ryan is suffering. today’s my birthday and i’m not spending it with the most wonderful ex-boyfriend in the world.
he’s always sending me these messages because a perfect ex is very supportive! my exhusband maximillian is exactly the same way which makes him the second best ex ever!
today is my birthday. ordinarily, i would spend it with my ex husband just because he’s wonderful. unfortunately, it didn’t work out this year and so i briefly considered ryan. . .
ryan, really, we both have to move on especially now that you and eva are becoming parents. the arlynn presser t-shirt isn’t going to make her feel strong and confident as she should!
one wonderful thing about facebook (and twitter!) (and email!) and (text messaging!) is that people can say happy birthday without having to make a trip to the post office or even getting on the horn. i’ve had so many messages that i am only sad that i haven’t been able to keep up. but the messages make me feel loved and special and very much like i was wearing a tiara all day long! it made me realize that i should never pass up the opportunity to send a birthday greeeting. so thank you for making my day and this is coming to you from my heart!
i guess fifty cent now has grounds to sue me for butchering his song. sigh. or maybe you’re going to sue me for hurting your ears.
warner brothers owns the rights to the traditional “happy birthday to you” song and will until 2030. in the european union, the copyright extends til 2016. which is why the waitress at outback steakhouse won’t sing happy birthday to you. please mr. fifty, don’t sue me!
i have so many treasures that can never be lost, including framily, my charm bracelet, my car, my cowboy boots, the first snow of winter, and the memory of the yeasty smell of my sons’ heads when they were first born. but one treasure that constantly gets taken away from me is my sleep, which leads to no good rotten very bad cranky days. i get up in the middle of the night and i’m worried and scared. but sometimes a stranger can say something that changes things for you.
ruby gives a lot of herself to her hometown of shelbyville, indiana. boy scouts, church, little league concessions, and a slew of other volunteer activities in addition to running a household and working as a waitress. all of which lead to situations where she can have a bad day. but a birthday is a special day and she gives herself a birthday party even if it’s just for herself.
make sure to print out this picture and put it in your wallet. next time you have a bad day, take it out and look at it! we are meant to have a wonderful day EVERY day!
and if you want to contact me and say “arlynn, could you sing me happy birthday?” i will! i continue on my travels and i sing myself a birthday song, although
get up in chicago, pile into the airplane and sit.
and sit some more. our airplane had a problem, the pilot explained, one that required bringing a technician onboard to disable the lavatories in the “aft” compartment. i’m not great on my aeronautical terms, but i figured out pretty quick that “aft” meant that the first class passengers still had a bathroom but the rest of didn’t. and then, forty five minutes later, we took off.
i am in tallahassee where one of my facebook friends, my father justin, lives. he is experiencing meta-fan-tastic prostate cancer and will undergo the experimental treatment provenge. provenge is a one time only treatment that costs $90K and man, i sure hope it works.
it’s a good thing that i’m here, because justin’s wife had a business trip so she’s gone. and tomorrow morning justin and i show up for the treatment which involves all his blood being sucked out of his body and the white cells taken out to be sent to north carolina where they will be genetically altered and reinserted into his body in tallahassee on friday.
my plans of meeting facebook friends all over the state are a bit compromise. nonetheless, i was so grateful that facebook friend william taylor, er, bill, came to visit me and my dad. and took me to my favorite place in tallahassee.
in the old city cemetery in tallahassee, there is the monument to elizabeth budd graham who died in the late nineteenth century. some people believe that she was a witch because the inscribed face of the monument faces west. (please remind my sons joseph and eastman to face my monument to the east so that there’s no misunderstanding, although certain ex-husbands and boyfriends may beg to differ).
because we were meeting for the first time, bill brought a birthday cake that was a symbol of all the birthdays that we had missed as friends. he transposed the numbers. oops!
bill got a little confused: a twenty fifth birthday for moi? no, i’m actually fifty two but a gal can remember can’t she? i was grateful–and i was happy for his upcoming birthday in october! maybe when friends meet for the first time, they should celebrate the birthdays they have missed! and for bill and i that’s a lot of birthdays!
tomorrow i have to cancel some plans, some rentals, some tickets, but the most important thing is to take care of my father. but the most placid picnic ground in tallahassee. . .
on my birthday, i received from my son joseph (facebook friend 61) a somewhat mystifying series of packages. two maps, one of the world and another of the united states. and a package of pushpins. the accompanying note made the usual references to candles, wishes, years, many more, etc. and then “you know what to do with this”. . . which i thought i did. i unrolled both maps, took out the datebooks from 2011 and from this year.
before i made the new year’s resolution to meet all my facebook friends and connect/reconnect in person, i was riddled with anxiety about leaving my house or leaving the little village of winnetka. i still am. i have used cars, trains, planes, buses to see my friends–but never a pony. maybe i need a pink one!
my first trips were within illinois or to neighboring states of indiana, michigan, wisconsin, iowa and missouri. i had eight friends in kearney, missouri. still do! each trip i tried to be efficient–sort of like going to the dry cleaner on the way to the grocery store and stopping at the gas station on the way back.
sometimes people who are solitary, shy, housebound for whatever reason can use facebook and other social networking sites to keep in touch with their friends and family. in my case, i used facebook as a substitute for being with my friends and family.
on thursday, october 13, 2011 i flew from chicago to anchorage and drove southwest to the tip of the kenai peninsula to meet facebook friend 233 christy russ. we drank elderberry wine and ate fish that came from the harbor. the next morning caught a flight from anchorage to kotzebue and beyond to meet facebook friend 234 ian coglan in nome. i was amazed at how many bars and tanning salons that town has. by eight a.m. sunday morning i was back in chicago. it’s hard to remember that this state is four times as big as texas!
i finished with the pushpins and asked joseph what he meant. he said “you need to write a book about this and you need to do it now.” i said yes, i will. i’d like to. he said, “no, mom, i am serious. you need to get started.” i said yes, i will. he said, “i mean it, stop traveling for a bit and write this.” i said i’m worried about whether i can find a publisher. he said “you need to just stop thinking and worrying and just do it.” i asked where did you learn to nag like this? and he said “from you, of course.”
the best way to make a resolution to do something is to tell your friends and family and ask them to make you accountable. whether it’s losing weight, stopping the love affair with the nicotine sticks or the bottle, or meeting every facebook friend. so i am asking you–will you help make me accountable?
christmas, valentine’s day, mother’s day, my birthday. the four dread horsemen of the calendar. from a distance, wonderful and appealing. the moment of impact? horrific. well, maybe not the moment of impact. it’s the night before. i always think i will be forgotten by those i love. and everyone else. and i’ve had those years.
i was put up for adoption by my parents when i was three years old. after twenty two years, i used a private detective to track down my natural/biological parents justin and aleta. today there’s open adoptions. there’s tracking your parents down on facebook. or maury povich.
when the future queen of france was sent from austria to meet her husband the future louis the xvi, at the border she was required to change her name from maria antonia to marie antoinette and to strip naked and re-dress in clothes provided by the french. she also had to give up her dog and her ladies in waiting. in 1963 when i was adopted, my name was changed from arlynn merrill leiber to lynn melody patrick, i took no clothes with me from my old home, and i gave up my stuffed kitten. i did not get jewelry and versailles. on the other hand, i didn’t get beheaded. go see farewell my quee. after all, it’s been three long years since a marie antoinette movie has been playing in theaters!
i thought i had a good (or at least okay) relationship with these new/old parents and it surprised me that both forgot my birthday the first year we were in contact. i would like to say that i didn’t mind that justin and aleta didn’t remember. but i did. i howled and whined. i was a petty, sniveling, blotchy faced wreck. but in private. a few days later, justin reminded me that my infant half sister casey’s birthday was coming up and i said it was interesting that we shared the same astrological sign. a dozen roses showed up the next morning with a belated birthday greeting. as for my mother aleta, the matter resurfaced in october. she called me in a fury. i had forgotten her birthday.
“but you never told me when your birthday was!” i wailed. “and besides, you forgot mine!”
“how was i supposed to know yours?” aleta countered.
“because you were there!”
as you can imagine, this interaction didn’t help our relationship. i think i hold aleta responsible for my adoption although since aleta and justin were married it must have been a joint decision at some level. i know if my ex-husband had ever asked me to put up joseph or eastman for adoption, i would have balked. not that he ever would have. eight years after this conversation, aleta terminated our relationship over an issue involving my payment of her health insurance. justin and i have our ups and downs–and some years he remembers my birthday and some years he doesn’t.
on july 22 every year i have a massive anxiety attack slash pity party. this year was no exception. it started at five o’clock with the shakes and chest pain. it ramped up with crying and shaking. i was utterly and completely convinced that i was forgotten, alone, without purpose, and about to die. it would be months before anybody would notice my demise.
how does santa know where you are if you’ve sold your house? this past month, a new family moved in and i haven’t got my bearings. it would be massively worse if santa were to die! but that won’t happen because as long as there are children and retail establishments who believe in him he will live!
and then something odd happened. a facebook friend posted a picture of a birthday cake on my profile page. another posted a link to a recording of mickey mouse singing happy birthday. then a link to youtube showed up, and it was my friend jose’s youtube post for my day — you can watch it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8VluSLAGdwY&feature=youtu.be
i even received a birthday greeting from mark zuckerberg, the founder of facebook. he’s pictured here with tony tyner, mr. 314, meaning that tony is the 314th facebook friend i have met. hey, many thanks mark and tony! btw, married life must be treating you nicely, mark, because you look like you’ve put on a few pounds!
i needed to say thank you to each person and that took me most of my birthday but it was a wonderful way to notice, remember, reconnect with each friend. because even if facebook automatically puts a notification on your page reminding you of which friends are having birthdays, it still takes thought and care to write out a greeting or post a picture or photoshop an image just for me!
i realized that i had cried because i thought i was forgotten and i sure as heck wasn’t. in fact, all told, i wrote eleven hundred notes of thanks yesterday and today and i’m still behind. sending each thank you changed my perspective, and turned me around.
thank you facebook!
and also thank you to facebook for an interesting feature: every time a friend posts on your wall, your mutual friends are notified. so, for instance, when my son eastman’s friend will (who was the 176th facebook friend i met with) sent me a “happy birthday mrs. presser” eastman would have been informed. and in a remarkable coincidence eastman called me about twenty minutes after will’s message. he says he’s sent me a package but that it won’t get to me for a few days.
i don’t know where eastman sent this package but i figure if santa can keep track of every little child, eastman can certainly find his mom. i just hope santa or a package shows up at the daughters of the american revolution meeting where i’ve been invited to speak on thursday evening. oh, but i forget that santa won’t be available–he’s in tahiti because this is his off season!
meanwhile, my other son joseph (the sixty first facebook friend) sent me a present that will change my life. i will assemble it today!
i would jump out of a cake but i think it would be alarming. i am, after all, fifty one years old and while i have been adhering to the atkins diet and am nearly back to my fighting weight of 138 there have been some, ahem! changes to the general physique since i was twenty eight. which is mark’s age today!
mark is not even my facebook friend! yet, i wish him a happy birthday! i don’t feel too bad about not sending a birthday present because next week is the fabulous facebook IPO — facebook is valued at nearly 100 billion dollars!
mark could wake up tomorrow morning, spend $300,000 and do it again the next day and the next until he’s eighty and he’d have some left over. talk about being ready for your retirement!
i’m fifty one years old. i’m packing up a lifetime of stuff. in t minus forty three days i will say goodbye to the house i have lived in for so long. i am scared. i was weepy this morning, so much so that i cried when the grocery clerk said “have a nice day”. . . so i wonder:
i left southgate michigan striking north towards detroit, thinking about how i was going to persuade f2fb friend #311 julia kovach to help out another facebook friend. . . last year my new year’s resolution was to meet every one of my 325 facebook friends. to get out from behind the computer. . . to spend real time with real friends. now i think something intriguing is developing in terms of putting together facebook friends who need each other.
but first, my oldest facebook friend–she’s marguerite joseph (f2fb friend #312) and she’s 104 years old. facebook has lots of rules. for instance, i can’t have more than 5000 friends. not just me, nobody can have more than 5000 friends.
i was put up for adoption when i was three years old. i tracked down my biological parents when i was twenty five using a private detective--this is b.f. before facebook which has definitely made it easier to locate missing relatives. a few years after we met, my mother aleta decided she didn't want anything to do with me. i tracked her down on facebook and sent a friendship request two months ago. as it stands now, even if she hit "confirm" we might not be able to be friends because i have 5000 friends. i guess there's a good reason for the policy but i sure hope if my mom decides to be my friend that mark zuckerberg will allow that!
my friend marguerite joseph is 104 years old. she is turning 105 on april 19th. however, facebook only recognizes a maximum age of 99. doesn’t facebook realize that centenarians use facebook too?
here i am with marguerite and her granddaughter gail marlow (f2fb friend #109). the last time i saw gail was last year as part of this project. she owned a nightclub in cincinnati. that evening, i met a wonderful young male dancer who explained he was only doing it to put himself through medical school. i also got a jello shot licked off my chest. really, maybe i should shut up!
marguerite definitely looks younger than 104 and she was a most wonderful hostess for the evening. i stayed overnight and prepared for the next day’s meeting in detroit with not one, not two, but three different facebook friends. each of whom needs another of my facebook friends. . . . well, at least i think they do!
p.s. log on your facebook account, find marguerite joseph, send her a birthday greeting (tell her you’re my friend)–i promise that her granddaughter will read each greeting to her and when you’re having your one hundred and fifth birthday, i’ll send you a birthday greeting on facebook! even if facebook says you’re a mere 99 years old!
i wonder. . . do you think facebook could shave 6 years off my official age?
benjamin gonzalez had his birthday yesteryday. and instead of spending it in chicago with his beloved wife marissa and their eighteen month old desmond, he spent it charging out to new york as part of the first leg of my f2fb trip to see facebook cousin megan, first time ever in person facebook friend mary, and steve ware, who is a camera operator for jersey shore.
my new years resolution is the same: i sat in my house in front of the computer and decided i will go out and meet every one of my 324 facebook friends. by the next morning, i had eleven new friend requests and i’ve honored those. i have to meet those 335 friends in their home turf, or wherever they suggest (thank you brian brethauer for directing me to san diego two weeks from now for the science fiction convention!). i have become a lot better at getting on planes, getting out of the house, getting where i need to go.
upside: i have learned so much about people–mostly, that everybody thinks they’re odd and some are even ashamed of that oddness, but that–really–there is so much room for normal. and i’m sort of within range.
downside: i have gained six pounds. i feel quite like a snuffaluffagus!
ben has a job that he has set for himself, which is to create a film–almost like making a painting of what i’m doing. like i said, yesterday was his birthday. i felt kind of bad that he’d be with me instead of with his family. but he said this project–which is to say, his project–is exactly what he has always wanted to do. i asked ben’s assistant director brandon what he wanted to do if he could do any job. and brandon said “i’m doing it”. . .
the weird thing is even though i’m scared sometimes and sometimes i think my new years resolution is stupid, i’m doing the thing i most want to do–i think i might like to do this when i grow up?