Hallmark Holidays

I first learned that Jordan hates birthdays in October of 2010 when he woke up one Saturday, looked at his phone and let out an awful noise. It started with a low moan and escalated to “aaarrrRGGGHHHH!”

Thinking he missed an incredibly important appointment I asked him what was wrong.

“It’s my dad’s birthday,” he replied exasperated.

I couldn’t wrap my head around why that was so terrible. It was, after all, early enough to call and possibly even send a last-minute gift.

He saw my confused expression and explained: “Now I have to call and pretend that he accomplished something spectacular by turning another year older when in fact he didn’t do anything special at all. Just because he was born on this day, I’m burdened with remembering it.

Somewhere in his speech I stopped thinking about Larry’s birthday and started envisioning all my future birthdays—Jordan waking up next to me and groaning as if my birthday was the most exhausting day of his life.

Now I’m a pretty low maintenance girl. I don’t need extravagance on my birthday but I would like a little recognition from my future husband. I knew I had to set the expectation early or be forever disappointed, so I gathered my thoughts and commenced the negotiations. We bartered like we were exchanging trinkets at a Mexican market.

“No cards,” he said. “And that extends to all ridiculous Hallmark holidays including but not limited to Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and Valentine’s Day.”

“What about a kiss? Can I have a birthday kiss?”


“How about a hug?”


“A smile?”


After several “conversations” over the course of several days, we finally agreed that he doesn’t have to do anything for my birthday so long as he doesn’t make that awful noise when he wakes up and realizes it’s my birthday.

Although it sounds like I conceded, the thing with Jordan is that once he’s relieved of all expectations, he winds up exceeding them in ways you could never conceive.

By the way, this is where he took me for my birthday last year…

Monterey Plaza Hotel

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