My husband’s an interesting fella when it comes to birthdays. Today was his. In our 5+ years together, I’ve learned that he prefers it not to be a big deal. Several reasons: First, he doesn’t like to put people out of their way. Doesn’t want them inconvenienced. Second, he’s not really a party person. Maybe a few close friends, but he prefers being alone or with just me. Third, he doesn’t like the obligation of having to be happy and excited about the celebration/presents.
So, in order not to stress him out, I planned a “really good day” for us instead of a conventional party or conventional presents or even an completely unusual date.
1. We enjoy coffee dates at Borders. Try to go once or twice a month. It gives us a chance to browse and then skim books/magazines while drinking really yummy coffee (always a small Javakula with Oreo for me, of which I finish 1/2 to 2/3). Even better, we like to occasionally purchase books just for the heck of it, but normally we think about them, weigh price, wonder if we can find at the library or get a better deal online, and all that stuff.
So for our really good day, we went to Borders after supper. It was a normal Borders date with an extra treat thrown in. The treat–Mr. Micah could buy any book he liked as his birthday present. No having to worry about price, etc. Guilt free, just for fun. He ended up getting Anti-Oedipus: Capitalism and Schizophrenia by Deleuze and Guattari. Did I mention he’s a philosophy teacher/PhD. candidate? Yeah. It’s cool with me, and it was only $20, which is good for a philosophy text.
2. We enjoy…other stuff. Um, yes. I’m not sure what would be appropriate to describe.
Anyway, to finish up our really good day date, we had “playtime.” And it was very fun.
I think this is a great way to celebrate any anniversary/birthday/special day. Not necessarily my particular choices, but knowing what the other person likes (or you as a couple if it’s a shared event) and doing it together. Maybe your partner really likes going to parks and swinging. Go for it! Maybe get some ice cream afterwards from the ice cream truck. Museums? Great! Perhaps you can even find a day with free/reduced prices so you feel even better about yourselves. Maybe your present can be doing your best to give them a stress-free day (at least from stress you generate and you can intercept) and let them work on something they really enjoy.
Traditions can be great. What’s not great is mindlessly following a script that you’re ok with but that doesn’t bring you real pleasure. We’re unique people and we change every day. I doubt any of my birthday celebrations with Mr. Micah will be like other peoples’ or that they’ll be the same every year (though the Borders’/book/playtime might be around for a while…it’s a nice combo).
In other news, I’m reflecting on creating two separate sub-blogs. One writing-related and one on spiritual development. I don’t know yet. If so, I’d still use this as my main blog, even for posts about writing or spiritual development, but others might be useful for keeping a literal “web log” (origin of blog?) of progress and ideas.