I woke up this morning crabby. It was not the type of crabby caused by being another year closer to death, this was the type of crabby caused by a poor night of sleep in a recliner, waking up with a crick in your neck and a headache. The old age crabby came shortly after that, when I realized I just described a sore spot in my neck as a “crick”.
A kiss from my lovely wife and a cup of coffee seemed to smooth over both cases of the crabs.
Then it started. The new birthday tradition that has taken over the world. My Facepage started to light up with birthday wishes.
The first official wish came overnight from out in California. An old college friend named Scott. Thanks, Scott. Very punctual.
Another college friend decided to celebrate with this long-lost picture:
I am not even sure who that guy is, but I just love the oversized specs.
My daughter Molly decided to follow-up that prize photo with a post from her phone of me sitting in the dreaded recliner that started my day off so well.
My ability to take a casual photo has not improved with age.
(A quick side note. The book I am reading is “I Work Better With an Audience” by Jennifer Inglis. Yet another college friend who happened to get a book published. I am a tad bit jealous, although I don’t recall if she sent me a birthday wish. Yet.)
A few years ago, birthday wishes, at least for me, were confined to just local family, and co-workers if your birthday happened to fall on a work day. As many offices do, we all get to eat cake on those special days, but it is really less of a birthday wish, and more just an excuse to stuff our faces. I feel bad that my absence from work has deprived the office of another chance at a sugar coma.
But then along came the Facepage as my mother is fond of calling it, and suddenly birthdays became special again. People you have not seen in years were now wishing you a happy day. High school friends, college friends, friends you don’t even know, but they just happen to play the same dumb games on Facebook. There were birthday wishes from former co-workers, former employees, and former family members. (That last one is a little complicated, but I am learning not too uncommon.) There was even at least one birthday wish from overseas. Even after today is over, there will still be those straggling late birthday wishes. It can almost be overwhelming.
In the past, I was something of a Birthday Scrooge. I wanted nothing to do with my birthday, and would grumble back at anyone who would dare wish me a happy day. There is an infamous story from almost ten years ago, when I was approaching my 4oth birthday, and at that point I was very insistent that I did not want anyone to make a big deal about this milestone. No party, no cake, nothing. It was just another day. To put it nicely, I was being a bit of an ass. And I continued to be an ass right up until some one reminded me that I was only going to be 39 that year.
Today I am not that same guy. If I had gone through the day and no one had posted a birthday wish or photo, I probably would have been heartbroken.
Thank you to everyone for the birthday wishes today, and if for some reason I missed yours, Happy Birthday to you too.