Tuesday, August 18, 2009

The best birthday cards ever.

Here it is: Day one of year 31. Exciting, no? Well, actually, yeah...no. It was a pretty uneventful day as far as birthdays go, which I expected since today is a Tuesday and my actual party won't happen until Saturday night.

I had lots of facebook birthday greetings, three phone calls, and two birthday cards...both from the same person. Yeah, it's kind of weird, right? Want to hear the weirdest part? They were both stamped and addressed, then stuffed into an overnight express mail envelope and mailed to me yesterday for a whopping price of $17.50.

So, just to sum it up: My friend "Lynette" (I should use pseudonyms just in case, I suppose) bought me TWO birthday cards--one funny, one sentimental--addressed them separately, stamped them separately, then mailed them in an overnight mailer, together. Not sure what to make of this, exactly, especially since she wrote in one of the cards that I should be on the lookout for a present in the mail soon.

Let me give you a little background on Lynette: We've been friends since I was 13 and broke my arm. She showed up with my sisters when I was lying on the couch in horrible pain, asking for beverages, pillows, and other comforts one expects when they break a bone (or in my case, two). I still am not sure how she met my sisters or why she came to my house that day, but she later told me that she thought I was a real b*tch because of how whiny I was being. I don't think Lynette had ever broken an arm.

Anyway, she quickly forgave my attitude and we became fast friends after that. We didn't really have much of a choice, since our dads lived next to one another out in the middle of nowhere and we were the same age. Neither of us could drive and so we just hung out in the country, swimming in my dad's pool, traipsing through the woods, having sleepovers at one another's houses, and making up (hideous) dances to our favorite (hideous) pop songs.

When summer was over, Lynette would go back to her mom's house in whatever distant town that happened to be that year, and I would stay, vowing to keep in touch by letter. Remember, I'm 30 years old, so we didn't have the internet back then...we were actually pen pals, in the most literal sense of the word. It's kind of sad that kids don't do that anymore these days, and that it's so easy to stay in touch with one another. Nothing can replace the excitement of getting a letter in the mail from your pen pal after you haven't heard from them in a few weeks.

So, Lynette and I have been great friends for years. Some time in high school and after, we grew a little further apart, but that's been corrected and I now am happy to say that she is one of my best friends. Even though she lives on the East Coast, we still manage to talk at least once or twice a week, exchange gifts for birthdays and holidays, and check in frequently on facebook.

Truth be told, Lynette has always been kind of a strange gift-giver, though she's gotten better in recent years by relying on registries and sending gift cards, which are easy to mail. Having a summer birthday, she was usually around to celebrate with me, and I remember the first gift she ever gave me. I was probably turning 14, and she was SO excited about her gift. I remember her throwing out hints about what it could be, trying to get me to guess, and the number one clue was that it was something I could wear. I was sure she had picked out a cute top or something for my hair, so, imagine my surprise when she handed me a bottle of Maybelline oil-free liquid foundation.

"Oh...thanks." was all I could say. I wasn't quite sure how to take this--did she think I needed to wear more makeup? Was she trying to save me money on toiletries? In any case, a precedent was set. I remember another time she gave me a porcelain figurine that I had no idea what to do with. I'm sure there are other examples that my 30-year-old mind can't bother to remember at 10:00 on a weeknight, but suffice to say that I just came to expect that I needed to prepare myself whenever I opened a present from her.

I guess my point in relaying all of this useless, though amusing, information, is to illustrate that if ANYONE was going to send me two addressed, stamped, birthday cards in one overnight envelope, it would be Lynette. So, in my tried-and-true fashion, I just say to her, "Thank you". Those were the best cards I've ever gotten.
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