(Name that movie.)

I'm not so good at birthdays. Terrible at them, really. I forget until days later and then sometimes think to call. I even made up a calendar a couple of years ago that had all of the important birthdays on it so I wouldn't forget and I still did.

I feel guilty about this. I mean, really? How hard is it to send a card--stuff something in an envelope and stick a stamp on it (you don't even have to lick them any more) and stick in in the mail box.

It's not that I don't love you. All of you. I do. I just seem to have this birthday block.

I was wondering why last night.

I think that the following story may be partially to blame--not wholly, just partially.

There once was a girl who was about 9 who was having a birthday party. She had invited her whole class. . .well. . .all the girls at least. And they all came.

She was super-duper excited. So excited, in fact, that as each person walked in the door this girl asked, "So, did you bring me a present?"

(Yeah, I know. The mom or dad in each of you is cringing about right now. Me too, as I think of it.)

The girl didn't know it, but her mom was listening to all of this and growing angrier and angrier.

The party went through and everyone had a great time. But the mom in question here was still fuming. The presents were opened. The cake and ice cream were eaten. And the guests slowly went home.

After the guests left, the mom came in to the girls room where the girl was playing with all of her new presents and, in no uncertain terms, told her that her behavior was completely unacceptable. Then she took away all of the gifts. Except maybe one.

All of them.

The girl cried and cried, but the gifts were gone.

Ever since then I've been mortally afraid of drawing attention to my own birthday. I found a number of the gifts under my moms bed months later. I wondered last night if this experience, while teaching me that gifts aren't important (But, Oh I still love getting them) actually kind of put a mental block on birthdays in general. I'm not really sure.

I just can't seem to figure out why I have such a hard time with this.

So, I've been thinking of you and how much I appreciate you and I want to give you a gift.

For your last birthday.

But here's the deal.

Most of you live very far away from me. I can think of a few of you who actually live relatively close, but most of you don't. So I'm wondering just what to give you? What would you give someone like me who lives away? I'm on a tight budget so I can't go buy you cards or get you a string of pearls. (That last was a movie hint, btw.)

I'm very serious here. I know that half of you are going to say something like "just knowing you is a gift" and while it's true, it's now what I want. I'm looking for something I can do/say/send to you to show you how much I appreciate you. Call it the "Eowyn growing and doing something unusual" show or something.

(I'm freezing this morning. I'm scared for the winter if I'm this cold already and it's only mid-September.)

(If you need another hint on the movie, click here and listen to either number 36 or 4. But only after you really try to figure it out.)
12 Responses
  1. I'm not getting the movie reference, and it's making me mad.

    Jam. Jam is an excellent present.

    I sometimes knit things for people for their birthdays. I'm a bit behind at the moment, though.

    What about a mini-quilt, say 4x6 inches, that someone could hang on the wall? I bought a little thing like that at an Amish farm, and I love it.

    I'm not hinting, or anything (November 4th).

    When is your birthday, o thou of the horribly traumatic story?

  2. Laine Says:

    I think you should share why you love me so much. :) Well, that would be MY gift...for someone else you can share why you love THEM so much, and maybe share a fun memory or something. :) Or you can write me a poem. :) :) Happy Birthday tomorrow friend. Love ya.

  3. I want a house! But I'd settle for a van!

  4. Eowyn Says:

    Ange, you seem to have missed the "limited budget" part!

  5. Eowyn Says:

    Luisa, I love the idea of a mini quilt, but I try so hard to personalize anything I make that it makes it hard for me to guess at you whose house I've never seen the inside of. . .

  6. Luisa, to answer your question, her birthday is TOMORROW! (I love you big sis!)

    And while this story sounds exactly right for our growing up years, I do have to say that birthday presents were a humongous deal in my life. I think that when you think you don't have anything, which was compounded by where we grew up(very affluent neighborhood and we weren't so affluent - just normal) then presents were the only way to feel like you were normal for a small moment. So don't feel alone in that memory.

    And as for forgetting, I hope that it's normal(or it's genetic) because I do it too!

    And since I'm the spoiled youngest of the family and always get what I want, I'm getting a great birthday present from you - You(just in a few weeks and I made what I want happen!) ;)

    P.S. BBB's birthday today!

  7. Just to clarify. It's not that we didn't have anything. We were well taken care of and had plenty. We just didn't have gobs of stuff.

  8. Kimberly Says:

    For those who don't know - her birthday is TOMORROW!

    Hun, you and I have a similar problem here. I'd say I manage to remember about 20% of the time. I think I'll try to kick it up a notch to 30% this year. If we work at it gradually maybe it won't seem so daunting?

    I think a sweet card telling the person some of your favourite things about them would be an awesome gift.

  9. EEEEMommy Says:

    ooh! ooh! ooh! I KNOW that movie!! I just introduced my girls to THAT movie a couple of weekends ago after taking them to see the Glenn Miller Orchestra at Symphony on the Prairie! One of my favorites, and Jimmy Stewart is so so cute!

    Okay, now I need to go back and read the rest of the post. ;)

  10. EEEEMommy Says:

    well, this is my problem too! I'm a gifts person, but really don't do well with gifts or cards at all. I always think the best gifts are a reflection of who the giver is with a thoughtfulness of who the receiver is. Home-made things are always nice. Or you could clean off your bookshelves and send some favorites that you think the receiver might enjoy, kinda a homemade paperback swap. Of course, I tend to cling to my favorite books. ;)

    I do hope you have a very happy birthday, and I think your mom was a little extreme with taking all the gifts away. Where's the grace? Sorry, I don't mean to be critical. When I was little we weren't allowed to play with Barbies. I got a fake Barbie as a present from a friend once, and my mom immediately took it away and put it high up on the top shelf where it just sat and tortured me for years. At least your mom waited until your friends went home...

  11. L.T. Elliot Says:

    What would I want for my birthday? A letter. A heartfelt, handwritten letter. Those mean the world to me.

    As for YOUR birthday, what would YOU want? (HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! *HUGS AND LOVES**)

  12. I echo what has already been said here - a heartfelt, hand written letter :) !!

    And what a traumatic childhood experience! Ouch!