My dad forgot my birthday. This is the sort of thing that normal people would feel upset about, but I feel nothing really. I expected him to forget.
My mother does not forget my birthday. She just rarely wishes me a happy birthday because she wants me to believe that she has forgotten. She does so intentionally to hurt me. Everything is a game to my mother. She must always inflict more pain on a given person than she believes that person has inflicted upon her. In her mind, every accidental meanness is completely intentional. I know my mother remembers my birthday. Sometimes her boyfriend calls me on my birthday to wish me well and he has a terrible memory. Obviously she mentioned my birthday -or lamented my existence as she often does- to her boyfriend.
On the other hand my dad just doesn’t care. He’s not a forgetful man. My dad pays his bills on time, remembers the birthdays of my sister, brother, their children, my grandmother, aunts, and uncles. My dad remembers his parent’s wedding anniversary, that the flowers were white lilies, and what year my grandmother lost her hearing in one ear. He just doesn’t care enough to remember my birthday.
What can I expect of a man who wanted a son so he taught me son things until he had a son then dropped me like a hot potato. A man who taught me how to cook until my sister was old enough to learn to cook then excluded me from the kitchen. When he and my mother were getting divorced, my mother threw my sister and I out of the house. He offered my sister a place to stay, but not me. While he and my sister slept in separate rooms with separate beds and blankets, I slept on the couch in my grandmother’s junk room. I had to climb over mounds of black plastic trash bags stuffed with clothes and cloth to get to the couch. They didn’t even clear a space. Most of the time, I slept in the front seat of my truck or stayed with a friend’s parents. It was painfully obvious I wasn’t welcome there.
So, you see, it’s really no surprise he forgot my birthday. I expected him to forget. I’m not the type of thing he tends to remember.