Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Celebrate Every Day Like It is Your Birthday!

Last summer Sharon created a collage for her bedroom.  It included things she wanted to remember daily.  Things like:  hug the ones I love, enjoy nature, Do Not Demand My Way (HUH?), read more...  Blah.  Blah.  Blah.  All was great until she added this in the corner: "Celebrate Everyday Like It Is My Birthday." 

Now Sharon (who is of a certain age) sometimes has difficulties separating fiction from nonfiction.  So she started expecting me to call and wish her a "Happy Birthday" everyday.  Sharon felt sad when the birthday cards weren't flooding her mailbox. And, she also started expecting a birthday present every time I saw her.  (I think her gift neediness goes back to when her ex-husband gave her a tin of smoked oysters for their first anniversary.  Also, for her birthday one year, he put his old motorcycle helmet in a box and gave it to her.  He obviously doesn't know that there is a BIG difference between vintage and used.) 
"Why...thanks honey."  

So, being both one to please and go along with pure nonsense - I started bringing Sharon gifts whenever I saw her.  Here is a partial list of gifts:
  • two Joy Mangano hangers in lilac
  • an orange peace dove sun catcher
  • a teeny tiny Dalai Lama collage which reads, "My religion is simple.  My religion is kindness"
  • bottle cap magnets
  • a flashy pink Goldi's tote bag (She brings it to the Farmer's Market every Saturday and says it causes quite a stir.) 
  • a bottle of Hopalicious (During the school year Sharon and I enjoy grocery shopping together after going out for breakfast at Lazy Jane's.  This is very handy because I can just give her some groceries as a present.  A rotisserie chicken.  A roll of toilet paper.  A couple of beets.  She will take anything.)
Sharon is extremely animated when she accepts her gifts and never says "Oh, you shouldn't have!"  She squeals (like that pig on the sled, in Farmer Boy), snatches the gift, and stuffs it in her handbag.  Then she asks me if she looks a day over thirty.  It was fun for awhile, but it is wearing thin with me (not with Prairie Sherry).
This "Sharon Has a Birthday Everyday" nonsense is starting its second year.  It needs to stop.  I don't have time to continue thinking of gifts to give her or remember to daily wish her "Many Happy Returns of the Day."  PLUS, I keep giving her my art work which I could be selling on Etsy. 

I have come up with a desensitization program for Sharon.  Here are some of the components:
  • I will start giving her less attractive gifts.  Like used tubes of lipstick, expired sunscreen, and jars of old lentils. 
  • I will set a gift in front of her for fifteen seconds and then take it back.  Every time she doesn't cry I will throw her an M & M. 
  • I will talk in a soothing voice about how people really only have one birthday a year. 
  • I will develop a plan to slowly cut back on her multiple mailbox trips to check for birthday cards. 
  • We will circle her actual birthday on the calendar so she can have something tangible to focus on.  (Hopefully she won't think of starting a countdown - like, "Only 178 shopping days to Sharon's Birthday."  I seriously would not be able to stand that.)
Once my business partner (an dear friend) is less needy, I will have more time to raise my children and create art.  

Prairie Eydie   

Eydie,  Just remember that my real birthday is November 16th. That is less than 4 months away.  Prairie  Sherry 


  1. How do I get my family to celebrate my birthday every day????


  2. Just badger them unmercifully and withhold food.

    Prairie Sherry