But thing is that I actually turned 33.
Yes, that's right. I aged myself a year. REALLY thought I was 34 on Friday. In fact, I had to pull out the calculator and then verify with my husband to convince myself otherwise.
But enough about my memory loss and gray hair and cellulite. The fact that I remembered my birthday at all should probably be taken as a GOOD THING, right? Well, ENTER FACEBOOK.
With Facebook, it's virtually impossible to forget ANYONE's birthday. There's the email a few days prior, the reminder the day of, and the incessant exclamation points and joyful wishes scrolling in your updates screen. Every year that I'm on the receiving end of those wishes, however, I'm never quite sure how to handle it. Many of the wall posts are sweet and flattering, but some? Some are just...bizarre. Allow me to break it down for you:
The obligatory birthday wall post:
This one is noteworthy mostly because of the lack of capitalization, and especially because of the period. I often envision someone that is being FORCED to offer the greeting, under penalty of death or Internet service interruption. This person is not excited about your birthday, and perhaps even resents you for it. AND THEY WANT YOU TO KNOW IT, TOO.
The overzealous birthday wall post:
HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!! HOPE YOUR DAY IS THE BEST ONE EVER!!!!!!!!!
This one often leaves me feeling a bit guilty. It's a lot of pressure to make one particular day of the week, like, the BEST DAY OF MY LIFE. Especially when I spent it scrubbing toilets, ushering tantruming children to soccer practice, and darting across the bedroom naked because you left your blinds open but forgot to bring a towel to the shower.
It's like, LAY OFF ME ALREADY.
The awkward birthday wall post:
Happy birthday to a beautiful woman, wife, and mother!!!!
...said my boyfriend from high school FIFTEEN YEARS LATER.
The mystery birthday wall post:
This one is often misspelled or oddly punctuated. You're not sure if the poster is illiterate, five years old, or sporting an ironic hipster moustache. In fact, when you click on the person's FB profile, you have no fucking clue who the person is.
Then you go to bed that night with many blunt objects tucked beneath your pillow.
Of course, the silver lining is the many wonderful, genuine comments from my facially perfectly-proportioned friends & readers:
Happy Birthday, you no-good, cheatin' sonofabitch!
And THOSE, of course, do nothing but warm the darkest, greediest, moldiest cockles of my heart. (Thanks, friends.)
BUT! Once the posts plateau and disappear, there's the issue of RESPONDING to all the birthday greetings. Am I supposed to respond to each one? Give everybody a THUMBS UP? Throw up the obligatory "THANKS FOR THE BIRTHDAY WISHES, EVERYONE!"
Good GOD, people. It's a lot of pressure for a woman that can hardly remember her own age.