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Monday, August 1, 2011

The birthday graph

Picture from here.

Everyone expected this month to be my most memorable birthday.

My mistake? I expected the same.

It wasn’t even a roller coaster ride. It was rather a boring graph-y one.

This particular graph went up to a slope, reaching a point where it stopped to rise and formed a plateau. But like most things stable, the plateau crashed to nothingness.


After weeks of being on the sideline, or rather being behind my li’l bro’s shadow, I hoped that this birthday will finally be, well, about me. It’s that one day of the year, after all, that you’d want to feel special, particularly to those you value most.

Here comes the rise on the graph.


No matter how hard I tried, I just couldn’t stop myself from imagining how “memorable” my birthday would be.


I overheard them ordering food. They requested for the Poon (a holy relic) to be at the house for a day, which got me excited, to think that I am not even Catholic. Lola was supposed to have invited a few people.

I imagined how many of my friends would greet me.

It promised to be fun. I was to spend my birthday with my mom and brother. Twenty years should be enough waiting to at least make it all the more special.

The expectations were just too great to ignore.

But I was wrong.

Now comes the plateau.

My spirits went on auto mode when we started the day with my mom’s rich high school classmates. They just had to schedule their reunion on my birthday. To this day, I wonder if they even knew it was my birthday? I was practically invisible.

Like any other social gathering, my mom went on bragging about my bro’s accomplishments - how he declined Harvard so that he won’t have to be far from where mom is, how he got this 4 year pre-med scholarship over at VCU, and the list goes on.... Of course, I raise a white flag at a Harvard scholarship I can’t compete with that. And don’t get me wrong. I do love my bro.


So I spent my morning semi-socializing with my mom’s classmates. They’d speak to me in English, thinking I am not able to understand Tagalog. I didn’t have the energy to even correct them since they were mostly just one-sentence conversations. Mostly just to hand over their camera for me to take pictures. I ended up with 5 cameras slung on either arm the WHOLE morning.


Afternoon came and I only got a handful of greetings from friends. And I wouldn’t count those from Facebook. Most of them were acquaintances who just did not have my mobile number.


Evening came and my hopes took a nose dive when I was told that my bro’s relatives are the only ones coming to the house (for my supposed birthday dinner).


So here comes the steep slope graph going down.


Don’t get me wrong. I have nothing against my bro’s relatives. They’ve been really welcoming and treated me as a guest when I tagged along with my ma and my bro on weekend visits.


But there lies the dilemma. I was only a guest and they weren’t really family. So mostly I was left alone on some corner during weekends.


Thus during dinner, I spared myself from hearing how they’d gush over my bro’s American accent. I ate at the dirty kitchen with my lola and her hired cook. Went to the sala to at least be courteous to the guests, but five minutes after being ignored, I went up my room to sulk.

My phone was silent. My inbox almost empty except for greets from people I rarely see. Of course I wouldn’t hold it against my friends if they forgot. I myself am not good with dates unless I get to check my planner. (I even forgot a friend's birthday despite my mental note a couple of days back – and yes, I’m trying to make excuses, too. But still, all that silence did not help my plummeting mood.

Then it occurred to me. Despite the lack of spotlight, and my failed need to feel special on my birthday, I forgot one person whom I felt the most sincere in greeting me a happy birthday – my lola. It was her idea to have the Poon over at the house, and it was her efforts to have all the food ready for dinner. And she was the only one with a gift despite the obvious place where she bought it, at a bargain shop near the palengke (market). I really am not in it for the gift, but I was hoping for some bit of effort, and she was the only one who exerted it.


So despite the self-pity and pathetic tears, I had to take a mental note to properly thank her.


She was that lone dot in my graph that was off-correlation. She somehow spiked up my graph even at the end.

So there, end of graph.


End of July.

Oh well…


I’m posting this to close this chapter, this month.


Then move on.


Who knows, next year could be different - new circumstances, new environment, and possibly a new place to live in, a FAR away place.


So here’s to my 28th.


And another step to hope for maturity.

8 mga umutot:

kenchu said...

I felt sad after reading this post. I hope August would bring you more cheers! :-)

bulakbolero.sg said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

we remembered, junakis...



-mama & dada

jonathan said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
jonathan said...

This is one sad post but do not despair as birthdays are reminders of how good our lives are year after year. Expect not for each birthdays will always be different. Being alone for many years taught me that birthdays are special not because of my family or friends. They are special because I get to reflect how good life is.

Next time, celebrate here, period!

odin hood said...

uu nga nakalimutan mo hmf

dinner tayo soon...

Kane said...

You know, it has been a long time since I read anything this personal (and this long) from you.

You okay? I guess not all birthdays are the same. But I hope it was still meaningful, yes? =)

Kane

Jeff C. said...

belated happy birthday to you bro!

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