Culture Emotional Work

Day 893 and Somebody to Love

Today is my husband’s birthday. We aren’t doing anything specific to celebrate the occasion as that is his preference. But I want to mark the day personally by sharing my love for his dislike of making a “thing” out of traditional celebrations. I feel it is one of his finest qualities.

I respect that Alex doesn’t like to make a big deal about his birthday. He doesn’t really care for making a big thing out anyone else’s birthday for that matter either.

He will celebrate an occasion if someone else wants to do so but I’ve only ever seen him enjoy celebrating daily life. He’s loyal to the people but disinclined to mere symbolism.

Alex’s approach to marking an occasion has always shown me constancy and loyalty. He shows up for each day. Perhaps this approach isn’t a conscious effort. He shows up for the moment when asked. Over and over again. Which is quite a bit harder than buying a good gift even if it looks less glamorous.

My birthday celebration with Alex involved a 2 hour delayed cold pizza at 1 in the morning while staying in shitty hotel in London. That’s more of my speed than parties, gifts, or elaborate gatherings and more of his speed as well.

Maybe it’s that Alex doesn’t wish ask us to perform rituals that have no meaning to him. I perceive this inclination as gracious and masculine and steady.

This isn’t to say that there isn’t a shadow version of this preference. My suspicion is that birthdays require too much social pressure for it to be enjoyable. It’s burdensome for the return on emotional investment and a waste when one can celebrate at any moment one chooses.

In the spirit I’d like to wish Alex a happy birthday and a lyric from Queen. May you all find somebody to love.

Ooh, each morning I get up I die a little
Can barely stand on my feet
(Take a look at yourself)
Take a look in the mirror and cry (and cry)
Lord, what you’re doing to me? (Yeah, yeah)
I have spent all my years in believing you
But I just can’t get no relief, Lord
Somebody (somebody), ooh, somebody (somebody)
Can anybody find me somebody to love?

Queen’s Somebody to Love