This is the tail end of a conversation I had the other day with a friend whom I just happen to bump into at the hardware store.
MY FRIEND: Oh yeah, and Bobby sends his well wishes.
Bobby is a mutual buddy of myself and this friend.
ME: When did he say that?
MY FRIEND (unsure): A week ago... two weeks ago...
ME (in disbelief): Two weeks ago?
MY FRIEND: Yeah.
ME: You know, there's e-mail nowadays, and cell phones. How hard is it to send your well wishes right away? I should be getting them as soon as someone sends them. I'm sorry, but in this day and age, sending your well wishes through someone else that I may not even happen to bump into in the next few weeks, or months, is really careless. You tell Bobby that I could have really used his well wishes two weeks ago, and as a matter of fact, my life right now is pretty depressing, and hopeless, probably because of his tardiness, so he can take his well wishes and pack them deep inside his caboose.
My mother mailed me a birthday card this year, and like magic, I got it right on my birthday. I called her up, enraged.
ME: Yeah, Dad, put Mom on the phone. I am going through the roof over here! No I don't want to count to ten first. 'Cause I swear, when I get to ten, I may just do something I'll regret if I think about it afterwards, especially if I just read the ten commandments or Dear Abby or something.
I paused for a brief moment. Then:
ME: Hey mom, what's the big idea anyway? Yeah, happy birthday to you too. I just received this birthday card here - through the mail...
I repeated this last phrase in disbelief, as though I was asking myself a question.
ME: Through the mail?
I then proceeded with my rant.
ME: And I get it on the day of my birthday. You took a big risk here, lady. You live hundreds of miles away. What were you thinking? Who knows when I could have gotten my card. And then what? That's my day, and you're being awfully cavalier with it. But if you e-mailed it, like an e-greeting which is free, and I know you love anything free when it comes to anyone's birthday, then I wouldn't run the risk of being birthday card-less on my special day. Dad, hang up. Dad... don't sing happy birthday... Mom, don't sing the harmonies. Because Mom, I don't want to celebrate a day that I wish never happened after what transpired here today. Right now, I wish I had never been born. At least not by you.
There was an awkward silence at the other end.
ME: And just because you're going to e-mail me next year for my birthday, don't think you're getting out of mailing me my usual birthday cheque. You better mail it to me, just like you do every year, and maybe with a birthday card if you're feeling like you have any manners that day.