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Friday, June 3, 2011


I know a lot of you were wanting to hear the next part of the baby #4 but that will be tomorrow's post.

I really don't want to be one of those people that hates their birthday. I have a sister who would announce at the beginning of the month of her birthday, "It's my birthday month!" Then, "It's my birthday week!" and then, "It's my birthday!" I admire that genuine joy she had for her birthday. Mine (shockingly) is more dread than anything. Is this what happens when you get older? When did it get that way? When did it become more of a "What did I accomplish this year?" instead of "Look at all I accomplished this year!" When did it start hurting my feelings when people forgot? At what point did I realize that the anticipation for how it would be spent or the birthday gift would far outweigh the actual way it is spent or the gift? I could say right now the right thing to say which is that it isn't about the gift but you know what? We don't get each other a gift for our anniversary anymore, we don't usually get something for Valentine's Day. Mother's Day and Father's Day are usually a wash (although this year he got me a great gift) and each year we say we aren't going to exchange for Christmas so birthdays are the only time we get a gift and who doesn't like getting a gift? Am I shallow because I like getting gifts? They don't have to be big gifts, just thoughtful ones.

Leo has come up with some wonderful gifts (my Mother's Day ring, when we had the three, he designed a ring with their birthstones, my engagement ring, Tim Riggins gear...though I emailed him the stuff, my iPod with 4 CD's of all my favorite songs...that was one of the most thoughtful ones) and some gifts that I knew he tried really hard but fell short but for the most part, a lot of the gifts were afterthoughts or last minute. For example (and these are not necessarily for my birthday), for awhile, every time he came back from a trip, he would bring me a coconut person. You know the ones you would see at an airport gift shop where it was a person made out of coconuts. Yes, I wondered why he got them too and finally I asked him, "When you are walking through a shop, what about this says, 'I bet AnnMarie would really like this? I think this is something that she has to have?'" He looked at me and said, "I don't know. I just thought you'd like it." The translation for that is that he forgot to buy me something on the trip and this was the first thing he saw. For my 21st birthday, he planned something special. A Lake Michigan lunch cruise. The theme was New Orleans or Jambalaya or something where all the food was spicy. My least favorite food...spicy. I was seasick the whole time because boats make me queasy. At that point, we had been dating for 3 years so not knowing really wasn't an excuse. Another time, and he swears this wasn't meant to be a gift, I asked for a new walkman (God, we have been together forever). When I opened it, it looked oddly familiar. It was my old walkman. I said that and he said, "Yeah, I found your old one." He said it wasn't a gift but if you put it in a gift bag and you put it under the tree, it is a gift. My favorite is when he clumps something in with my birthday, like when my phone contract is up or when we are buying new faucets for the bathrooms or when my family has planned a vacation and he tells me for months we can't go but then on my birthday, he says we can. That's not really a gift. Planning a girls' weekend or surprising me with me going to Vegas with him, those are both awesome gifts.

I know I am being a big baby about this but it goes deeper than the actual gift. It's about feeling special and having a grand gesture (not grand gift)to show it. Not all the time but especially on the day that is meant to be all about you.

Instead of dwelling on the negative (wishing I was getting paid to write and that I could lose the last of this baby weight), I am going to turn it around. This is the year I am going to send my work out to publishers and get in the best shape of my life. I can't really feel bad about my 40th year of life. It was a great year, first watching our family grow and be blessed with the joy of having a baby in the house again and then with finally taking a step to get my writing out there. Besides Tommy's leg thing, everyone has had continued health and besides Nico's math drama, everyone has been relatively happy. I would call it a successful year. Didn't someone say that the 40's are the new 30's? I think I am going to enjoy my 40's much more!

I was done with this post but had to add the following:

Nico told me last night that, "It sucks that your birthday is on a Friday." Sorry that the day of my birth has inconvenienced him. Tommy woke up crying that he can't move (he slept funny) and that he can't go to school and Leo left me hanging this morning to go play basketball. It's hard not to get aggravated. Belle just threw the biggest fit because I said she couldn't go home with a friend and "Why does Nico get to?" He's 13! She's 9! I explained that it is my birthday and I don't want to spend it picking everyone up or driving people places (that would be a real gift). She was so rude about the whole thing and then I tried teaching her how not to be selfish and I ended up being mean instead. On the flip side, Gia slept all the way through until 7 which was the best gift ever after only having a 2 oz. bottle so we might be on our way to being bottle free. I want this year to be a more positive one but my family is already making it so hard.


At June 4, 2011 at 4:49 AM , Blogger Kendra Mareva said...

omg, Leo's gift giving mishaps are hilarious!!! :D

Girl, we'll celebrate your birthday in style (albeit, belatedly) when I get out there in July.

(btw, funny little coinkidink, you have the same birthday as my bro's wife.)

At June 4, 2011 at 7:24 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

I hope she had a better one than me! I can't wait to celebrate with you! Maybe that is why last night was so uneventful, my REAL celebration will bed in July!

At April 21, 2012 at 5:52 AM , Blogger doseofreality said...

This is a great post. Truly excellent. Why? Because it is real and honest, and you say exactly what all of us (me) are really thinking. I remember, too, back in the dating days the little gestures, the grand gestures and all the in between gestures and well here we are 15 years later and not so much. BUT, once I decided to be really specific about EXACTLY what I wanted for a gift...sometimes that gift is literally a heartfelt card, I found it got better. Not dating days better, mind you, but better. :)

At April 21, 2012 at 10:22 AM , Blogger AnnMarie said...

That is so sweet! I'm so glad you stopped by and read a few! That's why I have resorted to making a list on here. I was specific and somehow knowing I made it "public" gets his rear in gear about doing it (it's how I got a new microwave). I love, love, love getting the comment that I say what people are thinking! Best compliment. Thanks!


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