Tuesday, 24 November 2009

The Eeyore Birthday Primer

I love birthdays. I love MY birthday, love how it always keeps me going through the grim, dark days of November before you can legitimately get excited about Christmas (yes, that too, so excited that I exhaust myself by around 7am and fall into a decline). If anything, I tend to give birthdays vastly exaggerated importance and want every one to be perfect. Birthdays demand the day off, afternoon tea, presents in bed. Even when my 29th birthday fell just a month after mum died, I celebrated with peculiar cakes and giggling at the waitresses gigantic pens and leg of mutton sleeves in Sketch tea room with Violet and my sister. It was defiantly celebratory.

On my own, though, I can't stamp my foot and make everyone run after me, lighting candles and bringing me Kir Royale and baby cashmere goats (I read recently about a special cashmere blanket made only from the very first belly hair grooming of the tiniest baby goats, and it's become something of an idée fixe). The sound of my stamping heel will only send the weepette scuttling in terror from its clandestine spot on the Ektorp. The children won't notice at all, too busy inventing a birthday for Oscar complete with a reconstituted pig made from pet shop dessicated body parts. I will have to deal with my own birthday. I have been planning a realistic version of my ideal. Best be prepared, I think.


Woken after a long lie in with tea on a tray and a pile of cards and presents and flowers and possibly small exotic animals for petting.


Woken at 6 am by weepette whining insistently two millimetres from my face; take weepette out, probably in picturesque Belgian rain. Take children to school. Decide not to remind them about birthday until later, since we will inevitably be running late. Go back to bed at 9 with a cup of tea and a book. Sulk gently at lack of thrills, surprises, lavishness.


Long bath, take calls from myriad admirers, take delivery of more baby animals and bouquets. Bettys ring because the giant fondant fancy pyramid is too big to fit through letter box.


Take call from Prog Rock. Have short bath - as usual, too twitchy to settle - in curtainless bathroom, terrifying Catholics with decaying, ravaged face and body. Avert gaze from decaying, ravaged face and body. Lurk around in hope of postman. Give up and go out.


Lunch at the Sea Grill, where your handbag gets its own stool, and when they see you tipping plates of petits fours in there, they bring you MORE. Boxed up for ease of transport. Tipsy post-lunch luxury goods shopping. Nap.


Go to McDonalds and steal wifi to try and leach BIRTHDAY LOVE out of the internet. Try to buy stuff on the internet "because it's my birthday". Thwarted by crappy Belgian credit limit. Have cake for lunch. Come home to find letter from HSBC and three fliers for kebab shops in post. Nap.


Have cake and candles and more presents. Drink champagne. Play with presents. Take surprise delivery of everyone I love. With even more presents. Go out for cocktails. Even the cocktails come with presents.

Eat entire sponge cake, probably made by me. Break tooth on silver balls. Cry resentfully for no good reason. Watch House in bed with bottle of Bombay Sapphire under pillow. Fall asleep to soothing sensation of weepette licking icing off my face.

What do you think? Any ideas for how to be any more pathetic and self-indulgent? I'd drunkenly text my exes, but I don't really have any, so you'll have to be a bit more creative.


the polish chick said...

i personally like to work up a good pitiful tearful tantrum because nobody loves me.flailing of limbs is optional but encouraged. this would work far better for you on account of not having long monkey arms (yes, i have long monkey arms).
bonus - all of this rarely works in changing the situation you are in, but it makes you look and feel like a mentally challenged 3 year old, and who doesn't need that occasionally?
then go have a drink and wallow in the shame.
happy birthday, waffle!

Anonymous said...

Unless tea in bed with a book is more alluring - or before you go home to get back into bed - I would recommend going to a really nice café for breakfast after you have dropped off the boys at school.
A quiet café where you can relax and enjoy a nice cup of coffee with a close friend, the CFO (maybe? ) or just by yourself (with a book or crisp new newspaper to read)...
You could fill the house with balloons for when the boys get home. That and a ladybird-shaped cake would be sure to divert their attention for a while.

Wishing you a happy birthday, with the peace of mind that comes from finding yourself in a good place, after all you've been through recently...

Anonymous said...

We-ell, it may not be what you had in mind, but I'll tell you a story about my last-but-one birthday that may make you feel better about your upcoming?
Involved; waking in a Travelodge on a junction adjacent to M5/ post family wedding & epic row with chap/ completely alone/ with chap's voice in next-door room/ which happened to be sister's.

Not even the Moto £10 congealed breakfast could stem the self-pitying tears that year, I can tell you.

I am all for relying on self-fulfillment with regards to birthday's, anniversaries and even Christmas.

Buy yourself a present (expensive) avoiding disappointment at others efforts, sing loudly at the top of your lungs to any slow Robbie Williams song, preferably in a minor-key, whilst using hairbrush, dancing about in tights.
Have fantasy conversations with people who have wronged you whereby you get the last laugh.

In short, jolly shallow with minimal long-term gratification. But hey, it's your birthday.

Joyeux Anniversaire, et tout le bonheur pour l'année prochaine xx

Soda and Candy said...

happy birthday, dear.

The first year after we moved countries, on my birthday there were no cards, no phone calls, no emails - NOTHING from anyone in my family. The husband attempted to cheer me up buy taking me to an outlet mall but it turned out to be a small dingy strip mall with horrible shops.

I wept.

I think you should buy yourself the tiny-bebe-goat-belly-hair blanket.

carolinefo said...

The Weepette's colonised the Ektorp already, huh? Hah - I thought so..
Freddie has not fortified his against all comers.

So glad you had a lovely time in London, and that you are settling down happily in the Palais de Rillettes de Saumon.

Am about to enter interesting negotiations with both fighting camel-owning syndicate and various policemen.

Thus, life in Ayvalik continues to be not dull.

Your Ektorp awaits, ma Soeur de Dépravation ...

C xxxxxxxxxxxxx

monk said...

Why would you have a pain quotidien around the corner if you don't have BIRTHDAY BREAKFAST there? I'd come, but we both know I wouldn't be there till Friday at the earliest. If I set off tonight. Or have a Halliday steak breakfast and go all out with a SEVEN SAUCE SPECIAL.

And anon 2: I think you deserve to buy yourself nice presents for the rest of your life. You have done more than enough birthday penance. Jeez.

Mrs Jones said...

Your ideal suggestions make you sound like Mariah Carey.

Bryony said...

Go to the Place Sablon, try everything in Pierre Marcolini, buy your faves then have a large vodka tonic in the square outside sitting under one of those deeply unsustainable patio heaters. Enjoy x

(anon2 - you are my heroiine for coming through the other side of that one....)

SabinePsynopsis said...

Totally agree with Soda & Candy - get yourself the cashmere-first-belly-hair-of-tiniest-baby-goats-blanket and (nicely cuddled up) give some imagenary exes a phone call (and tell us what you would say to them, pleaasee...). Happy Birthday! Sabine x

M. said...

You share a birthday with both my little sister AND Steve the dinosaur. Haute cinq!

Ask yourself - what would they do?
- inappropriate breakfast cleavage
- smashing croissants pur beurre into your mouth
- whining
- intimidating pigeons
- flirting with waiters
- kicking disapproving grannies in the shins
- more flirting with waiters
- rampage in cake shop
- looking at yourself in mirror and thinking "I'm hawwt"
- eating whole roast hog for goûter
- cocktails for dinner


Laurel said...

No wonder M. is your brain twin! Her ideas are perfect.

vw shiness, which sounds like the sort of birthday I hope you have. Shiny and nice after all.

Anonymous said...

However you spend your birthday, enjoy it - congratulate yourself on surviving the last several months, read something you feel like reading because it's fun, not because it's worthy, and take yourself out for a slap-up brunch somewhere you can sit with your book propped up on the salt cellar. Rejoice in having a whole day to yourself!

Unknown said...

Happy Birthday! My birthday list, which goes into general circulation about a month out, states LUXURY ITEMS ONLY at the top. Doesn't always work but I do what I can.

I would have done Sablon, Kir Royale, chocs and that lovely interiors shop on the corner if still there. My little sister lives in Brussels, she's been there for 15 years and still feels like the new girl.

Mr London Street said...

You share a birthday with my mother. Even at your best you will never be able to leach as much love or make as much of a song and dance as that. Hope it's an all right day and you get what you want (whatever that is).

WrathofDawn said...

For the week leading up to your birthday have well-meaning co-workers and/or acquaintances ask, "So... what are you getting for YOUR birthday this year!??"

Faff about pathetically trying to concont believeable lie.

Go home and cuddle the cat because he's the only male mammal who will let you get within arm's reach.

Or maybe that's just me...

Anonymous said...

My birthday's this weekend and although I've told everyone firmly for months I want NO FUSS or stuff or even acknowledgement, I will sulk when I don't get any. But really, so long as there's cake I don't mind TOO much.

I think your birthday sounded strangely appealing. But bear in mind, I am an anti-social crazy person. Belated happy b'day anyway!

The Spicers said...

Happy Birthday Emma!
Last year I asked everyone in my family to ignore my birthday, then got upset when they did. Hope yours is better.

Krazy Kitty said...

Buy yourself flowers.

Then shout to the world that you bought yourself flowers because WHO ELSE WOULD DO IT, hoping they take the hint for next time.

Repeat at following birthday, as they NEVER take the hint.

Waffle said...

Polish Chick - Oh, yes. A flailing limbed tantrum. I have long fingers but I'm not sure they're very hood for flailing. I could stamp though. I like stamping.

Anon #1 Oooh, yes. Ladybird cake and breakfast. It must be so.

Anon #2- OH DEAR LORD NATHAN. That is a specially appalling. Yes. You must have Mariah Carey style birthdays forever.

Soda and Candy - I think it costs as much as a house. Not that that kind of thing usually stops me..

Layla - You really must revive Camel Barn Library. I want to hear more about Ukhtu. And the policeman.

Monk - Genius! The SEVEN SAUCE SPECIAL all for me. For breakfast.

Mrs Jones - Surely all birthdays should come with the god given right to behave like Mariah Carey? Or is that where I'm going wrong?

Bryony - Mmmm. Or Wittamer. Buy myself one of those gigantic chocolate sculptures then sit on the floor and eat it all in one go.

Sabine - I like the idea of imaginary exes. Hmm. Imaginary ex conversations. That could be a good birthday post.

M - I can totally do all that. With steve and your sister on side, I will be all powerful. RAAAAWWRwhine.

Laurel - She is. And your WV also suggests the kicking of old ladies in the shins, I think.

Anon #3 Thank you, I will! Papa Waffle is dropping in between bouts of being tremendously important so I will stamp my foot at him and make him buy me Kir Royale. At 3 in the afternoon.

Knackered Mother - Flamant? That place is odd. Everyone in there is shiny and rich. Maybe another one. There's a Vitra, isn't there? Luxury items only is a good credo.

MLS - I want an owl in a box, so that's not very likely. Not unless someone volunteers to take me to Animals Express...

WoD - This is the chief reason for having pets, no? Requiring them to love you at moments like this.

Vegetable Assassin - Happy birthday this weekend!

Iheart - oh dear. That sounds decidedly off. This year make sure you demand LAVISHNESS for the full 24 hours.

Krazy Kitty - Oh yes, I often do this one. A giant bunch of blue hyacinths is nice. I know just the florists too. If noone else will make me Mariah Carey I will just have to do it myself.

London City (mum) said...

Happy birthday dear girl.

I would recommend a foot massage, or at very least someone generous enough to gift you a weekly indulgence of reflexology for the next year... when it can be 'renewed' in amazing continuous gesture of love by same person or their substitute.

Would gift this myself to you but finances rather stretched at moment. But it's the thought that counts, isn't it?


Anonymous said...

Happy, happy birthday from Anon.one!

Anonymous said...

Go to Brasserie George for tea and cake and watch the old dowagers in their furs - have minor heart attack when fur starts moving when what you assumed was an especially gruesome feature of coat turns out to be a real life ferret. Yes really. After tea and cake move on to a bucket load of oysters and kir royale. Go home. Be sick. The end.

Waffle said...

Uuuugh. Fran. How much do you LOVE Brasserie Georges? God I love that place. The hookers! The fur! The veeerrrry old people! Are you sure it was a ferret and not a very small ratty dog?

We should have a meet up there. Do you not love the little animal flags that tell you which animal gave up its fat for your chips? Brilliance.

Anonymous said...

It was definitely a ferret. Another time a couple of ladies walked in with a cat on a lead. LOVE the place. Especially loved the haughty waiter who poured champagne and took an order, waiting patiently for the couple to decide peering down his superior nose, during all this time having a teeny angelic looking white dog energetically humping his leg (place commas where applicable - I've given up caring).
Yes, we really should have a meet up there.
By the way, I noted that you referred to lurking around for postman in the same breath as having a bath. Things are tough at the moment Jaywalker, but don't do anything you may regret later.

The Divorcee said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
The Divorcee said...

Yes, it was especially gruesome that year, but on the bright side, I knew things could never sink that low again.

Thanks for the kind words all and all good things to you for the year ahead JW.

Bisou x aka anon 2

Metropolitan Mum said...

Here's some belated internet birthday love. I hope it went ok. x

livesbythewoods said...

Happy birthday! I'd offer a kiss but you might get Lurgy. Hope you have a fab day, matey.

Anonymous said...

Oh I loved it! I totally agree that a birthday is a time for great personal indulgence and spoiling. Being alone and in the rain is not an excuse whatsoever for a lack of sparkle and shiny things. I suggest a morning lie in, a lunch of pastries in a fancy wi fi spot, an afternoon massage or pedicure and take out with the kids. Do not forget candles. Of course as I write this it has all come and gone and I hope it was happy and a bit shiny, at least.

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