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Wednesday, September 04, 2013

August is Birthday Month

[Second installment in the new monthly Thing of the Month series]

Most people who know me a little will probably tell you that I hate birthdays, and in a lot of the most ubiquitous ways it's true: I don't like the typical spammy Facebook wall of variously iterated "happy bdays"; I don't like the begrudging work posse who gather around a hastily assembled card and scatter the very instant that tact allows; I don't even like a simply and dutifully uttered "happy birthday" from most people.

Some people can appreciate this overwhelmth of polite sentiments, which is pretty admirable to me. But I also don't like how most greetings are accompanied by an insincere "how are you" whose answer is often left unheard or unwanted—and this is what "happy birthday" feels, to me, like it is becoming. I want my birthday wishes to be heartfelt and all the more special for their rarity. But I do want it to be special.

August may have been one of my lowest points yet,  but I'm grateful for super friends who took the time to make my birthday feel special—even (or  maybe especially) if they didn't even realize they were doing so.

Monday, September 02, 2013

When I was in high school, I had a tiny little tiger finch. We'd leave his cage door open so he could fly around the house whenever he wanted, and he loved to sit among the plants in the living room, look out the picture window, and sing about what he saw. Sometimes in the summer, we'd hang his cage out on the deck so he could feel the warm summer breeze and mingle with the goldfinches who clustered at a nearby feeder.

One day we hung his cage outside without noticing that the cage door was still open, and he flew away. It's a large farm with any number of predators; although I despaired of ever seeing him again, I spent the whole afternoon searching, cage in hand, in the hope that familiarity would entice him (even though he wasn't particularly tame and was certainly terrified whenever I had to handle him). I didn't find him.

The next morning, though, I looked out on the deck to see him back inside his cage, enthusiastically eating seeds. I guess he felt free enough in the home that sheltered him.