Yesterday was The Kid’s birthday, and I was ready to maintain my self-imposed communication boycott, fueled by self-pity and a determination that I really didn’t matter and it’s just a birthday. Just another day. Courtesy of (potentially unnecessary) pre-day pep-talking, I was READY. Ready to not do ANYTHING. My mind could’ve done Jedi mind tricks I was that prepared and focused (well, first I would have to watch those movies to even know what that entails, but you get it). And it worked; the day happened, and I thought about him, but I wasn’t even TEMPTED to contact. Besides, I had convinced myself that he wouldn’t even NOTICE, much less think of it as some huge punishment to not hear a few words from me.

If he didn’t care, I didn’t care, and I didn’t care so much that my sister and I wished him birthday wishes over our dinner of apple crisp.

“I wish … that the store is sold out of cake. I mean, he doesn’t even LIKE CAKE.”
“I wish … that he is wearing a new outfit and a bus comes barreling down the street and to NOT hit him –but maybe just spray mud all over him.”
“I wish … that when he is tying his shoes, he breaks a shoelace –so he can go buy new ones. New shoelaces are NICE.”

We’re givers. And healthy –well, relatively, much healthier than when she found out her ex was engaged and wrote to him, “Congrats. I hope your wedding is beautiful and your new bride chokes on her wedding cake and dies.”


His birthday, I kept distracted, la la la, it doesn’t matter, doesn’t matter to him why should it matter to me, blah blah. Good, right?

At 10:50pm, he texted.

“You have ten minutes.” (He’s on east-coast time).

So he did notice.

After much internal debate and nine minutes, I responded, “Was giving us space. But happy 27.” Quick, easy, totally breezy and noncommittal.

“Give all the space you need, but we don’t blow off birthdays you jerk.” (This is him trying to keep it light.)

“You missed my half. I think you were in NYC. Apparently we do.” (This is me being passive aggressive. Side note: yes, I celebrate my half-birthday on September 10th, and mostly I love it more than my real birthday.)

“Not real birthdays Molly, not real birthdays.” (As if we have established a protocol for this situation.)

“Skip the righteous tone, wouldja.”

“No, I’m a fuck, but I never miss your birthday, that transcends.”

I could’ve picked like four different fights with this convo but instead, I just said, “It’s moot. Happy 27.”


He texted again, something off topic about how he spent his day (at a county fair), and I didn’t respond, which means that I didn’t engage in actual conversation and I vote it counts as not talking, and I am still on my way to my 30-day Kid-less chip. Go me.