Tuesday, September 23, 2008

# birthday # disappointed

Thoughts on Virtual Living...

Today is my birthday and looking over my hopes and expectations for today got me thinking about life online. When is it that e-gifts and cards became so common nature that getting an actual physical birthday card in the mail became a big deal?

Every day since Friday, I've rushed upstairs whenever I heard the mail come through the slot. I dug through everyone's mail looking for a birthday card. Yesterday, I got one. One. Yep, that's the only birthday card I received this year.

Honestly, this bothers me. E-cards are nice, but let's face it, nothing can replace the feeling you get when you see that envelope in your mailbox. Or when you open it and see that someone has taken the time and effort to write something personal, something special to you.

The truth is that for a lot of years, my birthday plum went by forgotten by most of the people in my life. I didn't expect too much of a change this year, but I did expect some change. I've hooked back up with some wonderful women who I consider friends. I have some special people in my life.

And yet, our lives have become overrun with the idea that a quick email or an e-card or even a gift certificate that arrives via email can somehow replace an actual card or gift. I don't have any presents to open this year. The two gifts I did receive were for me to use online and I got an email notification. They're great gifts and I know that the people who sent them actually took some time to know that anything music or books and I'm gonna love it. They were right, I do love the gifts and I will use them both with a smile on my face and in my heart.

I know that life gets busy. It's hard to keep up with birthdays and anniversaries and the day to day craziness that we all live in. But let's not let go of the things that worked and made people feel loved and cared for, all for the sake of convenience. Yes, it is more effort to go to Hallmark or Walmart and pick up a present and a card. It's more work to tuck it in a gift bag or wrap it and then into a mailing box and possibly having to go to the post office to mail it. But, let me tell you, those are the very things that make those we care about feel loved and cared for. The fact that you took an hour from your life to do something nice for another person will never go unnoticed.

I'm sure that this post might upset some people and honestly, that isn't my intention. I guess because I am alone today and my big birthday plans included grocery shopping and homework, I've had a lot of time to sit and think about where we've gotten to as a society. For those who sent me a text message or an email to say Happy Birthday, thank you. It was good to know that I wasn't totally forgotten. For my dear friends who sent me a little something online, I will totally enjoy shopping for music, movies and books. I'll probably be calling you to help me decide what to choose, my wish lists are endless at times.. For the one person who sent me something physical, something I can look at and touch...thank you. Thank you for taking the time to pick it out and have it sent to me.


1 comment:

Jim said...

As one of those e-gifters, let me start by saying I am so very sorry. I sent your e-gift in plenty of time to send an actual physical gift, but I didn't. I hope to make it up to you ...

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