Well today is my 52nd birthday.
I think birthdays are a time for reflection and for weighing up the trials and tribulations of the past year. This is the first birthday I have spent with any family for... let me see... last two years on the island with TexLOML... 2011 in Fort Worth TX with two virtual strangers... 2010 YES in 2010 The Boy was with me and we were with another stranger in Northern California... Of course there are a long run of birthdays where I have had the pleasure of The Boy's company but I think I have to go back to my 44th in 2006 to find any other family... In 2006 I celebrated in St Paul Minnesota with heaps of my fabulous MN friends and my mother and my Gay Brother were in the US visiting me.
8 years since I had a family birthday...
Today I am going to have a party here at Str8 Brother and SIL's (sister-in-law) place. My Str8 Brother called me a couple of weeks ago, when I was in Sydney, and asked what my favourite roast is... naturally I replied "Roast pork with lots of crackling!!!" and then he asked my fave dessert and I said Pavlova... now Str8 Bro doesn't have an oven so I said I would make the Pav at Gay Brother's place the day before. Gay Brother is invited to my birthday and had accepted the invitation. Here is where things get a little weird... I must declare that this is only my truth and that I'm sure others have different points of view...
OK so nearly 3 weeks ago these plans were made. On Tuesday (the party is on Sunday) I called my Gay Brother and left a message asking if it was ok for me to come over Saturday arvo to make a Pav for Sunday and would it be alright if I had a bath while I was there (the last time I saw him I had asked about coming over occasionally for a bath and had been told it was fine.) Gay Bro called back but called Str8 Bro not me (said he didn't have my number)... I spoke to him and he said he had people visiting for the weekend and that it wasn't convenient for me to use the oven or the bath. I said "oh, ok that's fine" and then he said something about not being able to come on Sunday to the birthday lunch... I was not a party to these arrangements and so I handed the phone back to Str8 Brother. At this point I could see that my Str8 Brother was getting pissed off as he had made the arrangement a few weeks before and I started to have galloping anxiety at the idea of there being a conflict over my birthday. Well Str8 Brother was fabulous on the phone while Gay Brother was heard (without speaker phone) yelling things about me "swanning back" into his life and expecting everyone to accommodate me (words to that effect). My anxiety went through the roof. Long story slightly shorter is that Gay Brother seems incredibly pissed off with me and isn't coming to lunch.
The next day I thought I should try to talk to Gay Brother and see what is the matter. I popped into his work just before closing time and asked if he might come for a quick drink with me. I was calm and kept my voice low but my Gay Brother was not. After an exchange in which he told me he has a nice quiet little life and he doesn't want me intruding on it, and that calling and leaving the message about the pav was an intrusion. He made it clear he has no room in his life for me. He then demanded that I leave the office (I think he was struggling to keep his voice low and his anger in check.)
I came home to Str8 and SIL and I was very upset... I have no idea what I have done to make him so angry or to become an "intrusion" on his life. The last time I saw him before moving back here was when I was on the way up the coast with TexLOML and we had a nice overnight visit. Nothing horrible has happened in between... Anyway, I can't change anyone but myself, so sitting talking with SIL we decided that we would change the party from a small immediate family lunch to a big BBQ sausage sizzle with our Koori cousins and any assorted friends and relatives and some wonderful old friends of mine who are Koori girls too.
We won't be skulking around mourning the fact that Gay Brother is acting like brat, we won't be just 4 of us sitting around with long faces, we will be 10 or 15 adults and dozens of kids laughing and having a terrific time! Bring on the good times!
(If Gay Brother decides to pop by and grace us with a few minutes of his time he will get rather a shock I suspect!)