Thursday, August 19, 2010

Fake Birthdays

Today is my best friend Tina's birthday. Today she joins me on the wrong side of 30 (though no doubt with less whining). Happy birthday Tina!

That said, today is not generally the day that I would celebrate Tina's birthday.

One of the big events that happened in our high school was that on a person's birthday, their friends would decorate their locker. Streamers, a balloon or two -- nothing outrageous, but a little something to let friends know you were thinking of them on their special day.

Well, Tina and I both celebrate summer birthdays. And being the party people that we were (we weren't really), we were totally bummed that we weren't going to be able to share in the locker decorating goodness. So we hatched a plan.

We would celebrate fake birthdays.

The genius of this was that this fake birthday could be any day that wasn't our birthday. So at any point during the school year, one of us could come in to have our locker (or sometimes our band cubby) decorated with all of the traditional birthday regalia. It was quite the spectacle.

And best of all would be the package of gag gifts. Koosh balls (remember those?), mixed tapes, coloring books, adult diapers -- you never knew what would be waiting for you. All I knew was that it was going to be fun and my day would become instantly awesome.

I think what I liked best about it was the random element. That moment of unexpected joy that popped into my day. No matter what happened in the moments leading up to the discovery of the surprise, it wouldn't matter because of this little act of fun.

I like to think that I've carried that into adulthood. Tina and I still occasionally celebrate the odd fake birthday.  I try to every now and again pay for the food for the car behind me in the drive-thru. Jason and I try to give our kids fun little outings every now and again on the spur of the moment. Little moments of joy. Tiny acts of fun.

What random, fun thing do you like to do with a friend or family member? How do you inject little moments of joy into your life and into the lives of others?
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I'm a wife to an amazing man, and mom to four incredible kids. I'm a Christian woman who sometimes struggles with doubt. I'm a musician and a writer who is sometimes afraid to play and write. I'm trying to be more authentic every day.
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