It’s List Wednesday, everybody! Since it’s my birthday today, and Cynthia Week (see Monday’s post), I thought a list under that theme would be appropriate. I have to admit, it has taken me a bit longer to compose this post than others, mainly because I’m so much older now. I type a sentence, then get distracted by the skin on my hands and elbows. Its qualities of elasticity are so fascinating. I wonder if it was that stretchy when I was only 42. I don’t think so.
Anyway, the list….
Somewhat Sketchy Birthday Traditions
*Morbid “getting older” pranks. I’m always a fan of a good prank. I once rolled into a friend’s garage late at night, army style, to porcupine her car and shoe polish festive birthday messages on the windows. (Porcupining a car – Supplies: one large box of drinking straws, such as the kind you might purchase at Sam’s or Costco. Instructions: Note the crevices in the car where the doors meet the side panels, the hood and trunk open and close, etc. Place straws, one by one, in said crevices, so that they are sticking out from the vehicle like the quills of an angry porcupine.) That was a good night. I would like to point out, however, that I did not leave a box of Depends undergarments, a case of prune juice, or a bag of marbles (“for when you lose yours!”) on my friend’s dash. It was a courtesy, really. I’m already fixated on my elastic skin, so thoughts about issues like incontinence and dementia would likely ruin my appetite when I would otherwise be enjoying a pleasant family dinner at Fuzzy’s Taco Shop.
*Birthday gift cards from area merchants. I’m not talking about the gift cards people purchase. Please feel free to send those. I’m talking about those $5 or $10 off cards I’ve received from 11 different stores. I was happy when I got the first one in the mail, but now it’s just ridiculous. None of those places have items priced at that amount. I’d have to spend $354 of my own money to use them all. Happy birthday to me.
*Ecards. In my family, we don’t buy cards that are sappy and sweet. We buy the ones that can put a person in his or her place. So, I definitely don’t want a virtual greeting coming to my inbox, set to a Celine Dion tune, that expresses the same heartfelt sentiment someone in Rhode Island sent to his great granny. I’d rather you write your own heartfelt words to me on Facebook (if they’re exceedingly heartfelt, send it in a message, not a wall post) and let me blast my iTunes play-list while I read it. The funny ecards are okay, but keep in mind that funny is a relative term. Also, isn’t the e-card just a way of saying, “We’re e-card friends, not buy, sign with my hand, address and mail an actual card for you via the local post office friends”?
*The Facebook birthday wish. I don’t have a problem with these, as it allows us to say, “Happy Birthday” to people we never would even think of on their birthday otherwise. My problem with the Facebook birthday wish is that it’s so hard to be original. I’m curious as to how many different ways can you say, “Happy Birthday,” anyway. (See what I did there? 😉
*Those veins in my hands are really popping today, too.
*The spanking. If you think about it, it’s just weird. And so politically incorrect. Who even came up with that idea and how in the world did it spread? Seriously, how did the birthday spanking become ubiquitous when lim and awesomtastic are struggling to survive? I might google that question to find the answer for you, but I’m lazy, and I don’t care that much. Really, I just wanted to use the word, “ubiquitous.” Plus, in writing this post I’ve just now unlocked a traumatic memory from my childhood. It was my birthday…4th or 5th grade, at recess, and my best friends Kandy and Debbie got the entire grade to line up to spank me while they held me down over the railing. At first, it seemed like love…I mean, come on…people gave up 4-square to celebrate my birthday. But after about the 20th beating, it felt more like abuse. That’s because it was. I was black and blue, and I don’t think I ever told my parents…until this moment. Moving on.
*The Chicken, and other humiliating restaurant happenings. It’s a Catch-22. Admit it’s your birthday while dining out for dinner, and face the embarrassment of wearing a chicken hat and beak while strangers look at you with eyes that let you know they’re thinking of the Condescending Wonka meme they plan to create when they get home. Don’t admit it’s your birthday, and miss out on free dessert.
*Blowing out candles. I’m not a germaphobe, but I can’t lie and say that I haven’t passed on the cake before after seeing a little spit fly. Wouldn’t it be better if someone invented clapper candles, kind of like the clapper light switch?