Today is my birthday.
It's shaping up to be a pretty nice day.
Dinner cooked by my husband, cake from my daughter, and everybody coming over here which is what I really want. I also got an exercise bike, a non-rickety one, which was something I really had my eye on too for a while.
I have been talking to the family.
On one of my calls one of my sisters she told me how her whole family did zero, nada, nothing, for her own recent birthday. That was two weeks ago and I can tell she still feels bad about it, and she really is one of those wives and mothers who does everything for everybody.
I told her if birthdays matter to you make sure you get everyone organized to celebrate it.
Took me a while to figure this out.
The thing is when you get married you might connect with someone who comes from a different approach to these things than you do.
In my own family all events, everything actually, was A Big Deal. Not in my brother-in-law's family and not in my husband's family either.
So rather than being miserable on a day no one remembered, I start early and make it clear that if it makes sense or not to my significant other having something happen on my birthday is a good thing.
Listen, I said, a card for these events is nice. A meal is better, and a something of any price range is much appreciated. Just to make sure this hasn't gone down too far on the to-do list I have asked a couple of times this week "well how are the birthday plans going?"
At the risk of being totally sexist I have to tell you that marriage and sons have taught me that most males just want to be told what to do rather than being the recipient of a lot of post-event sighing or The Look.
Of course it is perfectly reasonable to say that if you have to ask for it, it doesn't matter. If you were dealing in a world of women that would be true.
But since we're not I would counter that with, if it matters to you why not ask for it?
You can't always count on The Look or for the dinner plates hitting the table loudly being translated appropriately.
Women always do this.
I have read in the organizational literature that many women on the way up in their careers think if they work longer, harder, above and beyond enough, Someone Will Notice and eventually they will get their reward.
In fact the evidence is that the world, workplaces in particular, are not meritocracies and in fact no one probably will notice. More likely they will just get used to the idea of being in a one way relationship where the benefits flow only one way.
How many of us have seen some over-worked woman passed over for a promotion in favour of someone who did only what was required but did so publicly?
Sometime smart outdoes fair.
I was also struck this week by a quote from Gloria Allred of all people.
She said a woman should decide what she wanted in a spouse and then be that person herself.
Sure would take the pressure off.
So if the person who makes sure you have a great birthday is yourself that's OK.
One year older and that little bit smarter.
- I am a mother, a new grandmother, and a teacher. But whatever happens in my life, I keep sewing. I have worked as a political communicator and now as a teacher in my formal life. I have also written extensively on sewing. I have been a frequent contributor and contributing editor of Threads magazine and the Australian magazine Dressmaking with Stitches. My first book Sew.. the garment-making book of knowledge will be published in May 2018 and is available for pre-order from Amazon