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Happy Birthday to Me -- Bash on a Budget

August 19th, 2008 at 11:18 pm

Ok, so it really wasn't a birthday bash. It was actually a BORING birthday according to my son. For my birthday last week (the 15th), I tried to ask my family not to buy anything for me, but instead that we just enjoy a leisurely breakfast together at a nearby restaurant and to allow me to enjoy the one thing I really wanted...time alone to write and read.

The kid (who likes to spend money) wanted to buy me something expensive (which he equates with 'valuable') for my birthday and was very disappointed when I had no request for anything in particular. He bought me supermarket flowers (which were wonderful and thoughtful and smelled great and the best gift he's ever given me) and a scented name-brand candle that also smelled good, but that I suspect he paid too much for in an effort to impress a mother who doesn't want or need to be impressed or in an effort to show me he really loves me. (I keep telling him that love has no price, but his materialism convinces him otherwise.) My spouse also bought me flowers and candy and a gift certificate for clothes shopping. And we did go out to eat breakfast.

It's nice to be loved and for my family to want to give me nice things, but my prize gift that day was leaving my family behind and getting a motel room alone. Because of my frugality and my primary intention to read and write through that day and night, I got a basic single room at a Super 8 Motel. Clean, simple, relatively safe neighborhood, relatively quiet, free coffee, toast and fruit in the morning, and the room had blackout curtains, a desk where I could write and a fairly comfortable couch to sit on for reading. It was one day/night and it was absolutely fabulous. I read. I wrote. Then I wrote. Then I read. Then I slept. Then I wrote some more.

At my age, the main thing I lack is the freedom to do what I want with my time. My days are filled with my full-time job, having to get things done pertaining to the house or having to get somewhere or get the kid or my step-grandchildren somewhere or support my spouse or volunteer at my church or something. I want to read and write more often and sometimes I just want to sit quietly without 3 TVs and a radio blaring in the house all at the same time. (This describes my house accurately on a daily basis, but add to that 3 young boys--the step-grandchildren--that my husband babysits and there's not much quiet time to be had.)

My son thought that my birthday was the most boring birthday a person could have, but I am still smiling about it. Happy Birthday to me...

5 Responses to “Happy Birthday to Me -- Bash on a Budget”

  1. Blue Eyes Says:

    Happy belated birthday! I'm glad to hear you had a relaxing day!

  2. Broken Arrow Says:

    Happy belated birthday!

  3. cptacek Says:

    Dividingthedime, it may be that your son equates love with getting and giving gifts. Not that he is materialistic, but that to him, he feels loved when he gets a present and when he wants to show love, he thinks that is the way to show it. Find the book called "The 5 Love Languages"...it talks about it in there...or look here:
    http://www.fivelovelanguages.com/learn.html

    I read it ages ago. It makes sense to me. It even says in the book, if your child feels love in a different way than you show love, you can love the child all you want and they won't feel it.

    Of course, he could just be materialistic, like you said Smile

  4. JanH Says:

    Happy Birthday! Glad you had a quiet, relaxing day! I have to admit, I chuckled at the entry when you described getting a quiet room to yourself. I can remember going to see my DS in concert. I'd get a hotel room all to myself and relish the evening and morning.

  5. Ima saver Says:

    Happy birthday!!

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