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Petty or justified?

I’m super miserable. But I can’t articulate why, so here’s something really trivial.

On Friday, BFB told me that her in-laws are coming to town at the end of the week to check out their new grandchild. This was part of a lengthy rant about how lame they are, and how they are always doing thoughtless, selfish things.

While I responded to the surface shit, inside I was thinking, You mean…they’ll be here on my birthday? You won’t be able to hang with me on my birthday?

We have a stable tradition of getting together on our birthdays and our husband’s birthdays. It’s a given that they’ll at least come over for presents and cake, if not for something more elaborate. So I was filled with bitterness. And hurt. I mean, who knows how long it will be before we are in the same place for our birthdays again? How could she not stave off this in-law invasion? I know she had plenty of input into the dates… And even if this is the best time for the visit, I’d at least have expected her to say, Sorry, Bunny, but …  I also know she didn’t forget my birthday–she’s been asking Mr. Bunny what to get me. But when it came to planning the visit, my sad little birthday didn’t even register for her.

I keep telling myself that I’m just being self-centered. That this is exactly the sort of adjustment I have to make now that my best friend has a baby: her life has become more complicated, she can’t keep everything in her head at once, it’s not surprising that everything except the immediate necessities of life will fall by the wayside. But I’m genuinely hurt, and sometimes it’s not wise to suppress that. What’s more, I don’t think I’ll actually get over it for reals. I’m still pissed at her because of that time we were at a conference in Poland during a heat wave, and I got heat exhaustion and had to rush out of someone’s talk to avoid fainting, and she didn’t even come check on me, just left me to find my way back to the hotel on my own, the FUCKING WHORE. I HOPE SHE TREATS HER BABY BETTER THAN THAT!

Um…where was I…RIGHT! So, whether it’s reasonable or not, I’m going to resent her forever unless I do something. I guess the most sensible choice would be to send a e-mail simply noting that I felt sad, but it just seems so pointless. Everything seems so pointless. I dunno. What would you do?

12 Comments Post a comment
  1. What would I do? Probably not say anything and then hold onto it forever as a festering but unacknowledged slight until 50 years goes by and I finally say, "Remember when you forgot my birthday 50 years ago? No? Well…" But that's because I agree with you, it is all pointless…So, I think the email sounds like a good idea.

    April 12, 2010
  2. I'd be sad, too. And, no, she can't rearrange life now that she has a baby but as you've pointed out it may be the last time you're in one place for your birthday for awhile. My advice would be to mention it offhandedly in a message. You could phrase it pretty much as you've phrased it above (except for the fucking whore part, hehehehe:) Tell her you know it might be trivial but you're sad that you won't be seeing each other that day. Unless she's thinking her in-laws could do some babysitting while they're there? I guess it's early days for mother-baby separation…but maybe that's what she has in mind? (Disclaimer: I'm actually not sure you should do the above…keep in mind that I still haven't been able to be frank about my feelings with either of my pregnant friends, because I'm an avoidant nincompoop. In summation, not sure you should take any advice from an avoidant nincompoop such as me.)

    April 12, 2010
  3. thanks for making me choke on my frosted mini wheats. ppl who sit 20 feet away from me screamed out "are you okay?" bc the cereal went down my windpipe when i read the "f*cking whore" part. heehee. but enough about me.i hate letting things fester, so personally, i would say "why aren't we hanging out on my BIRFDAY!!??", but i am also the person who's boss is deathly afraid of her, so not sure i'm the best to give advice either. so, if i were *normal*, i would do what adele said and mention it offhandedly or just tell her you're *sad* (as opposed to pissed off) and maybe you guys can meet up the night before/after instead? i think your reaction is very normal, given everything. i told my bff that if she has a baby before me, i will just die. but i'll kill her first. she knows i'm serious. she hates babies, but knows that she'll have to *give in* and have 1 or 2 if she doesn't want her fiance to flee after few years of marriage, so i told her at least she can wait for me to have one first. given that they use the "pull out method", i'm convinced there will be an accident sooner than later. in that case, i told her i am taking her baby :o)

    April 12, 2010
  4. To thine own self be true..? I think, anyway. Not forgetting that your self is feeling miserable and fragile at the moment. I like what Adele said (and I don't hear the word nincompoop enough either) about mentioning you're sad you won't be doing anything for your birthday. But, oh! They could be planning something – who knows? I am imagining a sitcom scenario involving a surprise party.. so bear that in mind, just in case.

    April 12, 2010
  5. JB #

    Just show up at her house on your birthday with an entourage and a bottle of Hennesey and crash her in-law party. Your entourage should include at least two bodyguards and a couple of strippers.I would send an email, or even call, and let her know that it would mean a lot to you to continue the birthday tradition. Perhaps her in-laws could babysit or spend some time with their son long enough for a birthday lunch, dinner, coffee, or drinks? Or perhaps she needs to schedule it with a raincheck… not ideal, but might be okay. Whatever the outcome, I would tell her how important it is to you.

    April 12, 2010
  6. To me it depends on whose feelings you want to take better care of: hers or yours. There are times when it's important to take care of our friends' feelings, and if that's where you are, you should probably commiserate about the in-law visit, and just add something about how it is a shame you won't get to hang out on your birthday.If this feels like a time when you need to take care of YOUR feelings, then you've got to say everything you said in this post (maybe minus the "fucking whore" part). That she's being self-centered. That although she has a baby now, friendship is important too and haven't you stood by her when she needed it, and your birthday is only once a year, and it really hurts you when she schedules something else instead.

    April 12, 2010
  7. I think it's kind of rude that she didn't say something along the lines of "I know it's your birthday, but…"I was thinking along the lines of what Adele said, although JB's suggestion was pretty good :)Maybe send a message saying we will be doing cake/presents at x time and will she be able to make it? I would think it would be a good opportunity to escape the in-laws and let them have some grandchild time.

    April 12, 2010
  8. I'm sorry. I would feel down too. Even if she can't get out of it she could at least acknowledge your birthday and say that she is sad that she can't hang out with you on it.

    April 13, 2010
  9. I like the idea of crashing the party with booze. I think it's perfectly reasonable to feel a bit put out. I would be feeling that you used to be more important somehow and now your aren't with the distraction of offspring. I expect that maintaining non-mom relationships are hard when you become a mom, but that seems a bit lame, right? Okay, SERIOUSLY lame.In reality, I'd craft a message that puts it out there that I'd be disappointed if the birthday tradition fell by the wayside. My five minute passive aggressive version is free, just for you."It hit me that I have been feeling disappointed that we won't be able to celebrate my birthday as we usually do. I knew that things would change for us, but I expected that would be when we end up states away from each other. You know I love you and that whatever evolves for us as a new tradition will be as equally amazing. I'm just sad to realize it's changing already." Blah, blah bla… See, she's not even my friend and I have a hard time. Good luck and do tell her to some degree or you will resent it.

    April 13, 2010
  10. It's genuinely lame, especially if it's part of an intermittent bubble-headed pattern. You'll figure out the right move to make. Meanwhile, I hope your DH comes through with the AWESOMEST BIRTHDAY EVER!

    April 13, 2010
  11. let her know you are disappointed. But you do have to understand that the world doesn't revolve around you and the more guilt you try to ply on her, the less she might want to adjust her life around you

    April 13, 2010
  12. Oh, Bunny! I have no good advice – I was *mad* at a friend for becoming pregnant (well, not exactly mad, more bitter and jealous and resentful, I guess) and have basically avoided her for almost a year. Don't do that. I hope your birthday is a good one, despite this mess.

    April 13, 2010

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