It’s my birthday today, and like every year, I brace myself for the inevitable, “hope someone is spoiling you rotten” comment. Every time I see it on other people’s Facebook messages I think of them sitting on a throne wearing a towelling robe, attended by manservants who are bringing champagne, cakes and all manner of gifts while they gorge on everything in sight.
This has never happened to me in my whole history of birthdays (except maybe the time I turned eight and my parents had bought me a garden swing’). Even while I was married it was never a Spoilt Rotten situation. More often than not, i was frogmarched round a shopping mall in Reading in search of something he could buy me.
Anyway, now I’m free and single, this is even less likely to happen and I’m largely ok with that. But last year, the comment came and I got really upset about it and railed on social media. “Just exactly do you think is going to spoil me rotten, eh? Who?” There is no secret Spoiling Rotten Fella who pops out of the woodwork on the day to make me breakfast in bed and whisk me off to Paris, people. There are no ‘loved ones’ to bring me a handmade card and make me blow out candles on a badly iced cake.
I promptly took myself out shopping and splurged.
Last year, I did allow myself to wallow a little bit in the unfairness of it all. Until the day of my party, that is, which of course had been arranged by me. As friends turned up, laden with smiles, flowers, gifts and hugs, one friend whispered in my ear, “spoilt rotten, I think.”
And that’s when I decided I had been.
This year, I remembered the phrase again. It came up on a radio show I was listening to, where a guest described being “spoilt rotten by her loved ones.” The old familiar feeling washed over me as I realised I was entering the Birthday Zone again, and someone might inadvertently say it again.
“I’m ready for you,” I thought.
Then something happened. Last week I had a difficult situation to deal with and I’ve been overwhelmed by the show of support and love from all the good people in my life. Neighbours have rallied round me, friends have texted and called regularly to check I’m ok and people have taken time out of their busy lives to talk things through with me and offer advice.
Yes, I’ve been spoilt rotten yet again. And by real loved ones who never cease to amaze me with their heartfelt support for me.
So happy birthday to me.
But really, guys, today is definitely all about you.