-face ruined, it will instead be remembered as one of the best days of my life. BECAUSE I WON FOUR MONTHS OF HOUSE CLEANING!

FOUR MONTHS you guys!

Are you jealous? Because I totally would be.

I just wish I felt like I could adequately express how wonderful this makes me feel. I’ve been given something I could never afford to give myself, and at the time in my life when I need it most. In a couple of hours ever two weeks, a few professional cleaners are going to get done what would take me hours upon hours upon hours. That means more hours for me to spend snuggling my kids instead (or even, I dunno, taking a shower)! And for free, this company is giving me more than just a clean house. When you’re a stay-at-home parent (especially one sequestered with a newborn), a house that isn’t clean becomes like a prison. A clean house does wonders for the mind and mood of a mom who is battling off cabin fever. And for a mom with ADD…a clean house leaves more mental energy for dealing with a cluttered mind.

So that, is the tale of my 27th birthday. I want to close by saying thank you to everybody who is still a reader of Domestic Dork, even after the hiatus I took, and a welcome to any new readers coming my way. I love my audience, and while I’m sad that I lost so many when I took a year off…I’m looking forward to earning back readers. I enjoy writing for you. I enjoy sharing my life, especially on the occasions when I’m able to make somebody laugh with a little self-deprecating humor, or somebody feel less alone, or when I get to get people thinking and talking about issues and ideas. The Blogosphere is nothing without readers. So thanks for being there.

{click HERE for part one of my Aspen Clean posts and click HERE for part two}

*I should note that my mother would likely not approve of this language, and I do not want anybody out there thinking she raised me to talk like that. Sorry Mom! Truth is, the only person to blame for my foul mouth is me and my neurotic drive to commit any harmless sin I can in rebellion against years of striving to be a perfect, Mormon woman.

4 Responses to My Strange and Wonderful Birthday

  • Emma says:

    Four months free cleaning? Rather jealous, but it sounds like you really needed something to make you feel bouncy again. Oh yeah, and your bio-dad – he sounds like a total knob x

  • Sarah says:

    I have a million things I want to say… so I’ll try to keep it short. :)

    1. Some people are stupid. I have a few that “haunt” me as well. I’m sorry that this happened at all, much less on your birthday. ::hugs::
    2. I am so glad to hear that I am not the only mom out there who has a child that has end-of-the-world meltdowns… especially on special occasions. I swear they secretly plan these things.
    3. I AM INSANELY JEALOUS!!! Four months of someone cleaning your house???? I would cut off my left arm for something that awesome. CONGRATS!!!!
    4. Thank you for coming back. I’ve blogged for years and have never remotely as successful as you are. You encourage me one post at a time. :)

    • 1. Thanks!
      2. I suspect any mom who claims it has never happened to them is either a: lying or b: raising a robot.
      3. I think missing an arm would make cleaning your house *after* the four months is up even more difficult. ;P
      4. I’m glad to hear I encourage anybody. Hang in there. It took a long time before Domestic Dork got anywhere, and I’m pretty much starting over from scratch now.

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