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Birthday-Holiday Shaftle

One of my dear and longest-known friends birthday is December 30th.

For years, I’ve told that dude I feel horrible for him because I know people try to play him with that “Oh, this is your birthday-slash-Christmas gift.”

People born within a week of that holiday are going to get screwed no matter what. You know why? Because people can’t resist twofers, and people who do take the time to spend money on the two individual occasions tend to burn out after a while.

Lots of people take the easy route.

As a person whose birthday comes a week before Valentine’s Day, I tend to wonder if my suitors are ever tempted to do the birthday-Valentine’s Day combo.

I have been fortunate. The men I have claimed around Valentine’s Day have made them separate occasions and given me gifts accordingly. As they should. I mean, it’s not like I’m the only one collecting a gift, or the day is just about me. I’m going to be doing something nice for them too.

But I have seen that as a woman, getting a man a gift for Valentine’s Day is rough. Silk boxer shorts are to mens Valentine’s Day gifts as corny ties to Father’s day.

Jewelry and flowers and candy and a night out never get old to us women, but finding ways to excite and connect with the man you like in the form of a gift is hard.

What should men get for Valentine’s Day? That they’d actually enjoy?

I think it’s narcissistic to think greasing up and putting on some lacy underwear and prancing about for your man is a gift.

I think men love food.

So, I think cooking a nice meal or if you bake, baking him desert is a great idea. If you want to wear your fancy panties then, that’s a gift.

There have been a few times I’ve crashed and burned on Valentine’s Day.

One year, my beau mentioned he likes Oreo cookies. So I looked up a cookie site, and they had valentine’s Oreos. Well, I sent them, but he wasn’t very appreciative. Honestly, I think he took me to a lovely sushi restaurant the day before Valentine’s Day so we could beat the crowds.

How romantic.

I thought the cookies were thoughtful, I thought it showed that I remembered something he liked. But I guess it was all wrong. There were a few gifts over the course of our relationship that he didn’t like and I’m glad we aren’t together anymore because he was quick to show how much he was underwhelmed and disappointed, hence making me feel shitty.

I had another boyfriend back in the day who always said the best gifts, in his opinion, were experiences (i.e. concerts, shows). He said anytime he could actually go out and do or see something special with someone, that’s how he preferred spending his time and money.

Then there are some men, where it really doesn’t matter what you get them. If they are smitten by you, they are glad you even thought of them.

I think I’ve dealt with all types.

That brings me to this year. Boo thang (we are still not official) waited too late to get tickets for a concert tomorrow night, so he has offered to take me to another show, by another artist who I love during the week of Valentine’s Day. Now the concert tix, I believe are a birthday gift.

So this is why I’m wondering if this is going to be a Valentine’s birthday combo. I mean we aren’t official, so should I not even care if this does serve as a Valentine’s birthday combo? I may have to accept it that way. Being that we aren’t official.  It’s weird, being with someone in a non-official capacity means the expectations you place on someone you are official with aren’t there.

Because you aren’t official.

But at the same time, I could be and should be taking advantage of our non-officialness, by not even worrying about it and letting the chips fall where they may.

Case in point.

We still haven’t exchanged our Christmas gifts.

Don’t know if he even bought me one. He says he did. He’s been to my house numerous times and he won’t take my gift, until we can exchange.

Don’t know how to feel about this.  I bought the gift with him in mind, I’d like him to have it, but it just feels absurd. It’s about to be February.

Before the holidays, he said he wanted to take me to his office holiday party in January. Well January is almost over, and I don’t think they canceled the party. Now being non-official, should I care that he never brought the party up ever again?

I’m not some person who just wants gifts all the time. But if I’m spending time with you and trying to build something, I do want to exchange some small token that says, “you’re specialer than everyone else because we are dating.”

I talked to my bestie about how I think things are at a crawl and how being the queen of long distance has ruined me and skewed my view on everyday, local relationships and the excitement factor.

She basically looked at me and said, yup. There’s a lot of just down time. When you went to visit your long distance men on weekends, yall were trying to be happy, spend time and ignore any drama because that’s the only face time you had, and within 72 hours you’d be apart again. It was exciting.

The day-to-day is not. My homie looked at me point blank and said, local, everyday relationships are more often boring than they are exciting.  Well damn.

Realizing this makes me do a dance that my engagement imploded. My expectations were going to be wayyyy unrealistic and waaay off and I was going to be waay miserable in cold ass Chicago.

My cousin also mentioned that the snail’s pace of this relationship, may in fact be just what I’ve needed to snap me into reality and reprogram me in terms of expectations.

We shall see.



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