April 20, 2005
The Big-Insert-Number-Here-OH

Today is my ex-husband's birthday.  

He doesn't do birthdays well, especially the landmark variety. (Read this: any birthday involving black balloons, "Over The Hill" references and/or the use of the phrase "The Big-Insert-Number-Here-Oh.') He turns all morose and weepy, weeks in advance of the actual birthday, and he stands around in the kitchen saying "I'm an old man" a lot, and he warns everybody not to do anything to mark the occasion, because he's just going to move to Hawaii and be a hermit anyway.  It was sort of cute and pathetic when he was turning thirty ... ever-so-slightly less cute (and ever-so-slightly more pathetic) when he was forty ... and today is (I'm sure) just plain pathetic, now that he's turning fifty.  I'm sort of glad I'm not there to witness the spectacle, this decade around. As much as I like my ex-husband -- and trust me when I tell you that I like my ex-husband very much, LOTS more now than I did when we were actually married -- I don't especially want to be there to watch him weeping into his enchiladas tonight. 

Maybe when he hits the big-SIX-oh.

Having said that -- and having sounded slightly snarky saying it, I realize, although I don't actually mean it that way: I'm just not in the mood to hop on an airplane this afternoon and fly 700 miles on a rickety Alaska Airlines MD-80, just to give The Birthday Boy a hug and a $15 Safeway Gift Card -- I do hope that he has a nice birthday. Or that he at least tries to have a nice birthday. I realize that being happy and smiling and enjoying himself isn't hard-wired into his nature, but I hope that he at least tries to have fun and appreciates whatever celebration the Tots have cooked up for him tonight.  I know that they're taking him out to dinner, on Jaymi's nickel ... her gift to him. He loves going out to dinner, almost as much as he hates PAYING to go out to dinner, so this should be a good thing.  And I wound up PayPal-ing modest sums of money to the other two Tots last week, so they could each buy their dad a nice birthday gift. Yes I know, they're all ADULTS now, and most of them are gainfully employed -- the one who isn't gainfully employed is going to school fulltime, in between trips to his pony farm -- and they should be perfectly capable of coming up with Dad's Birthday Money all on their own. I suppose this is my roundabout way of contributing to the celebration without overtly contributing to the celebration.  

(Although I might point out that one Tot -- who shall remain nameless, although her initials might be D-A-U-G-H-T-E-R #2 -- was spotted at a TicTac CASINO, the day after I sent her this big chunk of cash. If she winds up giving him nothing but a $15 Safeway Gift Card at dinner tonight, there's gonna be some serious 'splaining to do.)

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order one of those chicken fundomental whatchamacallit things for me.