Happy Birthday, the song that makes the recipient feel awkward and wonders what they should do. “Does it make me sing?” “Does it make me awkwardly sit down?” “Does this make me take a picture?” These are common questions and there is no right answer. Katharine Brush’s short tale, The Birthday Party, offers an alternative way of approaching this problem: scolding the wife. Katherine tells the story of a husband who surprises her wife with a birthday cake. The husband doesn’t show gratitude like you would expect. Instead, he scolds his wife for showing affection. This is the result of his anger at his wife. It shows how important communication and dedication are in a relationship.
Communication is key to a healthy relationship. The Birthday Party features the husband and wife demonstrating to the reader how communication can make a relationship break down. The lack of communication between the husband and wife might have resulted in their separation. Although it is unfortunate, this story can be applied to real-life relationships. YourTango.com polled 100 mental health professionals to find that divorce is the most common reason for separation. Humans are social creatures who have relied on communication in the past, especially speech, to survive and develop. Darwin’s Theory of Evolution by Natural Selection states that traits that allow a species to survive will help it thrive in the future. In the same way, the desire to communicate with their partner ultimately results in successfully raising a child. Primarily, mating from evolutionary perspectives is the only purpose in a relationship. Humans want to live a purposeful life. Many people will choose suboptimal life choices, choosing the mate they want to be with for their entire lives. The end result is that a relationship’s purpose has been changed. A strong bond can be formed when dedication is applied correctly to another person. It was the tradition at weddings that you would promise to take person A (wife/husband) to be your lawfully wed (husband), in sickness and health… being unto them as long as they live.” Unfortunately, the paperwork required to get a divorce decree are difficult to obtain. The birthday party’s husband might have considered divorce. Although the author does not reveal what his husband said to his wife, it is likely that he had moved on from his marriage. Their marriage was unfulfilling and ending. This is due to the sudden rise in divorce rates in the USA after WWII, when divorce became socially acceptable. Society no longer required a couple to remain together in difficult times. Our brains are wired for shortcuts. This includes breaking promises to our spouses when things get difficult. Divorce is one of these shortcuts.
Communication and devotion are two of the most crucial factors in determining if a relationship will work. It’s not always possible for relationships to work out. Katharine Brush suggests that couples with children should communicate and keep their commitments to one another. The parties should work together to resolve differences and stay together.