Originally published in the New York Times Sunday Review. Read it there here.
It’s that time of year again … my birthday! It would mean the world to me if you all could be there to celebrate. I know you’re all busy with your own lives though, so if you can’t, no pressure. Seriously — please do not feel obligated.
WHEN: I’m thinking Tuesday, March 22. That’s the actual date of my birthday, but more important, it’s a weekday. I know I can’t expect my birthday party to compete with anybody’s weekend, right? Or your Wednesdays. Or Thursdays. Or Fridays. Maybe Mondays, I guess. Hmm … should I switch it to a Monday? Never mind. Let’s just leave it on the 22nd — just in case I’m wrong and one of you is, like, the anti-Garfield and just loves Mondays!
It’s in Williamsburg, which I also figured would be good because I know a lot of us are living in that general part of Brooklyn these days. Except for Tom. Tom, you just moved to Park Slope, right? That’s kind of out of the way for me, but would you be more likely to come if dinner were in your neighborhood? And everybody else — would you be more likely to come if Tom’s coming?
WHY: See above — it’s my birthday! Yay!!! But, if you need more of a reason to go to my birthday party than just me, here’s a short list of people who were also born on that date, according to my research.
Andrew Lloyd Webber, Stephen Sondheim, Reese Witherspoon, Marcel Marceau, Wolf Blitzer, William Sha — whoooaa, William Shatner?! That’s so cool!! That is like, too perfect. Oh, wait, sorry. I was thinking of Leonard Nimoy. Whoops. That’s too bad. I got excited because “Live long and prosper” would have been a perfect theme for a birthday, right? Not that it needs a theme. I wasn’t planning on having one. Or should I? Actually, I just looked it up, and Leonard Nimoy’s birthday is March 26. That’s pretty close to mine … should we just get together then, so we can have the theme and celebrate Spock’s birthday, too? Or instead? Oh, but that’s a Saturday. Forget it.
Well, I think that’s about it for logistics. I also created a Facebook event, so you can just R.S.V.P. there so that we don’t get into an annoying reply-all situation. Plus, a Facebook event might be a better way to keep track of things, especially if there are any updates, e.g., changing the location to a restaurant in Park Slope so that it’s easier for Tom.
By the way, you may have noticed that Facebook made changes to the event response feature, so now instead of just “Going” or “Not Going,” you can also choose “Interested.” I would recommend responding with “Interested,” so that you can ask around and see who’s actually planning on “Going” before you commit. I mean, how awkward would it be if you showed up and it was just me there, right?!
And finally, if you do end up coming, let me explicitly say that just because you’re attending definitely does not mean that I would expect you to feel in any way obligated to:
— Bring gifts
— Pay for anything
— Hug me hello
— Sing “Happy Birthday” to me
— Say “Happy Birthday” to me
— Make sure I’m having fun
— Stay for more than half an hour
And, finally, finally: If you feel like going out on Tuesday, March 22, at 7:30 p.m. but not for any reason at all related to my birthday, well … then I guess I’d be happy to make some recommendations? I did a lot of research, so it would be totally no big deal for me to share my notes with you.
O.K., great, I think that’s everything. So … (maybe) see you on the 22nd! We’re going to have SO MUCH FUN (if Tom can come)!