Several people asked today if I had birthday plans. I laughed. Of course not. Having plans usually implies having someone to share them with. My family is 100 miles away (too far for a weeknight) and my close family is 2,000 miles away. I don't have many friends because I don't hang onto friends very well. I don't do one-sided friendships. If I feel like I'm the only one making an effort then I will let the friendship fizzle out. So, no, I did not have birthday plans.
I think the lack of friends is because I was teased so much while I was growing up. I desperately wanted friends but didn't know how to make them. I was always just a little bit weird. My parents wouldn't let me eat sugar; I was the oldest of 12 kids (which meant there was always a baby on the way); my family was poor; my mom liked to spout off about conspiracies; my dad smacked me around and called me stupid; I wore stained and baggy clothes; I was overweight; every two years I was the new kid in town. So yeah, the kids my age had plenty to pick on. I'm sure I was a twitching bundle of neuroses. I probably wouldn't have been my friend either.
In college I realized that people I knew from church back home were not my friends. When they weren't forced to interact with me they quit interacting with me at all. I didn't want them to think of me as annoying and needy so I backed off and looked for friends in other places. Usually I ended up clinging to a roommate. I became irritated with Sunday-friendships, where people who never spoke to you or invited you to their parties would grab your arm in the hallway at church and say how glad they were to see you there. For that and a few other reasons I quit going to church.
Now here I am, 31 years old. I'm no longer defined by my family and parents. I dress better, smell better and do my hair better but I'm still overweight and still paranoid. I have very few friends and few opportunities for making them outside of work - and even then it's difficult because everyone is married with families. They don't have room in their lives for a tragic, neurotic single gal. Most of the time it's not so bad. I have learned to be okay with being alone. It's just difficult on birthdays.