Today is my lovely husband’s birthday. He doesn’t really do birthdays. He has little interest. But he still gets presents and cards – that’s what you do on birthdays.
This morning was the usual. Kids opened the presents while he opened the cards. He liked the cards. He was indifferent about the presents. I thought I’d done well this year getting him a few bits I though he’d like. But general indifference. The tickets to the family outing elicited a vague smile. The DVD box set got a “when do you suppose we are going to watch this? We haven’t watched the other one”. And the accessory for his bread baking fetish got a wobbly “thank you” followed five minutes later by a “not sure I’m going to use this”.
Not that any of this is abnormal for him. But this year I haven’t taken it well. This year I am feeling emotionally wobbly. This year I could have done with a white lie – “thank you, that’s great”. Any other year I would have found it annoying but a bit funny. Yet even though he doesn’t do lying to save people’s feelings – it’s not his style – this year I would have welcomed it. Because this year I am having dark thoughts – what if I don’t make it? What if I don’t get to next year’s birthday? What if this is what he has to remember me by? What if I die and I’m not there to take back unwanted presents?
But most of all I feel sad because I am not responding in the way I would have done any other year. I feel today that fighting Genghis has taken away a bit of me – the bit that would ordinarily make me shrug at this husbandly behaviour. The bit of me that would forget about it. The bit of me that would have got on the bus to go to work and spent the day using my brain, instead of lying on my bed feeling sad. Today is a sad day because today I am not me – I am the post-Genghis me. And tomorrow I know that the post-Genghis me will be back on my feet and smiling and getting on with life. But today the post-Genghis me is stuck in bed feeling sad and sorry for myself and upset that my universe has moved – imperceptibly but seismically both at the same time.