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Extortion on My Birthday

***Edited to Add: Holy cow. After howling with laughter over some of the lovely and thoughtful presents you guys have received over the years, I have now learned to appreciate a good can of albacore tuna. Thanks for sharing with me. The competition was too damn tight to declare a winner. But there were some personal favourites. Heh. Here's hoping everyone gets a badass wonderful gift on their next birthday like I did.***

I've never been a big birthday lover. I'm the mom who dreads the time of year when her children inevitably turn another year older. Not that I mind them growing up. What's not to love being one year closer to parental freedom and not having to be responsible for feeding the seemingly bottomless pits known as children?

No, I hate the responsibilities birthdays involve. Parties, cake, gift bag, other people's snotty children. Those things. I dread having to throw a birthday party because around these parts "Pin the Tail on the Donkey" has a whole other meaning.

Still, I power through it like the good mother I pretend to be. I don't like it, but I do it. Not well, not every year and certainly never with a smile on my face, but I have been known to throw a damn children's birthday party just so my children can feel the magical delight of having the world revolve around them for one small moment in time.

That said, I wish my birthday would just all together drop off the calendar. I don't need another reminder of my own mortality. I have wrinkles, sagging boobs and dimples on my arse as a permanent reminder to my fleeting youth.

I planned on ringing in the latest annual reminder of my cougar status by simply hiding at home, ignoring the phone and surfing the vast interweb where I am just one more anonymous lurker looking for something vapid and amusing and perhaps slightly pornographic while the day slowly ticked past and my birthday came and went quietly like a mouse hiding in the pantry.

But like most well-laid plans, it didn't quite happen that way. While I adored the fact my children attempted to kill me by feeding me runny eggs and burnt toast, I could have lived without ever having discovered a certain friend mocked my vanity and insecurities by aging me publicly on his blog.

I have since put a pox on his head.

Still, I thought my birthday excitement had come and gone early before the midday sun shone upon the golden trees in my yard. I had no reason to think any differently. Birthdays have always been a low key affair. No. MY birthday has always been a low key affair.

My darling and beloved husband hasn't always rose to the occasion and proved his love on the date of my birth. While he tends to outshine himself at gift giving during the Christmas season, he tends to walk around with his head planted firmly up his arse whenever Sept. 27 rolls around.

I knew this about my husband before we married and still I chose to overlook it when I accepted his proposal for marriage. I was young and naive and believed that the power of our love could change him and morph him into the very best, the most thoughtful gift giver ever.

Excuse me while I die laughing at my youthful stupidity.

My husband, bless his cotton socks, is a stubborn man. With a will of unbendable steel. He just couldn't understand why a cork screw and a set of cheap steak knives was not a viable birthday present. After all, I like wine and I like steak. In his mind it was the perfect gift.

He hastily realized his faux-pas as I started hurling the bloody knives at his head while calling him a doofus.

I didn't think his birthday buying skills could get any worse after that year. I was wrong. The very next year he bought me a chocolate bar and a can of tuna. That's it. He spent less than two freaking dollars on the woman who regularly played with his penis and spent more than 30 months gestating his spawn.

He did include a thoughtful and loving note about how we were strapped for cash (we were indeed, in dire financial straits) but he wanted to make me smile on my special day.

I could have thought of a dozen different ways he could have made me smile without spending any money, but none of them involved albacore tuna packed in salt water and a squished chocolate bar. Apparently, I am not near as creative as my husband is.

Then there was the year of my 27 birthday and I spent the entire night alone in the hospital as my precious Bug fought off a blood infection threatening to take his life. I had hoped my Boo would drop by the hospital and bring flowers or even coffee as I flipped through an endless pile of magazines and fretted over my child.

He decided to race home to our other two children while munching on fresh pizza and the donuts he picked up to celebrate his wife's birthday. Without saving any for his actual wife.

I wasn't bitter. NOT AT ALL.

It's not that Boo hasn't tried on my birthday. He's just failed miserably time and time again. I can forgive him for this because he buys me fancy wash machines, diamond earrings, and lap top computers for seemingly no reason other than I am very bendy in the bedroom.

He's a wonderful husband even if his gift giving technique is as sharp as a rusty butter knife.

Knowing this, I was determined not to expect anything but maybe a hammer so we could pound nails in our fence line together as a happy romantic couple. He may not be learning but I'm starting to understand how the man thinks.

So when he told me to get dressed so we could pick up my birthday present, I wasn't expecting much. But I'm a good wife so I played along and did what he asked.

I'm obedient like that.


Turns out, all these years of ducking flying steak knives and the man finally learned.

Picture my face when we pulled into the car dealership and he handed me the keys to a shiny new SUV.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Such a pretty Chevy Equinox. I named her Lolita.

"I'm sorry honey, I wanted to have it home for you in our driveway but it turns out I can't drive two cars at once. I needed you to be able to drive it home," he laughed excitedly at my shocked face.

"I figure this should make up for 13 years or more of bad birthday gifts," he said as he leaned over and kissed me.

After finally reviving from the shock of receiving a real (yet wildly extravagant and completely too expensive) birthday present, I hopped out and checked out my new wheels. Apparently, my fondness for driving into ditches in the middle of our Canadian winters is a tad worrisome for my husband when he works away from home.

He's hoping my new shiny SUV will keep my ass from freezing to death in a snowbank. And keep our children safe as their slow-reflexed mother taxis them around on icy roads.

I did mention my husband is the cat's ass, right?

Driving home that afternoon, while he drove in front of me in my older, banged up and very abused car, I called him to tell him how much I loved him and the new wheels.

"I can't get over this Boo! I love you! You are the best husband ever!" I gushed to him.

I could see him puff up his manly chest and polish his fingers against his chest as he laughed in the phone. "I'm glad you like it love. You deserve it."

I admit, I melted a bit at his sweetness. Then suddenly, a thought occurred to me.

"Oh DAMN IT!" I cried.

"What? Is something wrong with the vehicle?" he asked very concerned.

"No, it's fine. I just realized there is no FREAKING way I'm ever going to be able to top this ever in our entire marriage unless I spit out a set of septuplets on your birthday! I'm screwed forever!" I moaned.

Boo snorted and agreed. He's very agreeable apparently.

"Damn you Boo with your thoughtful and well timed vehicle purchases," I wailed.

"Well, there is one thing you can give me on my birthday that would top my present to you," he hinted. (I could totally see the lurid waggling of eyebrows as he spoke.)

"Really?" I asked eagerly and stupidly. "What's that?" (Nothing like setting yourself up for failure, Tanis. Way to go.)

"You could give me a blow job every birthday, and not just one of your 'there, I looked at it, good enough,' blowjobs. A real blow job. One in the morning and one at night. Enthusiastic blow jobs. While you wear a smile on your face."

(Clearly the man has never given head before otherwise he's realize the physical impossibility of such a statement.)

Silence. The mental image of me having to give him head when we're 70 and my teeth are sitting in a cup on the bedside table next to the lamp flashed before my eyes.

Why bother lying? He has as much chance of getting happy head every birthday for the rest of his life as I have of sprouting wings and flying south tomorrow.

"Sigh. Face it Boo. I'm screwed. I'm never going to be able to top this birthday present."

Not even a new zippy SUV on my birthday can make me promise to shut up and swallow.

Turns out I'm not that obedient.

*What was the worst birthday present you ever received. The person who can top a can of tuna and a chocolate bar wins a prize. Maybe a pot holder or a used sock. Or maybe just my eternal gratefulness at knowing I'm not the only one in the world who has received dorky presents. Misery loves company and all...*

« Something's Growing Between Us | Main | Birthday Smackdown »

Reader Comments (136)

Nice present!

Happy belated Birthday!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKath

What an awesome gift!!!!

I bet you are still smiling!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenn

Happy birthday and congratulations on the new car!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJenny

Too funny. I would also rather admit defeat than make a promise like that! hope you had a good birthday.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterFancy

WOW. The man is GOOD.

Oh and Happy bday, too!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterPare

ms. tanis... for the first few paragraphs i thought you were a little bi-polar...a love hate relationship with your beaux...

it's been my pleasant experience to have experienced the following...

hit him off when he is sleeping... for a guy, it is the f-ing best!!! i dated a girl who did that habitually to my pleasure... a guy simply does not know for certain, when he is in REM 3 or 4...if he is dreaming or not, until the 'launch sequence' is initiated... only a true "goddess" can do that... i'm certain YOUR up to the challenge...

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCapt jeff

Great present!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAnnabelle@Christian Momma

Ironically, I was going to suggest a week's worth of them leading up to the birthday next year. That oughta do it.
She's a pretty SUV, my dear. Mine is gray, and while I was furious to have to obtain it (it wasn't my choice) I would take it over any vehicle I've had before.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterCarrie

Well i guess he is getting laid tonight!!!!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMadMan

Niiiiice gift!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKyla


He does realize that when you smile the teeth are forefront and first most, right? He knows not what he asks.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJim

Wow you are one lucky lady as I was reading I to knew that a blow job was on the horizon. They sure will do anything to get it sucked.Congrats on the shiny new suv I hope you enjoy it.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentertina L

Nice present. Glad you and you kids won't freeze to death in that artic winter up there.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterEllyn

Man goes into the doctor, who tells him he has a terminal illness. His wife is distraught beyond words. After he gets home she goes into denial, "No, no! I can't let this happen! There must be something we can do!"

So she calls the doctor, and pleads with him to give her hope as her husband looks on.

"Well," the doctor says, "there is one possible treatment. You will have to give him blow jobs every day for the rest of his life. This will guarantee that he'll live a long and healthy life."

As she hung up the phone she turned to her husband and announced:

"Sorry dude. You're gonna die."

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBackpackingDad

And thanks for buying American.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNeil

I would not only give my husband blow jobs for a birthday present like that, I would do while wearing stilettos and a shelf bra.

Happy Birthday, Tanis... you lucky girl.

PS You showed a great deal of restraint... I'm 33, too, and if SOMEONE implied I was 40 on their blog, I would have gone postal on their Lilottaesque ass. ;)

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSammanthia

At least you got tuna and a candy bar. My first birthday with my husband got me a toaster. Mine had just kicked the bucket and he knew I had to have one for my pop tarts or toast in the morning. Then again, his anniversary gifts are just as practical.

Enjoy the new car and don't worry about him topping next year. I just hope he doesn't take another 13 years to get a good gift for you!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeather

Rotormommy did the same to me on my 29th with a Mustang. Ever since then I've asked for nothing on my birthday and haven't even come close to topping it. I probably can't.

But, you do realize that now you're absolutely screwed come Christmas and future birthdays. Where Boo was the bee's knees with Christmases before, he'll likely just buy you snow chains or tires this year. They're practical and it goes with your fly new ride.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWill

Sweet! I've never had a new car - they're always fairly well used by the time I get them - but it's better that way. I'm hard on cars. I like the name, too.

Meanwhile, would a big, fat nothing count as a worst gift? Yep - nothing. not even a crudely drawn "You're older now, ha, ha) card from my kid (and I always make sure the kid doodles something fro T on HIS birthday)? Or how about this one - death. Yep...one year, not only did I get nothing, no card, no phone call, not even an FU from anyone...but a beloved friend died that morning.

Oh, well - they can't all be perfect.

Shade and Sweetwater,

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKyddryn

Happy belated birthday! I turned 40 10 days before you did. Here's my take on the milestone http://www.dirtandnoise.com/2008/09/40-is-new-me.html

As for shitty gifts, my ex husband once gave me a car vacuum for my birthday. That Christmas he gave me a pen and pencil set. I also got some nasty elasticized sweatpants for Valentine's Day....the sweatshirt material ones with elastic ankles...from the little boy's department.

Hurray for your new car! It's like being on the Price is Right.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterilinap

If only women would understand that a few minutes of doing the dew on a regular basis would make life better for everyone. I'm sure it could save the economy - that's for you American readers.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterWhit

My brother and sister in law gave my two year old (at the time) daughter a used circus t-shirt and bobby pins (just two of them) for her birthday.

I have no more to say.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

One year I got washcloths (2), and corn-poker thingees. All from the dollar store. (We were not, at the time, in dire financial straits...)

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLexi

That's such a fantastic gift! Super jealous!
On my birthday last year, my boyfriend, of almost 2 years, gave me a Starbucks gift card. For 20 bucks. And he works there. And that was IT.
Needless to say, while I go to Starbucks on a daily basis, it was not the best he could have done.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKitchen Vixen

Can't think of any really bad ones. Plant agreed to the Zeppelin tour on my birthday this year. That was awesome!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterGette

I received a card *with.my.name.spelled.wrong* and a bag of candy that I despised. (he thought it was my favorite) I am no longer married to this moron.

Congrats on the new ride - it is way cool.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKaila

My husband didn't get me anything for my birthday the year before last, because, according to him: "you never told me what to do, and I just lost track of time".

It was, truthfully, also the best birthday present I've ever gotten, because:

- I went out and spent $100 on a kick ass coffee pot after he screwed me over.

- Last year I got taken out to lunch, got a cashmere sweater, and some flowers.

They learn, after awhile.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterverybadcat

My husband very thoughtfully bought me a "love swing" for Christmas last year. The present itself was an interesting investment, I'll admit. The problem was, he had me open it in front of his parents on Christmas morning. I went beet red from head to toe and thought I might lose my cookies when my mother in law exclaimed, "look honey, there are pictures!"

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterA

You? Are a spoiled brat.

So freakin' jealous, but yes... that could make up for 13 years of bad birthday gifts.

Worst gift? Mike and I got in a huge fight on my birthday one year and he ripped up my card and threw it at me. That was my gift.

The other 7 birthday's I've gotten nothing - sometimes not even a happy birthday. DEFINITELY not his forte.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentersam {temptingmama}

Um, if it says anything about me, whenever we bet and he wants what Boo wanted for his reward my reward is not having to do it if I win.
Two can play that game.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commentermoosh in indy.

What a fantastic present!! I love it, especially the color!
The worst (and best) present I ever got for my birthday was a divorce. My ex had actually forgotten it was my birthday when he told me he wanted out.

An exchange of blow jobs for a car? I'd go for that in a flat hot second. Even faster if it had a sunroof!

Happy Birthday!!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDebs3

My husband is horrible about birthdaysand anniversaries. I've never gotten one gift on either of those dates in the last 6 years! He doesn't do it on purpose, at least I don't think he does it on purpose... I feel it just opens it up for me to go and purchase what I want!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterJodi

The birthday after I graduated from college my father sent me a used watch he found in a pawn shop. It had a Mississippi State University face on it.

Once upon a time it was a nice watch... just one (1) problem

I had attended the University of Mississippi

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterKitch

Happy belated birthday! Nice present!

I think the worst I ever got was when I was 9...nothing but clothes. That kinda sucks when you're only 9 years old.

Worst one the Spouse Thingy ever got me...golf balls. Just a box of golf balls. :/

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterThumper

Very nice birthday gift...For my 30th birthday my husband gave me a suitcase. I thought perhaps it was a hint or a prop contining something like plane tickets..But, no. Just an empty green suitcase... (Hint for the Guys -never listen to your Mom's birthday gift ideas)

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBeth

The WORST gift my partner ever got me was a set of SouthPark Dolls. All 4 of the main guys.

I don't like, or even watch that damn show. WTF??

he did make up for it by buying me a new car this year - as a thank you gift for screwing up my patootie giving birth to his big headed children

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterSleepynita

On my 24th birthday, my husband bought me a Choco Taco. We were on the road, doing a week-long-there-and-back, balls-to-the-wall trip from California to Pennsylvania and back to California. We were retrieving his "big" toolbox for his new job, which was housed at my mom's place. We left on Monday, my birthday was on Thursday, and since he didn't have the foresight to buy a present before we left, he bought me a Choco Taco from a rest stop vending machine. So it was a $.75 gift that was probably expired.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterDarcie

My birthday's the 27th too! But no way I can beat tuna and chocolate. The hubby did give me a car vac early in our marriage once. That wasn't really well received:) He said he thought it would be easier than dragging the big vac out!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterpam

Happy Birthday and VERY nice wheels! On my FORTIETH b'day ... yeah, the one that's supposed to be a BIG DEAL? My husband called in the afternoon and said, "So what do you want to do tonight? Do ya want to go out or should I maybe bring home some take-out?"
I spent the afternoon having a pity party and crying. Happy 40th b'day to me. By the way, at Christmas time he always does way more than I would ever hope for. He just does not get the birthday thing - at all! Obviously!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterTwenty Four At Heart

The worst gift I got from the ex hubby was the sulks because he didn't have the money to buy me something. Yeah! So ruin my day.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwitchypoo

I got whatever the female equivalent to a "Dear John" letter is inside my birthday card, a week after he had proposed. I don't like birthdays, but I do like presents.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMael

With an day of pampering and an evening of wooing, with promises of things to come...
What I got for my birthday was my period!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterBecky

omg! I was thinking that we had the same husband, until he bought you the car. Damn, can Boo come over to give my hubby some lessons?

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterHeadless Mom

Awesome wheels Tanis!! Boo is good at this gift giving stuff.
Worst ever B-day gift for me was I gave birth six weeks prior and on the day of my b-day hubby went to work at 6am forgot it was my bday and when he came home at 10pm he gifted me with one of the putrid cards you find in Liquior stores. Ya know the ones that have an enourmous fat lady in various states of undress wishing you a happy day well....lets just say the card had a picture of a birthday hat shoved into the mass of pink parts on enourmous fat lady with her squating looking down at the the photographer. I have nightmares about that card still it was BAD.

Happy belated Birthday!!

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterMelissa

How about last year for shitty birthdays?

After standing up the night before in my friends wedding after learning that she'd been sleeping around for months, after my newborn son shitting all over my husband during the ceremony and then being up for approximately 6 hours past my bedtime trying to get the baby back to sleep, I woke up. With something in my eye.

I had a corneal abrasion which hurts like a motherfucker. Ended up in the ER, where the nice MD gave me the only present I got all day: a script for Vicodin. Later that day, my sweet husband had a (literal) nervous breakdown and refused to help me parent the screaming newborn and the anxious 5 year old.

I didn't get a card or a gift. Ever. Just a nervous breakdown.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterAunt Becky

I got a box of tampons. Kotex Super's to be exact. My honey forgot my birthday so I became quite bitchy with him that day. So in all of his infinate wisdom, he assumed I was about I was about to start my period and thought he would pick me up another box of tampons because he didn't see any in the bathroom that morning. He tied a little bow out of the top of the shopping bag, came home and said "Here ya go babe, figured with your mood today I would stop and get you a present". I thought for a minute he might have remembered it was my birthday, but no. I got tampons, and he got hit upside the head with that box of tampons. I don't think I have ever used them more appropriately than in that moment.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLaurie

Happy Birthday! That is an awesome birthday present your husband got you.

The worst gift I ever got on my birthday was a souffle dish. It was my 19th birthday and I was a freshman in college living in a dorm. What was I supposed to do with a souffle dish? He told me that he "saw it and just seemed like the perfect gift for you." Huh? (He later left me to become a Catholic priest, so, who knows what was on his mind with that.)

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterLawmommy

Happy Birthday!

Worst birthday ever? Not sure, but there were a couple when I didn't get anything, not even a card.

After that, the hubs got good at gift-giving and I've gotten a new laptop every year for the last 3 years. I haven't ever got a car for my birthday, but I did get one for Valentine's Day this year.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered CommenterNotsoDG

happy birthday! sweet present. for my birthday a few weeks ago i got the stomach flu.... and nothing else. i was hosting a baby shower for my sister. at a park. in 108 degree weather. i couldnt even make it to the bathroom, i had to walk like 50 feet and throw up every 15 minutes. i couldnt even keep water down. oh and did i mention that my 22 month old son was sick too?! he woke up with it at 3 am and then i got it a few hours later. thats how i spent my birthday. what made it worse was there was cake, my FAVORITE kind( with cheesecake in the center) and i couldnt even eat it. i just laid on a blanket under a tree the whole time.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterlucinda!

My EX (no wonder) gave me a book about dealing with death for my birthday one year. Wha? It was really weird and kinda scary really. We divorced soon after.

September 29, 2008 | Unregistered Commenterwhitney

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