Ok.  So every year for the last several I think I’m ready for my birthday, ready to take care of myself in some clever combination of ways that will make it possible for me to acknowledge that I have the right to celebrate my birthday even now that it has become the national day of mourning.  I actually had a pretty good birthday: took the day off from work, walked in the rain, did some sewing, had an overpriced but yummy cupcake from Cupcake Addiction, received excellent cards and calls from family and friends including a group-sing of “Happy Birthday” on my answering machine.  Really a perfectly lovely day.

Still.  I tend to closet myself away on my birthday as much as possible now in an effort to avoid seeing or hearing anything about 2001.  Which is silly because that never actually works.  I’d have to turn off all media for at least two weeks before and after my birthday to have any hope of success, and that’s certainly not going to happen.

Oddly enough, there are more people who forget my birthday now than before 2001.  It’s as though they can’t bear to remember anything about that day, so they have erased my birthday from their minds along with all the pain that came at us that day.

How petty and small of me is it to want to hoard the day as mine, to want to keep shouting and whining about how it was my birthday for so many years before it was September 11th?  Pretty selfish.  And still.

And as I type this I look over at my desk and see  the photo of AC, and I have to curse fate a little.  AC?  Yes, because he would be the guy who lost his great love on that day, in one of those planes.  What are the chances?  So, even when we have been the most together, AC cannot remember my birthday.  This whole month is lost to his grief.  And again I find myself wanting to shout: “What about me?!”  Unbelievably selfish.

And still.


7 thoughts on “Selfish

  1. It’s not selfish to want to affirm and celebrate your life! Happy belated Birthday! It’s not my birthday and even I have to limit the amount of coverage I watch; I respect others’ grief but can’t get too close for too long. I’m glad you had a cupcake, and think you should insist on celebrating every year–isn’t that what we were told to do back in 2001? “Carry on”?


  2. molly

    happy birthday to you happy birthday to you happy birthday dear girlgriot happy birthday to you! it is correct and just to have a birthday every year, and for people to remember it, no matter what else is going on for them.
    You should also have a name day, and since the internet tells me that your name comes from Anastasia originally, you have a choice of April 15 (Roman saint martyred in 68 with Saint Basilissa, both disciples of Peter and in charge of burying him), October 15 (Roman saint dead in 253 martyred with Saint Cyril), December 25 (I do not recommend this one: talk-about-coinciding-with-other-dates), July 17 (Saint Anastasia Nikolaevna Romanova, martyr venerated in the Orthodox church). I think I would go for the October date, which varies according to the website you consult, so you can choose something good for you, and HAVE A NAMEDAY PARTY.


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