I have never been so well "birthdayed" in my life. It is June 12, four days past the big day, and I am still astounded by the attention. It was a little bit overwhelming, even for this extrovert. And I really didn't expect any of it.
That was a little naive because I did put it on the blog several days ago. But I only have about 40 hits a day, very few of them from local people, so I didn't expect more than a few comments. The biggest group of HBs came from Facebook friends, and now I know how tickled a person can get when a whole bunch of people respond to that little "events" notation in the upper right corner of one's page.
So electronic greetings flooded in, but last Sunday, as I was closing the service, I noticed a furtive movement by one of my dearest members and suddenly the whole church burst into song. I stood in the pulpit blushing while they sang. And there was cake!
On the actual date, two friends took me to dinner at a nice place in Freeland and there was a sinful chocolate dessert with a candle in the middle at the end of the meal.
All week long, the greetings flowed in and on Thursday night at the jam, another cake appeared and another raucous version of Happy Birthday, this time the version John McCutcheon sings about "you sure grew out of your baby ways, Happy Birthday to you!"
On top of it all, my sister gave me twelve bars of fancy (REALLY fancy) soaps, all of which smell lovely and way too pretty to actually use. I asked her if she was trying to tell me something, but apparently not. I now have a lifetime supply of soap, if I decide to use them and I probably will. They definitely outclass the Coast and Ivory bars currently in the bathrooms.
The Favorite Son and Daughter-in-law gave me a gorgeous Sepphora gift pack, with Lotus Garden fragrance body butter, candle, solid perfume, and bath salts. Heavens! It's like a spa treatment, and I plan to slather myself with the stuff on every appropriate occasion.
The thing is, I've never been big on celebrating birthdays, never counted on getting sung to or receiving tons of cards or greetings. Birthdays have mostly slid on by with a minimum of fuss. I'm not perturbed about getting older, but I just didn't need much fuss.
I realized, when things were going on, that I have conditioned myself over the years not to hope too much for this kind of appreciative attention. It feels dangerous to want it because if I get too hooked on it, the negative attention becomes harder to be philosophical about. If I expect to be put on a pedestal, I can also expect the pedestal to be a target for people to chip away at.
It's an ego thing for me. I know I am susceptible to getting hooked on being a so-called "rockstar" and I try not to let it happen. I was never one of the "popular girls" in school, though pretty well liked. I could see how flimsy a status that could be, though I probably would have soaked it up had I had a chance.
I was absolutely blown away by the attention and was a little embarrassed, even as I loved every minute of it. What a thing to have happen for one's 68th birthday! Thanks to any of you who participated in this week of wonderfulness!