The thing about being single is that I don’t have automatic birthday plans. When I’ve been dating someone, we’d plan a day together. Sometimes I went out with friends, but I always had that default date. But when I’m single, nothing happens for my birthday unless I plan it. Well, a couple years ago friends threw me a surprise party. But most years nothing happens unless I plan it.
I remember one year I gathered a bunch of friends from different social circles and arranged for us all to meet downtown for dim sum in Chinatown, and then to hang out for a while afterwards. That was a nice birthday. I would never plan something so high-energy now. Two years in a row I got friends together for dinners out. These days I’m not so fond of going out at night.
I thought about skipping by birthday this year. After all, I skipped New Year’s Eve, so why not skip my birthday? To be honest, I might have skipped it if it was on a weekday. With all of my friends at work, it would have been the perfect excuse. But with my birthday on a Sunday, it just seemed too depressing. I should really do something, right?
A friend is going to be visiting from out of town. I thought about doing something with just the two of us, but she has to head back home early in the day. I thought about inviting one or two other friends. And then I figured, what the hell, I’ll have a freaking party. Ok, birthday gods, you win!
Of course, I’m not up to anything high-energy. The party was going to be a bbq at my parents’ house while they’re away, but that felt like way too much effort. I wouldn’t have the energy to get the food and be the hostess and celebrate. It was overwhelming just to think about it.
So I downgraded it. Now it’s going to be an afternoon thing. We’ll just hang out. If the weather is nice, people can throw around a frisbee in the yard. If the weather is lousy (or just too warm for me) then we’ll hang out in the house and play board games, which I really love. Food will be simple and easy to prepare in advance: chips and salsa, cheese and crackers. My mother wants me to have a gluten-free cake, but I told her I don’t care about having a cake. The truth is, I’m already overwhelmed at the idea of hosting and celebrating at the same time. Picking up a cake that morning would just be too damn much. And I really don’t care enough to go to all that trouble.
I have a plan. A plan is good. It’s a start. Now I just hope I feel well enough to go through with it that day, and that’s impossible to predict.