Flavor of Week: How To Say Happy Birthday

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MILEY'S SWEET 16 Ñ Miley Cyrus will celebrate her ÒSweet 16Ó during a once-in-a-lifetime birthday bash at Disneyland in California this fall.  ÒMileyÕs Sweet 16 Ð Share The CelebrationÓ will be an unforgettable event for Miley and her fans that also will serve to recognize Youth Service America and help drive awareness of the need for youth volunteerism.  The Hollywood-style bash is planned for Sunday, Oct. 5, from 6 to 11 p.m., with ticket sales limited to 5,000 fans.  Tickets, priced at $250, go on sale at 9 a.m. PDT, Saturday, Aug. 30, at www.disneyparks.com/miley.   (Scott Brinegar/Disneyland)

Today, my little brother turned seventeen. This is a big deal. He can drive and now has an age-specific magazine to which he can properly relate in times of need, like a long distance BFF.

I felt pure enjoyment from reading the posts on his Facebook timeline. A lot of people wrote, “happy birthday bro,” which made me feel like a proud older sister–“bro” is probably the male equivalent of the female “babe,” meaning guys who have man-crushes on my little brother have written on his wall and yes, after all these years, he is a well-liked chap.

Writing on someone’s “timeline” for his or her birthday is the perfect thing to do when you have a man-crush/girl crush (as aforementioned), or even just a general crush (to whom you don an extra !! at the end of your birthday wish. Maybe he’ll notice me now!!!!!). Before Facebook, happy birthday’s were said the old fashioned way, like when passing someone in the hall even if you weren’t super tight.

But Facebook has added a new dimension to the birthday: it’s kind of like receiving a million cards; it gives you something extra with which you can measure how great your birthday was; it gives certain people no excuse not to say happy birthday because of how easy it can be to just say it, thereby allowing you to use your birthday as a way to gauge the legitimacy some of your relationships. (Then again, should we really be gauging the legitimacy of our relationships based on a Facebook wall post, or lack thereof?)

I’ve spent whole birthdays waiting to see if a few specific characters, let’s call them, reach out to me. And then the birthday is over, and they either haven’t reached out or they have. At this point, I can either pat myself on the back and be like, “you’re definitely the bigger person here,” or I can pout and hope they send a regretful text the next day, which they usually do.

I am intrigued by the way we use Facebook to extend warmest wishes on the anniversary of one’s birth. There is nothing greater than birthday collages, or when you see wall posts from one best friend to another even though they’ve obviously been speaking since the clock struck midnight. Still, we love the extra gift, free of monetary cost, yet with invaluable social cost, that Facebook gives us each year.

That all being said, I rarely use Facebook to convey birthday wishes.

It’s great for girl-crushes, it’s great for people whose phone numbers I don’t have but wish I did, and in my eyes, that’s about it. The last Facebook photo collage I made was for my best guy friend and included photos of us making strange faces on a camel in Israel. In that case, it was, as they say, irresistablé.

My most important question as of recent: Is it better to make a wall post, or to not say “happy birthday” at all?

There are pros and cons to each type of birthday wish, from Hallmark card in the mail to Instagram comment to text to phone call to Facebook message (yes, it holds a different weight than a Facebook wall post). “Happy birthday” isn’t really about wishing someone another year of beautiful life, preferably processed with VSCOcam C1 filter. It isn’t even really about what you say–well, unless you’re giving me extra exclamation points or a <3 or a “babe”. It’s about how you say it.

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On Can I Have Yo Numba?

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I could win an award for walking around New York with resting bitch face. So last summer, when an attractive gentleman came up to me on the corner of West 33rd and 6th asking where I got the Starbucks cup I was holding — well, really asking where I got the cup and what was inside of it — I was shocked. Could I, a 5-foot-4 Godzilla wearing leather boots in the city heat blasting acoustic Nirvana through my cheap earbuds, be so approachable? I knew he was hitting on me because there’s a Starbucks on every block in Midtown Manhattan and he didn’t give off touristy vibes. If I was holding a Mason jar with a blended green concoction inside, I would have understood his inquiry. But I was holding the symbol for commercial America in my right hand and my iPhone in my left, so it seemed to be that it had to be true — he was interested. I pulled out my earbuds, and told him I got my iced coffee on 27th, but there was another Starbucks just a block thataway.

Before I walked back into the 5:06pm rush, he pivoted a step in my direction. “I know this sounds crazy, but is there any chance you want to get dinner with me tonight?” I had dinner plans with the person I was seeing at the time, so I politely declined his offer and told him I was booked. “Well, can I have your number, then?” I had no intentions of hooking up with him, but without a second thought, and actually without a first thought, too, I gave the guy my digits.

I walked away feeling exhilarated. It was one of the things that only happens in movies or happens to people with Cara Delevigne eyebrows. It wasn’t that I was going to pursue it, and I didn’t even think or know if he would text me. It served as a late-afternoon espresso shot of ego boost.

A few hours later, I get a text. “Hey, it’s blahblahblah. Are you around to grab a drink tomorrow?” I never answered. I didn’t want to for various reasons: I had a boyfriend and I didn’t know anything about this person. We’re so used to meeting people through mutual friends on Facebook, or mutual friends from school, or from family friends, or from summer camp ten years ago that we’ve never learned how to court and be courted by people we don’t know. It seems scary and dangerous to me to be alone with someone who I have no mutual friends with — on Facebook and in real life. But back in the day, I guess that’s how things worked.

Like the good nerd I am, I told my parents about my Sex and the City moment and the text that followed. They weren’t proud of me, nor did they praise me for my eyebrows. They each broke out into seizure, explaining that now I was surely doomed for this person would surely find my longitudinal and latitudinal coordinates now that he had my cell phone number, and I was surely going to be stalked and kidnapped and murdered.

“Do you know how powerful technology is today?!?!?!?” my dad yelled. Yes, Dad, I know about technology.

The thing is, though, that they were right. But when you meet someone random and decide you want to meet them again, how else are you supposed to go about it? There’s no time to stop and pause for a quick Google search and background check when you’re standing in the vortex that is Midtown.

Two months later, I was walking in Providence when a man — five years too old for me, walking three dogs on leashes — walked up to me while I was on my way to the gym. “I know this sounds crazy,” he said, “but you’re one of the cutest girls I’ve ever seen and I was wondering if I could have your number.” More abrupt and less attractive than the last. I froze with Mom and Dad’s wishes in mind. How are you supposed to tell someone that you don’t want them to have your number? Do you say no and walk away?

Well, I did. Or I guess I kind of did. Three male friends of mine who I didn’t see standing across the street saw me from the distance, sensed my discomfort, and called me over. My response to this strange pursuer ended up along the lines of: [To friends] “Hey guys!!!!!!!!!!!” [To strange man] “Sorry, I’ve gotta go!” And I ran away before he could get in another word.

I felt like an asshole. When I told my best friend the story, she confirmed that, yes, I was an asshole.

But if you don’t want to say no, and you don’t want to say yes, what do you say?

Looking for suggestions to answer the question, “Can I have yo numba?” in sticky situations. However, the likelihood of this ever happening again is slim. Love at first sight tends to be a twice in a lifetime thing. So take your time with getting back to me — I doubt I’ll ever need the advice, anyway.

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Flavor of the Week: Undergarments

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All right, boys, let’s keep it in our pants. If I’m being honest, your fellow FYD-reader is likely wearing one of the two gates to womanhood. Even I’ll admit that as I write in my pajamas, I’m emphasizing the ‘nothing’ in ‘double or nothing.’

You’d assume there’s a direct relationship between a female’s age and her need for proper undergarments. In other words, the older she gets, the more she needs to make sure her boobs are in place and her hoo-hah isn’t hanging out the bottom of her dress.

But if you’re a young lady #blessed with boobs that are pretty much in place, and you don’t feel like wasting your last clean Hanky Panky under a pair of skinny print jeans, why do we need to wear undergarments?

In fifth grade, my mom sat me down and thoroughly explained the concept of body hair. “I know you don’t want it,” she comforted my overeagerness to run for the hills with a razor, “but it’s there for a reason. It’s there to protect you!”

Like body hair, it would make sense that your undergarments are there to protect you, too. However, I usually wear clothes that cover my parts, and I’m hoping you do too, so as quickly as that theory came one sunny fifth grade afternoon (before a pool party, if you must know), it went down the drain.

Last week, I wore a black, A-line dress that zippered down the center of its front – from neck to skirt. That day, I saw a friend, who toyed with the zipper at my collar. Upon realizing the zipper was not just for show, and was, in fact, a real, zippable zipper, his jaw dropped. “Are you kidding me?” he asked. “What if someone unzips you and you aren’t wearing a bra?”

I wasn’t offended by his question – the ease with which I could find my dress as a vest was, of course, somewhat discomforting. But my initial reaction was a quick retort. “Well, no one would actually do that.”

But what if someone did? Then would it be a more inappropriate action because wasn’t wearing a bra? Wouldn’t they be to blame for unzipping me in the first place? Should I wear a bra every day with the assumption that while dropping off dry cleaning or going out to lunch, a Boob Villain will come along and rip off my clothes?

Someone taking off my dress would – or should – be equally as inappropriate regardless of what I choose to wear (or not wear) underneath it.

Suddenly, my ‘no bra, no problem’ mantra meant a lot more than I thought it did. In addition to keeping the bad stuff out, undergarments make what others do to our bodies more ok, or less bad, even if the action is the same.

Recall the first time you went to second base. Imagine how different your experience would have been if you found your partner braless and bare-boobed for the grabbing.

Now, take a step back. If you didn’t feel her up in the first place, what difference would her desire to be young, wild, and free make?

If we’re being real, it’s become a ‘thing’ to not wear a bra. All of a sudden, it seems there is no connection made like one between girls who realize they both are braless.

With that, here’s a closure for your listening pleasure (Wiz & Snoop understand the ladies):

 

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