Author Topic: How unhappy would you be?  (Read 5811 times)

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Bethalize

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How unhappy would you be?
« on: October 19, 2012, 05:29:43 AM »
I like birthdays. I make a big fuss of friends for milestone birthdays in just the way each friend likes (even if that's no fuss!), and I am great with children's birthdays. However, I subscribed to Miss Manners' dictum of there being an age up until which you are entitled to expect your birthday to be marked, and that age is twelve years old.

My other belief is that a gift is a gift, and if I give you a gift you are not obliged to give me anything in return, ever. It is a unique transaction.

There is one person I initially had a professional relationship with but we were becoming friends, as in we did a few things together outside of our work environment. Back in April he wanted to know what I was getting him for his birthday because I ha made cake for someone else. I said I had made cake because it was a milestone birthday (21). He could wait until he was 30, otherwise it would have to be reciprocal and we would mark each other's birthdays. That was what he wante.

So I made him treats he could eat for his actual birthday, I gave him a voucher for a box of cakes for him to cash when he wasn't training and of course there was the perfect card. He cashed the voucher in September and I presented him with a box of cupcakes designed especially for him. He loved them, took photos, and everyone thought they were professional.

In the first week of October he tells me he has my birthday in my diary, he's going to make me a cake etc. I say just remembering it will be enough, and I'll see him two days after my actual birthday. He says he'll text me on the day (he doesn't).

Two days later I breeze in as usual. How are you? he says. Well, I'm another year older, I say. I know, he says. Then we are swept up in business.

And that is it. No happy birthday. No mention of it again - because he spends that day and most of the next avoiding me. When I do see him I am pleasant and don't refer to it.

I feel a bit let down and manipulated. I haven't felt "used" in years. Am I reading this situation incorrectly? Surely if someone cared about you at all they would say happy birthday and at least make some excuse. None of my close friends would ever act like this.

YummyMummy66

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #1 on: October 19, 2012, 06:20:02 AM »
Yes, I would be upset.  He made a point of telling you about his birthday and what you were going to do for him.

He mentioned he had your birthday on the calendar.  He avoided you after said birthday.  He knows exactly what he did to you and what he did not do, thus the avoidance.

You have two options.  Call him out on it or just maintain a business relationship from now on.

Snooks

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #2 on: October 19, 2012, 06:51:45 AM »
Ouch, that hurts.  How long ago was your birthday?  I'm just wondering if he's waiting for the weekend to make the cake.

Winterlight

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #3 on: October 19, 2012, 10:49:26 AM »
If this is someone you want to keep as a friend, I'd call him on this. Friends don't use each other . If you don't, then I would drop the relationship to professional plus an ice cube, with no hint that you ever considered being more.

And yes, I'd be bugged. He wanted me to make a big deal about his birthday, and then he totally blew me off.
If wisdom’s ways you wisely seek,
Five things observe with care,
To whom you speak,
Of whom you speak,
And how, and when, and where.
Caroline Lake Ingalls

Luci

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #4 on: October 19, 2012, 11:29:08 AM »
You are as unhappy as you are.

This person made plans but never implemented them, as happens with a lot of people. At least he has the good grace to be embarrassed, it seems.

Now you have learned 1) you can't depend on him in particular, and 2) probably not to get your expectations and hopes up for anything like that from anyone untill you see the cake knife come out.

I would just not worry about it and maintain working only relationship. When I do see him I am pleasant and don't refer to it. is what you said, and I think it is the right way to handle it.
« Last Edit: October 19, 2012, 11:54:42 AM by Luci45 »

dharmaexpress

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #5 on: October 19, 2012, 11:37:46 AM »
It won't help you now, but:

Quote
Back in April he wanted to know what I was getting him for his birthday

Danger Will Robinson!  An adult who poses this question is likely to be fairly self interested.

And in answer to your question, I wouldn't be very impressed.  I'd distance and remain professional, and know that his behavior has told me something important about him.

It's good to be Queen

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #6 on: October 19, 2012, 04:49:36 PM »
I feel your pain!  My sister likes a fuss made of her birthday so I go out of my way to get her favorite cakes each year.  One time it was a cheesecake from the Cheesecake Factory, another it was a cassata cake from an really good Italian bakery. Once I have made her favorite chocolate cake with white choc icing from scratch.  So what does she do for my birthday?  Mostly--nothing.  She know my favorite cake is carrot so last year she brought me spice cake from Wallyworld (not quite the same) but usually she just says, "Oh, I should have gotten you a cake".  This year I finally decided to just get her a gift and forgo the cake, she pouted all day. 

If you are not interested in a friendship with this person, just let the matter drop and certainly don't do anything when his 30th rolls around!

Bijou

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #7 on: October 19, 2012, 05:08:35 PM »
I was slighted in such a way some years ago and it stings.  He isn't much of a friend and he would never get an acknowledgement of his birthday from me again.  Why bother with someone who cares so little about your feelings and a ton about his own?  Even if he could not do anything for your birthday for a real reason other than being a taker and user, he had a responsibility to let you know. 
I've never knitted anything I could recognize when it was finished.  Actually, I've never finished anything, much to my family's relief.

Jones

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #8 on: October 19, 2012, 05:26:26 PM »
I wrote on here a while back about some flakey friends I was planning to drop. In a nutshell, the most recent (at the time) insult was that I had invited them to a birthday party--My birthday--and Mrs. Flake later chose to host a birthday party for her sister that day instead, without saying anything negatively RSVPing or acknowledging the schedule conflict. As the latest in a line of flakiness, it became a dealbreaker to me; however, DH was still friends with Mr. Flake so I avoided drama and just scaled my interactions waaaaaaay back. We are currently facebook friends (though that may change if she doesn't stop posting PA insults to my way of life; I've made choices she wouldn't and she disagrees with it but doesn't call me out directly), and that's really it.

Recently, Mrs. Flake invited me to her birthday party. I declined the invitation. Then she FB messaged me...."OH YEAH, Jean Bean and I have the same birthday. :( " Yes, she blew off my previously scheduled birthday to host her own sister's birthday, then acted hurt that I RSVPed "No" to her birthday in favor of my daughter's birthday.

All that to say, OP, if you never acknowledge Coworker's birthday again, he'll probably pout, but you won't necessarily be rude and you won't feel used. I'm sorry I can't send you real cake, but please imagine a delicious slice of virtual cake (no calories! Yay!) from me.

Stranger

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #9 on: October 19, 2012, 05:29:58 PM »
I would be upset, too.

I had a friend who used to say that birthdays are incredibly important to her, and that she thinks people should be spoilt with gifts, attention and a party on their birthdays. What she *meant* was that her birthday was incredibly important, and that her friends should spoil her - but that she shouldn't have to reciprocate.


CrochetFanatic

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2012, 06:04:45 PM »
I would be upset, too, and I've had similar things happen to me.  You have the right to your own feelings, whatever they happen to be.  Mentioning it to him might make things awkward, though.  I had a friend who got a birthday gift from me, then didn't even wish me a "happy birthday" when I mentioned in passing (like you did) that I was a year older.  I just shrugged it off, and the next year she was mad at me because I didn't give her a present that time around.  Yeah...that friendship didn't last.  That was the only time someone reacted that way to me, though.  The other two smiled and said "thank you" when I wished them a "happy birthday". 

I wouldn't mention it at all, nor would I make this guy a priority when it's not returned.  If he asks what you're getting him for his birthday next year, you could give a noncommittal response and then beandip.

Deetee

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2012, 06:27:06 PM »

I would be very annoyed. I also would bring it up because as far as I am concerned he has already destroyed the friendship and there is nothing to be lost by letting him know why. Not in a screaming angry fashion, but in a “Did you really completely blow off my birthday?” (wait for reply) “After saying you were doing something?)” (wait for reply) “After specifically asking for something for your birthday?” (wait for reply) “And after eating all those delicious cupcakes?” (wait for reply) “Well, I think that is selfish and I’m really disappointed”

This isn’t about birthdays.  This is about an arrangement and an agreement and general reciprocity in friendship. The birthday part is irrelevant in my mind (because, as I said, this would really  really annoy me, and I am low key to the point of indifference about birthdays)

BarensMom

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2012, 06:29:07 PM »
OP, if next year that guy asks what you are going to do for his day, simply tell him, "What you did for mine."

My birthday was yesterday.  My DH had to work, one sister sent a card and gift, the other called, zilch from my brother, nieces and nephews, or friends.  It stings, especially after spending $50+ on each of my nieces and nephews for their days. 

DH did take me to lunch today, and, as I watched a birthday party in progress, I realized that I must be one of those people that just don't have parties thrown for them, or if anyone remembers it's their birthday, it's an afterthought.  There are those who live outside of people's consideration, and I must be one of them.

GrammarNerd

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2012, 06:32:02 PM »

I would be very annoyed. I also would bring it up because as far as I am concerned he has already destroyed the friendship and there is nothing to be lost by letting him know why. Not in a screaming angry fashion, but in a “Did you really completely blow off my birthday?” (wait for reply) “After saying you were doing something?)” (wait for reply) “After specifically asking for something for your birthday?” (wait for reply) “And after eating all those delicious cupcakes?” (wait for reply) “Well, I think that is selfish and I’m really disappointed”

This isn’t about birthdays.  This is about an arrangement and an agreement and general reciprocity in friendship. The birthday part is irrelevant in my mind (because, as I said, this would really  really annoy me, and I am low key to the point of indifference about birthdays)

I like this. 

And actually, it IS worse just BECAUSE it's your birthday.  You shouldn't have to worry about trivial crapola or being metaphorically slapped in the face like this on your birthday.  That's just low.

jfost

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Re: How unhappy would you be?
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2012, 09:44:11 PM »
Forgotten birthdays seems to be part of being a grown up!  Mine is forgotten by extended family 9 times out of 10.  My parents forgot my birthday a few times which blows my mind.  They weren't senile.... how could they forget the birthdate of one of their children?

I understand how unhappy you would feel about your birthday being forgotten, but are you sure it has been forgotten?  Maybe acknowledgements are late.  Unfortunately people are busy these days, sometimes working two jobs besides all the other stuff of life.  Or, maybe they didn't forget but are too embarrassed to admit they can't afford to buy a gift.  If your brother is similar to other brother's I know acknowledging something like a sister's birthday is not on their list of things which are important.  At least you weren't totally forgotten like has been my experience!

Belated Happy Birthday to you!!!!