I was inspired by Uma's post here to finish something that had been lying in Drafts for a couple of weeks. The background is this. Neither the husband nor I ever felt the need to make a big deal of our birthdays, wedding anniversary etc. A more accurate way to describe the situation would be to say that whatever few desires I may have had on the "right" way to celebrate birthdays and such had died a silent death over the years thanks to S's studied lack of enthusiasm. Our arguments had become so stale. S would say - So you want me to make a big deal for one day and ignore you the rest of the year or what, and I would say - That's so silly. Obviously you don't have to do one at the expense of the other! Truth be told, I didn't care all that much, but sometimes I would feel that when I make so much of an effort with the kids birthdays and S's birthday, why can he not reciprocate? Lately, it had become a battle too hard to fight and I have just started making merry with his credit card - having completely given up on any other overt demonstration on my birthday!
Having said that, I must also describe a very heartwarming incident that happened several months ago. S and I were both travelling to the US on work. Since our flights were just a couple of hours apart, it made sense for us to share a cab to the airport. Checking in formalities over, I had to wait for the security check while S, whose flight was departing earlier, said goodbye and disappeared. An hour later, I finished clearing security and was heading towards my gate when S called. Í'm going to board in just a few moments, he said. Where are you? I replied that I was walking towards my gate. Ok, he said. Walk faster. I'll meet you midway.
I was most puzzled. Why was he coming to see me when his flight had been called? A few minutes later, I see him jogging towards me. He is holding a couple of sandwiches in his hand. He thrust them at me. You'll be hungry soon and they won't give you anything on the flight for a few hours. Make sure you gobble this before you board. Ok, bye. Abruptly, he turned around, and ran back to his gate.
I was most touched. That he had thought of me, of how hungry I would become, and taken the trouble to get sandwiches, and come running to find me. Later, when I told him how sweet the gesture was, he shrugged it off. In characteristic S fashion, he said - I was only worried about all those hapless co-passengers - you might have slapped someone in your hunger!
Possibly for the first time in 14 years, I fully appreciated the small humble gestures he makes every day to show his affection. My guilt at constantly nagging him to celebrate my birthday only lasted so long, however :) Come August, I was once again threatening him with dire consequences if he did not atleast "get a cake" for me. Really...subtlety flew out of the window long long ago!!!
So, a day before my birthday, I was at my mom's place and S called to say he was home early because he was tired. I asked him to drop over at mom's for some tea. He landed up, and once the kids and my parents were all assembled, out came a chocolate cake from nowhere! I was most pleasantly surprised and for the first time in many years, got to cut a cake with everyone singing Happy Birthday to me. I rolled my eyes at S and said - see this is a such a simple thing I've been asking for. Why couldn't you have done it all these years?
S claims that it was my continual death threats that made him fear for his life- so well, looks like the extreme measures, yelling etc worked - though it took 14 years to bear fruit!