For those familiar with The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, you’ll know that they are: words of affirmation, quality time, gifts, acts of service and physical touch. Basically, all of us feel and express love in different ways so it’s important to express love to your spouse/children in a way that they can understand. If not, it’s kinda like speaking German to a Chinese. A complete waste of time. Not to mention the misunderstandings and hurt feelings. Anyhoo, I’m bringing this up because I’m not sure where celebrating birthdays come under. The Hubs is not a big fan of birthday celebrations, especially his own. No particular reason. He just doesn’t think it’s a big deal. Over the past decade or so, I’ve refused to give in. I make a big deal on his special day with the presents, bake the birthday cakes, go out to fancy restaurants, badger him to take leave, plan surprises. He’s sweet enough to go along but I think most times, it’s so that I have fun celebrating. This year, he asked for a quiet birthday. Over the recent months, we’ve made a couple of big decisions (good ones, I hope) and the next few months are going to be about change and adjustments. No, I’m not pregnant (*touch wood). So all The Hubs wanted this year was some quiet time. Honestly, I didn’t get it and got a little frustrated. So did he. In the end, I backed down. And gave the birthday boy what he wanted. Yesterday came and went like any other day. I was sooooo tempted to run home to secretly bake him a cake but I held firm. I bit my lip and held my tongue when all he wanted for dinner was fish soup at the foodcourt. I wished him happy birthday a couple of times and that was it. It totally sucked. For me, not him. But then I forget, it wasn’t my birthday, was it? We often give people what we think would make them happy. We project our own expectations, beliefs and baggage and think that what would make us happy would make them happy. Well, guess what. I learnt yesterday that giving The Hubs what he wanted was not the easiest thing to do. I wanted to celebrate. I wanted to go somewhere nice to eat. I wanted him to unwrap a ridiculously expensive present and be happy. Giving him the quiet birthday he wanted went against every fibre in my body. But then I remembered – oh right, it was my best friend’s birthday. So which language does that fall under?