I have this perfect analogy I wanted to share with you. I keep trying to explain my feelings to someone & it’s not clicking. I’m not sure how to bring my point across. I think this “story” helps a lot & hopefully, it’ll make sense.
Let’s pretend it’s my birthday. And let’s say my friend, Mary, is gonna make me my favorite – red velvet. I’ve had other versions but Mary’s red velvet is by far the best & the one I really want. It’s perfect-sized & I’ve been looking forward to it. I’m really excited to have some of her cake. It’s made especially for me & I’m feeling the love for my birthday.
But instead of giving the cake to me, she hesitates & says, “Julie’s having a rough day so I’m gonna give her a slice of cake.” Um, okay…? I’m naturally taken aback but, whatever, I’m a realist. If cake helps, I can sacrifice a slice. After Julie gets her slice, I ask Mary if I can have my cake. “Well, wait a minute. My friend, Candy, is gonna have some first.”
So now I’m getting pissed. What the fuck is going on? Why can’t I have this cake? You made it for me, for my birthday. It’s something special, a way of showing you love & care for me. Why are your “friends” getting some? Why isn’t it reserved for me?
Mary protests, “It’s not that big of a deal. They’re my friends, too. Why does it bother you?” It bothers me, sweet Mary, because it’s supposed to be for ME. I don’t want to be sharing my birthday cake with everyone else.
Mary is annoyed but agrees to save the rest of the cake for me. I immediately have some walls up as I’m confused as to what just happened. I decide to do my best to move forward. I don’t understand where the hiccup is but whatever. I go to get myself a plate, & what do you know? I turn around & see that Julie is getting another slice.
What the actual fuck, Mare?
“God, SC. She’s just a friend. Why can’t I share with my friends?”
Mary, it’s not that they’re your friends. It’s that it’s MY gift that YOUR friends are getting. I haven’t had any cake yet & it’s my birthday. Can you please just leave Julie, Candy, & whoever else alone on my birthday?
Eventually, I give up. Fine, Mary. You win.
I set my plate down & watch Julie, Candy, & Mary all giggling & eating my cake. I end up with a small sliver while I watch Julie & Candy dump their cake in the trash. They don’t really care about it. They might have had a bite or two but it wasn’t what they wanted. They just wanted the attention that Mary was giving them.
Mary doesn’t see what the problem is. I mean, I did have some of the cake. “You’re being ridiculous, SC. It’s just cake.”
I finish my cake, put my plate away, & quietly step back from the party. I can’t keep watching this happen & act like it doesn’t affect me when it does.
I just wanted to celebrate my birthday with Mary & her famous red velvet cake. I didn’t think I would have to compete for her attention & for my gift…