only seconds from summer, and we’re already deep in the thick of birthday season. mine kicked off labor day weekend; chris‘ was yesterday, and harish has his on an undisclosed day between today and Thursday. my friend scarlet has hers on friday, followed by colin on the 14th, exoditto Jess on the 17th, and jimmy j in two weeks. i’m not big on birthdays, so i was expecting some solid but standard fare — the always nice-to-receive card or greeting, combined with a relaxing holiday weekend with friends and/or family. being a summer birthday, i didn’t grow up with a classroom celebration, so i’m not trained to seek any group-based fanfare.
this year was entirely different and unexpected on several fronts, however. first, cristen was kind enough to organize a surprise piÃ±ata ceremony outside the office for Chris and me (“within view of the white house,” Tom instantly observed via twitter during the events). i can’t adequately communicate how fully satisfying it is to let out post-vacation-why-am-i-back-at-work-rage by using a giant bat to beat down a stuffed-with-candy motorcycle cardboard thing. (for the record, in case i travel to a country where the pinata is actually a living pig stuffed with bonbons, as prescribed by some ancient tradition, i don’t think that would be fun at all.) we washed the candy down with some incredible cupcakes from heller’s famous bakery in mt. pleasant (thanks, cristen!)second: facebook, damnit, has redefined birthday. i’m pretty sure i’m grateful for the tsunami of birthday wishes that were posted on my wall. i mean, of course i am, because i don’t think any of the friends whom facebook reminded of my birthday would have bothered to wish me a good one had they not cared. but what are you supposed to say to all these well-wishers? “thanks for the card”? not exactly.i think i’m just cranky about how overwhelming facebook has become lately. i was most appreciative of the calls, text messages, and cards, all of which i received on or before my birthday, no problem. the emails to both my work and personal email accounts were great, too, and i unearthed those along with hundreds of far less exciting emails when i returned from the weekend. and finally, who wouldn’t enjoy reading the public thread of facebook messages posted to your wall? but today i find yet another digital stone unturned where birthday greetings were waiting — the private facebook messages in that pseudo email inbox facebook created. just one stream too many. no, it’s not that i’m so popular that i’m receiving so many greetings — it’s that facebook told everyone who i’ve ever met (they’re all on facebook, yes) that it was my birthday and half of them chose their own adventure to reach me in any one of ten different ways or mediums. overall, i think that’s pretty great. 10 points for technology. but right now, i’m just wondering if there’s an inbox somewhere that i’ve forgotten to check.(photo credit and more from today: perks)