They Sang "Happy Birthday"

They sang “Happy Birthday” after the bell struck midnight. I felt uncomfortable at all the attention – I’ve always said I don’t like a fuss. In a way I’m dreading going out this evening and putting on the happy face so I don’t disappoint. Because right now I feel like I need some down time – some time on my own.

I’ll do it all the same – put in an appearance. And people will be nice to me and – as far as I can tell – enjoy themselves. But I will feel under pressure to fit in and live up to normal expectations. So I won’t quite relax and let my guard down because it will be a little unpredictable. Social occasions are not easy – more so when I’m attracting attention.

I’m sure they mean well and are sincere with their birthday wishes – I can’t tell if it’s otherwise so I take it all at face value. The truth is that a birthday is just another day to me. I’m happiest if it all procedes according to established routine. No surprises.

In case I’m giving the wrong impression let me state now that I appreciate all the happy returns – they make me feel that people do care about me (did I ever mention I’m insecure?).

Birthday Nerves

I rang the bell at midnight.
The bar was closed,
My shift was done.
How could I know that they might
Start singing out
“Happy birthday”?

I stood there, no time to hide:
Like a rabbit
Caught in headlights
I felt embarrassed inside
But carried on.
What could I do?

Discomfort’s normal to me:
I feel awkward
In the spotlight.
One-to-one is best you see:
Interaction
On my own terms.

I hope that they keep in mind
Limitations
Of my syndrome.
Only trying to be kind,
They overload
Me: it’s too much.

So come in turn with greetings:
One at a time,
More is excess.
I can cope with such meetings
Without the stress
That groups can cause.

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