Self-pity is a good way to avoid anyone else's pity.
I spent most of the day on my birthday surfing the net. Then I went to buy trousers for the rehearsal dinner. Then I surfed the net a bit more. I was grumpy. I knew I was going to be grumpy and gave in to it. Grumpiness should be battled but I succumbed because I felt I had a right to succumb. I earned my grumpiness through the actions of others.
Towards the end of my square-eyed, slack-jawed surfing I came up with the idea for a gift for a friend. It was a pretty simple idea. It popped up while I was turning the pages of previous birthdays in my mind, birthdays in Boston. It was a great idea, despite simplicity. It was something from the New England Aquarium. I spent much of my childhood at the NEA because my mom used to work there. I checked my watch and realised it was time to go to the rehearsal dinner. I hadn't time to go to the aquarium. Or the Musuem of Fine Arts, which popped into my head quickly after the aquarium. I'd had the whole of my birthday to do stuff and moped. And not in then groovy Vespa way. So my birthday being rubbish was not through the action of others, but my fault entirely.
Then, at the rehearsal dinner, through the action of another, a birthday cake appeared and a room full of happy (mostly) strangers sang happy birthday to me.
So beware the mope, even when you deserve it or think you deserve it. Unless it's in the groovy Vespa way. In which case, wear a helmet. Ciao.