Monday, January 05, 2009

Birthdays and Facebook

Every year it seems I have to explain my relative indifference to birthdays to some kind hearted person who either a) wants me to celebrate in a bigger way than I do or b) honestly feels terrible for missing it. The quick explanation is that because the day of my birth falls immediately after Christmas and the new year, everyone, including me, is all partied out.

When I was a kid my birthday simply meant we had to go back to school. As an adult it still signifies the end of the holiday season and is easily and understandably overlooked by friends and family who would rather have a root canal than go to another party. Again, I'm included in that camp. Besides, who wants to be tempted with cake and ice cream when you're only 5 days into your New Years resolution to lose weight and get in shape? I don't want to be responsible for bringing down the national average of sticking with a resolution for at least ten days.

I do receive with great joy the traditional Happy Birthday kiss from my wife, the home made works of birthday art from my children and the obligatory call from my parents and siblings reminding me that as the youngest and let's say "unexpected" addition to the family, I was the reason they couldn't afford the stereo they all wanted.

With the invention of email and text messaging it became easier for friends to wish me well and so I began to receive a few more annual acknowledgements that way. This year however, was my first birthday as a member of the Facebook Family. Facebook alerts you when your Facebook Friends are having a birthday. What a great idea! I received more birthday messages from well wishers this year alone than in the last 20 combined!

I know, I know, some of you purists out there are scoffing at this seemingly sterile form of salutation, but let me tell you this, in the proper hands those emoticons can make you lol or bring you to tears.

Seriously, I do appreciate everyone who took a moment to send a message. I had a low-key, good day and a wonderful night at home that included a tasty steak, good wine, kisses from my girls, a fire in the fireplace, coffee and banana pudding for dessert and watching football on TV. What party could possibly match that?