Grim Resignation

Today, I am 35. I am half-way through my three-score-years-and-10 officially alloted (hah!) lifespan.

Naturally, I am handling it gracefully.

I am chewing on the furniture in wild-eyed desperation, casting myself into gloom with painfully cliched self-interrogation. What have I done? What have I achieved? How much time have I gone and bloody wasted?  Etc, et-horribly tedious-c.

John, correctly deeming us to be stony broke, has retrenched in his spending this year. My memories of previous birthdays are foggy – encroaching age, I expect – but I don’t think his 2010 stance actually entails a particularly large shift from his 2003, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 approach. Farmers, even flush ones, are notoriously reluctant to spend money in the high street, but I’m not bitter which fact I knew when I married him. 

Harry bought me a card – I insisted, and took them both shopping a-purpose yesterday – but John has written me one of mine, and I can’t actually see that he’s paid me for it, either. As he is my business’s de facto financial backer, they are all, technically, his cards anyway. I’m not sure if that makes it better or worse.

I am, it has to be admitted, vaguely miffed about the absence of present from Harry. John claimed defensively that I didn’t like the ‘Mummy’ mug Harry bought me for Christmas, and that I was scathing about it. Perhaps I was, a little. I opened the wrapping to find the exact same mug he had bought me the Christmas before, and I hadn’t liked it much then, either.

I feel I should choose Harry’s personal shopper a little better in future.

But, before you all sharpen your commiserating commenting pencils and drop me into the domestic doo-dah, I AM shortly being taken out to dinner. Ho, yes! Just as soon as Harry stops his daily post-nap apocalyptic meltdown, we are off! I am putting my foot down!

We are taking Harry to tea at Frankie and Benny’s on the A46 Evesham bypass.

What? What? The kid likes trucks! And pizza!

And it’s not all doom and gloom, despite my best efforts. My mother took Harry & I out for a cheese & crisp sandwich lunch at the garden centre – I’m really not making this up –  and it was actually very nice.

Mum and Dad weighed in with a delightful Emma Bridgewater teapot and mug which I have been hankering after; my friend J, who is really a very sweet girl indeed, bought me some pretty jewellery, and the dark-haired loveliness that is May (and the fair-haired different-type-of-loveliness that is H) sent me beautiful flowers. I’m not sure if the message she put in the card or the message she put with the flowers made me teariest; the day promptly sailed much above the average.

So. That was today.

Tomorrow I shall hopefully tell you all about how my illustrious innards sent yet another medical professional screaming into the night.

It will not be for the – cough!areyouhearingmeDad?cough – squeamish.


31 Responses

  1. My RSS reader stopped feeding me your blog posts. I’ve missed so much, it seems!

    I hope your dinner was enjoyed by all. Happy (frugal) Birthday!

  2. Happy birthday! I am heading for 32 this month and am not coping!

    Abs x

  3. Happy Birthday Ann! I hope your dinner was lovely.

  4. Happy Birthday! Again!
    Hope dinner was good.
    How close are you to Eckington? We are there the last weekend in Feb…

  5. Happy birthday!

  6. Happy birthday, my dear. I am staring 34 in the face and I am not handling it well, either. Grim resignation sums it up just about perfectly.

  7. Happy Birthday!

    Maybe, next year, suggest to your Mother that she could take Harry shopping for your present. You could get the matching jug and sugar bowl.

    Not that I’m materialistic or anything.

  8. Happy Birthday! Mine’s tomorrow, and I’ll be 31. I’m not all that sad about it though. I’m trying to get to that stately, pearl-wearing, wise and therefore someone to be taken seriously stage. That part’s not going so well. *sigh* Mostly, I get told I’m incorrigible and opinionated (read: Loud and Obnoxious), but dammit, I’m fun! In the meantime, I feel that my birthday should be celebrated as a national holiday. Here in the States, today is President’s Day. I think you call them Bank Holidays in the UK. All the federal buildings, banks, and post offices are shut down and schools are closed, but I think that’s because it snowed and, well, you’ve been to Kentucky, right? We can’t drive here in Tennessee either. Anyway, what I was trying to tell you is that your birthday is being celebrated here in the US as a national holiday. I’m envious. I hope your day gets better, and frugal isn’t always bad! If he’s willing to help out around the house, I’d say that’s a gift in itself! (It would be for me.)

  9. Entering a new demographic is always traumatic. Think of it this way – you’ve already been in your mid-30s for a year, and you get to stay there for at least another year or two.

    I try to not celebrate my birthday, and my (also extremely frugal) husband always insists on going out to dinner. Either we never go, or we end up sharing meals at a fast food place. Sigh. Birthdays are very disappointing for me.

    Happy Birthday!

  10. I, personally, am planning on staying in my mid-thirties until I am at least 43.

    Oh God, it’s awful, isn’t it, the ‘where the buggery has my youth gone and more to the point WHAT DID I DO WITH IT?’ moment. Much empathetic hugging. Even though, from the outside, you seem quite nicely grown-up and doing rather well, thank you. With an ineffable charming youthfulness in your demeanor and appearance. Of course.

    But birthdays are arseholey. They mean so much to you (and me) and getting the ‘but not to anyone else’ slap really stings. So I am very glad you got pretty jewellry and an adorable tea-pot and a cheese-and-crisp sandwich and pizza for dinner. I second WfI’s suggestion of Harry’s change of personal shopper for future occasions. Totally try and score the sugar-bowl.

    [I have been known to make it quite clear, about a week beforehand, to a certain person, that certain *ahem* ‘favours’ were very much dependent on my getting something, anything at all, as long as it showed fore-thought and cuteness, for my birthday. I’m not proud. That year it scored me a bunch of carnations, a poem and a back massage, because we were both very skint indeed, and I graciously deemed these to be adequate].

    Glad the flowers arrived safely. You’re welcome, my dear. Consider it cake-pay-back from a non-baker.

  11. Happy Birthday! I agree that Harry needs a new personal shopper (or an amazon wish list entitled ‘Buy Mummy This’!

    I turn 35 in a few months and the whole “halfway to 70” thing scares the shit out of me!

  12. Happy birthday!

    35? Pish tosh! You’re in your prime! Enjoy it! Before you know it, you’ll be 53 and your joints will be uncooperative and your body thermostat will be bi-polar and your waist a dim memory. Or maybe that’s just me… 🙂

  13. Happy Birthday. I loved my thirties but am loving my forties even more. I turn 45 this year and since I’ve always been convinced that I’ll live into my 90s, I’m know I’m not halfway there yet.

  14. Happy (late) birthday.
    I hope your dinner was good. 🙂
    I would maybe get your mum to take Harry shopping next year. lol


  15. Happy Birthday!

    35 is a lovely age – old enough to know how you’ll react in any given situation and young enough to make mistakes and still have time to pull them around. Enjoy your 30s, it’s a great decade.

    Youth and beauty is natures way of making up to the young for their extreme stupidity and foolishness anyway.

    Many hiccy reruns.


  16. are… are…. Youth and Beauty are nature’s way…. (with added apostrophe)….

    (Note to self: proof-read when posting before 7:00 am)

  17. Happy birthday! Try not to chew the furniture too much, splinters are a bugger to get out of gums

  18. Happy Birthday!

  19. Happy birthday!
    You’re young, lemme tell ya. I am so very much older that I could probably have legally minded you when you were little. Let us pause to imagine that chaotic but delightful scene.
    Ah, yes.
    Age is not an indicator of sense – a fact that becomes inspiring as you get older. So don’t despair, there’s loads of time! More than you think.

    (Mmm. Cheese and crisp sangwiches! It’s been too long!)

  20. Thankyou, all!

    Author’s correction:
    Have since remembered that in the first two years of our relationship (before, apparently, I spent all his money on beer and fags) I was bought a nice little sculpture and a lovely green vase by my husband.

  21. Happy Belated Birthday. Very pretty flowers.

  22. Speaking as someone more than 30 years older than you, I say you must train Harry now to honor birthdays. A change of personal shopper is a good beginning. I have always taken my cue from my husband’s Aunt Mary, who, when given an ironing board for Mother’s day, rejected it firmly, and sent the three sons forth to try again, with somewhat better results. You owe it to yourself and a future spouse to set him on the right path as young as possible.

  23. Happy belated Birthday Anne!!!

  24. Happy birthday- with 40 looming this year, I confess I’d give a lot to be able to rewind to 35. I wish you a sparkling year.

  25. Oh happy birthday (latish) and I hope dinner was trucklicious for all (but especially you). 35 is a top age and by the way, even with my scant blogging this past few months even I can see that YOU HAVE WRITTEN A BRILLIANT BLOG and you have been raising a beautiful son and both these things are marvellous feats and I am convinced there are many more achievements! And also, I am going to be 42 this year woot!

    (PS yes that password thing to get into my blog is very annoying indeed. don’t know what to do but thinking blogger has done its dash with me, wordpress ahoy)

  26. Happy belated birthday. Gorgeous flowers, love the Bridgewater. I am trying to resist buying any this year. I feel I may fail.
    Glad that dinner went o.k. combination of trucks and pizzas wins every time.

  27. Happy birthday to you, I am not far behind. 🙂

    Also, now you have piqued my curiosity about your innards.


  28. Happy birthday!

  29. Happy Belated Birthday! I hope you enjoyed your pizza. 😀

    35 years of you is a WONDERFUL thing! And I think you’ve accomplished quite a lot…beautiful blog and even more beautiful boy….that is amazing work my friend!


  30. Happy Belated Birthday! It really ain’t that bad (from 10 yrs further down the pike)…

  31. Happy much belated birthday – and as it happens it seems we share that special day!!

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