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.