Don’t get me anything for my birthday.
No really. I’m not fishing for gifts.
Please don’t go looking for something ideal that will surprise me and be just what I’ve always wanted.
Don’t buy me a beautiful and fragrant dozen red roses. Their scent will turn rancid. Their smooth petals will dry and wither. Their thorns will get sharper as their stems turn wooden. They will droop and collect dust, until the dry petals flutter to the ground, one by one by one.
Don’t send me on a trip to Fiji or New Zealand or Santa Monica or New York or Galway or Morocco or Sweden or any of those places you know I long to visit. I will only find temporary reprieve and happiness walking the streets and capturing each pixelated memory. It will all fade from my mind when I take that return flight home. As the days, months, and years pass by, I will lose the sights, the smells, the touches, the sounds, and the tastes of all I experienced. It will only leave me wasted and worn and longing to return.
Don’t find me my soulmate. The one who lulls me to sleep with the perfect melody and understands my every whimsy and mood, who will hold me close or give me distance, only needing a glance and a vibe from me to know which to choose. I will just find their one fault that I cannot ignore and it will overshadow all of the good that they provide to me. I will drain their soul of all that is precious and loving, like I have done so many times before with other soulmates. I cannot ruin another life.
Don’t find me a man with the hairless, Adonis body and the arms that could bear me up into the clouds. It may end up being only one night but that night will make me crave more nights until I could no longer bear the thought of being without him. I would ruin other lives just for physical satisfaction.
Don’t give me a 1969 Aston Martin DBS. I couldn’t afford the insurance, the gas, the maintenance, so it would just sit in my driveway and look stunning while it rots.
Don’t build me a 7 bedroom, 2 wing 4500 square foot home on a 30 acre lot with a quiet ravine on the back of the property near a forest. I would have to clean it and pay taxes on it and furnish every room. I don’t have that much patience for shopping.
Don’t give me an NAD direct digital sound system with all the accessories and add-ons. Then I would hear all the imperfections in my favourite pieces of music, and I could never listen to those songs again.
Don’t whisk me off to the finest five-star rated restaurants with the top chefs in the country and their stellar wine cellars. Something would be too sweet, too salty, too bland, too rich; the wine would oxidize while we chatted about some inane, unimportant subject, and the dessert would be finished too soon.
Don’t buy me the perfect emerald pendant laid in 18kt gold with matching earrings, bracelet and ring, or any one of these pieces on its own. Inevitably I will lose part of the set, or I will be too afraid to wear them for fear of losing them, and I will hide them away in a secret drawer that I will forget I use.
Don’t give me a handful of gift cards or the one perfect gift card. Whether you realise it or not, you’ve put a value on me. I fear that you may find me worth more than I find myself.
Don’t throw me a huge surprise party and invite all my friends and make them sing that Mildred and Patty Hill standard and then have them shower me with practical gifts or prank gifts or combinations of both, ending the evening with a large cake with at least one candle for me to blow out while everyone cheers. If all my friends were to gather in one room, I guarantee at least one felony homicide would take place, but at the very least, I would spend all night worrying one would. I would never be able to speak to each person there, and I would want to. I would end up exhausted and despondent.
So please don’t get me anything for my birthday.
Besides, you’ve just given me the one present that I needed most.
You listened to me.