Thursday, September 23, 2004

What the... ? 

I got the weirdest rejection letter...er, e-mail. The editor of the church bulletin refused my announcement! For those of you unfamiliar with the church bulletin, it's just a little flyer that usually contains information about the day's service (such as what hymns are going to be sung) as well as announcements for the week. I've never heard of anyone getting censored out of one. Anyway, what happened was that I wanted to announce my goddaughter Sophie's birthday. For the past few years I've publically announced her birthday on the Sunday before so the congregation can sing happy birthday and hopefully give her that moment of affectionate embarrassment. This year, I heard via my daughter that Sophie was expecting me to say something. So I had the idea to print a blurb in the bulletin requesting the congregation members not to publically announce her birthday. Not the greatest joke, but hey, it's something different. Anyhoo, I get an e-mail back from the bulletin editor stating that she's not going to run the blurb. Since we don't announce other people's birthday in the bulletin, she reckons, it would be unfair to announce Sophie's. Seems odd to me, but considering that there is another person who's having a birthday this coming week, I suppose she has a point. Ed did suggest that she might start listing weekly birthdays satrting next year, though my whole reason for printing the blurb was to make a joke. Anyway, I'll just go ahead and make the announcement in person and try to figure out a way to include our other birthday girl. (Hopefully she won't slug me, seeing how she's middle aged and all.)(Maybe I'll just tell everybody she's 29.)

Of course, this whole event has got me musing. (As if there aren't greater concerns in the world...) I didn't mean to exclude anyone, but then again, I had no intention of making a big thing about everybody's birthday, either. There are some people in this world who keep track of everybody's birthday and make sure to give them some sort of recognition on that day. The lady in our church who did that died back in July. I like the idea of becoming more like her, but the reality is that my personality wouldn't fit the job. Or maybe I just have a limited amount of affection to spread around. Because when you get down to it, the blessing of having your birthday recognized is not the actual act of recognition but the thought behind it. A birthday card from your insurance agent or your name mechanically listed in a bulletin can't compare with a smile or a greeting from someone who notes the day because it's your birthday. And who has time to care that much about the people in their life? .... Nah, it's not time, it's love. Or affection, or friendship, or whatever you want to label it. And as such you can't really force it, structure it, or schedule it. (Ack! I'm writing in triplets again. A sure sign I'm no longer saying anything but just playing with words.) At best you can hope to nurture it and watch it grow.

Anyway, happy birthday to anyone who's having one today. (Ack! I've only got a week 'til Aunt Macy's! Gotta get a card!)