A MinD in MoTown


You look like a monkey, and you smell like one, too.

Woman 1: “Ohhhh! It looks like there was a celebration here.”
Woman 2: “Yes, there was. It’s my birthday tomorrow.”
Woman 1: “Congratulations. My birthday is next month.”

Ignoring the fact that someone forewent* the traditional “Happy Birthday” for congrats – which really seems to be a polite way of saying, “Yay, you haven’t died yet!” – why exactly do people feel the need to tell complete strangers about their birthdays?

This conversation happened between a lady who just came into the office (Woman 1) and our lifestyles editor (Woman 2) only moments ago, and I found it strangely bothersome. Woman 1, who we’ll never see again, ensured that our entire news department knew about her July birthday. Does she expect a cake? Why else would she have found it necessary to share this information? Couldn’t a simple “Happy Birthday” – or in this case, “Congratulations” – suffice?

I wonder if we’re all guilty of this – unknowingly divulging senseless, meaningless tidbits with others throughout the day. Is it something subconscious? Or a simple gut reaction, like saying “nothing” after someone asks “what’s up”? Are we internally programmed to make everything about us?

Whatever the answer may be, isn’t it a bit presumptuous to assume anyone other than ourselves and maybe our parents care about the day we were born? Sure, I’m all about celebrating July as “the month-long celebration of Mindy’s birth” – so Woman 1 better back the eff** off, and you better mark July 15 on your calendar – but there has to be a line somewhere, right?

I guess I’m just babbling on about this because I found Woman 1‘s response a little selfish when, clearly, we Tribuners spent this afternoon honoring one of our own. There was zero need for her to gear the conversation her direction by mentioning her birthday. I mean, come on lady, we all have birthdays. Why must we know when yours is?

* Did you know that “foregoed” is not a word? It’s actually “forewent.” You truly learn something new every day!
** Just wasn’t feeling the actual word today. Ha.

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5 Comments so far
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Hmmm…I do this. Information just jumps out of my mouth before I’ve really thought about the necessity.

Usually it’s crap like, “Oh, I keep my penis in my nightstand drawer” (doesn’t everyone). Or, “No I really don’t need to be shooting any footballs out of my lady parts, thank you” (in response to the news that one of my friends is pregnant and aren’t I ready to start “settling down”). Oops. I’ll try to be better, I promise!

I do not have a penis in my nightstand drawer, actually. (I’m one of few, I’m sure.) Ha. I think we all do it, but perhaps it’s not so noticeable. For some reason, this lady was though.

Comment by shine

The forwent/forgoed line just reminded of what this Playboy chick said on the finale of Celeb Apprentice last month.

The playboy chick was talking about some other “celeb” and she said: “yeah [whatever the woman’s name is] FORGOO the event.” Forgoo? That cracks me up everytime I think about it.

Well, look at me, I just “unknowingly divulged a senseless, meaningless tidbit” with you. And I swear I didn’t do that on purpose, that word just made me think of that.

Ha, at least your tidbit was related to what I said and relevant. Forgoo? Really? What an idiot.

Comment by thatShortChick

I bet we all do it, but i sure hope not. This woman is pretty over the top, though. I wonder if she said it just because of the birthday celebration that took place in your office, or if she says it every time she walks into a room. Probably every time.

“Hi, I’d like to cash this check. And it’s my birthday next month.”

You actually made me laugh out loud reading this. Nicely done!!

Comment by James

You’re right for most situations I believe. But it could also just be the fact of starting up a conversation with some personal information. Maybe she just wanted people to be “kind” towards her. I’ve been telling people I work with and they don’t really seem to care, though they are jehova witnesses and don’t celebrate birthdays. Mark Tuesday on your calendar!!!! I better get a gift!

A gift? I wouldn’t hold your breath! =P

Comment by Jonathan

I hate having conversations like the one you just posted.

Yesterday, I made a comment at a skating competition that it was really hot. This asshole skater teen came up to me and was like, ‘Look at my eyes. I’ve been out in this heat since 11 o’clock!’ Like it was some kind of pissing contest. I didn’t even mention the fact that I’d been out in the sun longer.

Oh, the poor kid who CHOSE to be there, while you were there WORKING. Idiot. People like that are ridiculously rude, and probably don’t even realize it.

Comment by E.P.




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