Fortunately it got better this evening. Much better.
There's an office procedure for birthdays at the business office of Famous Vehicle Dealer where I work. Birthdays for the month are written on a whiteboard over the refrigerator. Once a month, assuming there are employees born in that month, there is one birthday cake honoring the people on the whiteboard. Individual recognition consists of the birthday person's desk being decorated with banners and such the night before after the person leaves, possibly a card (but not always), and individuals saying a cheery "Happy Birthday" over the course of the day.
But last week, I noticed that my name wasn't on the whiteboard with the other March birthday people. Okay, fair enough: I've only been there six months, and someone hadn't yet found out when my birthday was and added it to the master list. So I asked who was in charge of such things, and watched as she typed my name into her birthday list. My name was then duly added to the whiteboard. Success! That took care of that problem, right?
Today was my birthday. The whiteboard said so. But I opened my office door this morning, and there were no birthday decorations within. I figured I'd probably closed the door (which automatically locks) on Friday, and the other person who has a key hadn't known there was a problem.
But no one said Happy Birthday. No one.
I decided to make an experiment of it. I didn't remind the person who wrote down my birthday info less than a week ago, or speak to my kind but busy boss, or throw a hissy fit of any sort. I simply did my job, and waited to see whether at some point during the day someone, anyone, would notice it was my birthday. They didn't. I was bummed out, and angry with myself for caring. After all, a birthday is a slippery, idiosyncratic and nebulous holiday. It generally only matters to the person born that day (and sometimes not even that), along with a few friends and relatives. Why should anyone who sits fifty feet from me care what day that shy woman who replaced Carole happens to have been born?
At 2 PM I told the mail runner about the situation, because she and I went through that one self-actualization course together and I like her a lot. If anyone heard, they ignored it. Then at 5 PM I told one co-worker, and then went home.
This is not the first time I've been completely forgotten at work on my birthday.
But okay, that's over. Shake it off. Don't be a martyr about it.
At home, it all turned around immediately. My email was fully of happy birthday greetings from many of you wonderful people. Howard came through with his usual Amazon gift, which is more appreciated than he realizes. My brother called. Borders sent me a 25% off birthday coupon. And before he took me to dinner, John gave me this:
Hey, nice box. Tres moderne. What's in it?
That even makes up for the fact that I haven't heard from my dad yet.