It’s officially March 4 so it’s my birthday!
I try to have no expectations whatsoever. I hate birthdays anyway, you would think it was because my dad died nearly on my 13th birthday and his funeral was scheduled for the day of but I’ve always hated birthday parties anyway.
Dad always made a big deal out of my birthday, I always assumed it was because he loves big parties but when I got older I realize that my birthday had genuine meaning to him. Each year dad would throw this huge party and we had no money so it was all thrift store decorations and the activities usually included whatever you could do with a jar and safety pins. I was very bad at that game. Shout out if you know what game I’m talking about.
One year I tried to implore my father not to have a cheesy birthday party for me anymore because he was giving me a quaint childhood and all the movie characters with quaint back stories were the absolute worst. I thought I made a compelling argument but in my dad’s defense I did have a very small vocabulary at the time so how I explained it might’ve been misleading, “I don’t want a party with baby stuff, I want to be like the cool girls. I want to be like Sarah Connor!”
In retrospect I don’t think he knew that Sarah Connor was that goddess from Terminator. He would eventually figure it out because I would go on to talk about her and those movies over the last whatever years until he died. If you turn off the lights, look at yourself in the bathroom year, and say “I don’t know what to watch” I will appear behind you with the VHS copy of Terminator 2.
And yes, I know how cliché that is that my favorite movie is Terminator 2. Well, until someone makes a movie greater than Terminator 2 I’m not going to change my answer because you’re tired of hearing the truth.
Where the fuck was I…
So, there is a huge horrible birthday party for 12 years then my dad dies while I turned 13 and I never had another birthday party since. It sounds soap opera sad but it’s legitimately because I hate parties. If the party is for you you feel obligated to be constantly tuned in and making sure everyone is having fun and you have to stay until the very end. If the party is for someone else you constantly feel like you are in the way, mostly because people keep tripping over your wheelchair, and you are constantly looking for a way to leave so you can’t enjoy yourself even if enjoying a party was even remotely plausible. I celebrated my birthday up until my mid-20s by buying myself a cake and now a few people give me gifts, every lonely stranger that friended me on Facebook posts some clipart on my wall, and my common law Boston best friend May has always come over the day of, or the nearest weekend day to it. We usually just have fast food and watch TV. Which is what I would prefer.
I’m the personification of one of the results from that little dream date quiz in those old teenybopper magazines, I’m the one that says “I don’t like fancy dates, just some take-out and a movie is okay with me!”
I’m like a golem, if you follow me I’ll lead you to a man in a khaki sweater.
So Logan is coming out right now and I am an X-Men fanatic and of course this one is big. But the car has been sold but but I finally got approved for the handicapped transit so I make plans to go to see Logan with the May and the only other friends I have IRL: sisters Kitten (older) and Darrell (younger). Saturday technically is my birthday but May agreed to babysit her nephew then. It’s weird that she would make other plans on that day given it’s a Saturday and we could actually hang out for a while but when the joke came up of her picking her nephew over me she said “I’ve been giving Stewart my undivided attention for 20 years, it’s someone else’s turn”
When I called transit to schedule a pickup they told me that they didn’t go that far toward the outskirts of the city on Sundays. My guess is that it’s because you have to go under or on the freeway to get to the theater and driving on the freeway probably cost them more in insurance and on Sundays you would have a lot of old disabled people wanting to go to lots of different churches and the city is covered in railroad tracks and freeway overpasses.
So the plans were canceled and I tried not to be disappointed but then I thought, fuck it, May and Kitten aren’t free but Darrell and I can go on Monday so I asked her about it and she says okay. Soon thereafter May sent me a message saying that if I wanted she could try to get half a day off sometime next week so I told her Darrell and I were going on Monday and asked if that was too short of notice and she got jealous.
She’s extremely jealous and she will even admit it because she’ll inevitably fail at hiding it. She’s like a jealous boyfriend, if I say “I got this DM from this random guy/girl” she gets all tense and asks what the loser wanted and wants me to verify that I did, in fact, tell him he was a loser at some point. This one time she stopped inviting me to stuff because she said that people like me more than her and she didn’t want anyone to take me away. She literally stobbed when she said that.
One would think romantic feelings, yes? No.
I was raised to believe that dating, love, and romance are some things disabled people can’t have so it’s easier to follow that conditioning despite the fact that I do find her attractive. but I know very well that you can love a friend as a friend, have a sexual reactions to them but if you recognize the love for what it is and don’t be weird about it everything is fine. I’ve never in romantic love with her but when we were teenagers I earnestly suggested that we get married if she didn’t find a boyfriend by the end of high school. Gender equal marriage wasn’t even a plausible talking point then so at the time it meant “let’s do the lesbian U-Haul.” I thought it would be a good idea because we had these idealistic dreams of somehow leaving home and making do somewhere, even if it was in the house next door, as long as we weren’t living with our parents anymore. She was right to have concerns but I don’t think her first one should have been “then people will think I’m a lesbian!”
Everyone assumes disabled people are asexual and agender but anytime I show any sexual attraction toward men people look at me funny although among my friends it means “oh, that’s exotic.” I’ve learned to immediately squash any ideas people are having because if I don’t someone is going to turn thoughtful and say how must be hard to never be able to date. And they say it in front of everyone and their impossible to shake. You try to cut everyone some slacken and make a joke about how of course no one would ever want me and then they get embarrassed and tell you how despite everything you are great. You are not like the others.
I know disabled people joke about having to hear this complement all the time but I seriously think I’m at least in the top 10 able-bodied approved cripples in the county.
When I was about 10 years old I was in the Special Ed room, probably because the short buses were running late to pick us up again. There was a young boy there, about seven, who had a condition that affected his dexterity so he asked the teacher if she could draw him a picture of the day he’ll get married.
So I kept an ear on it to suck up the whimsy that was slowly being drained out of me and I heard the teacher say, “you don’t like it?” He asked, “which one is me?” when she indicated which one I expected to hear “just like you, some people have wheelchairs and since you will marry someone you love it won’t matter what their body is like” but she said, “because you’re in a wheelchair.”
He asked, “why does my wife have to be in a wheelchair too?”
I tensed up.
I saw some of the aids start to look uncomfortable but the little boy said “but I don’t want to marry a girl in a wheelchair.” They all began to laugh.
I don’t know why I would expect differently seeing as how when I was his age the same people were working and I was complaining about how frivolous Valentine’s Day is and someone offhandedly said “you will feel differently once you hit puberty” and I insisted it wouldn’t but everyone ignored me and one of the aids asked me if I meant it. I had no idea if I meant it, I was a child for fuck’s sake, I did know that I wanted to go to my grave never admitting defeat so I said yes. She looked sad and I immediately knew I was about to console an adult about my life. She said, “that’s good, because you can’t. Not that you can’t, it’s just that you have to find someone…” And I jumped on the grenade by doubling down on my stubborn tantrum and insisted that in no way shape or form would I ever have feelings for a boy, that way they could begin their “remember when cooties were thing?” discourse.
I wasn’t wrong anyway. Technically the youngest males I’ve been attracted to would have at the very least been described as young men.
My feelings on Valentine’s Day have also not changed. I don’t like candy. At least on Halloween you have the option of a trick. On Valentine’s Day you have to skip out on your trick and go home to your girlfriend.
I used to worry that people would try to throw me a surprise party for my birthday or unexpectedly show up with some socially acceptable token but that’s never happened (thank God about the surprise party.) Relatives stopped calling until it was just one or two every few years and now my maternal family as apparently disowned me but I’m also thankful not to be taking those calls anymore.
I can always depend on Facebook, though. I could have sworn this site would be dead by now but even I’m still on it, even if only to use the messenger. Which is why I got my first message on my birthday. It’s from my first caretaker who, right now, has signed time sheets and if she sends them in then the reimbursement will be given to her and she would have to decide on whether or not to keep it or give it to me, since it’s reimbursement for the money I had already paid her. So now the ball is in her court. This is what she says:
Again, I have not answered any of her messages since it’s just between her and IHSS at this point. The money would save my life, it would clear up my credit card she maxed out, property taxes are due, I just bought groceries and I’m going to be spending my birthday deciding which bills I’m going to feign having lost.
God, such a bitter Betty. I really don’t mean to be but I’m tired and it’s a lot of work to keep the Chosen Cripple™ act up and make sure no one has a chance to get the word “inspirational” out of their mouths.
All I really want to do today is have some 420 snacks and watched Korean soap operas.