Party like it’s your birthday

“We gonna party like it’s your birthday.” — 50 Cent, ‘In Da Club’

Yeah, you know you know that song. In fact the song was a quick international hit when it was released in 1993. A Source columnist even suggested the song challenged Stevie Wonder’s “Happy Birthday” as “the birthday song” of the Black community.”

The song, with “Dr. Dre and his beastly beat making over calmly accurate handclaps and driving synths,” saw 50 Cent, born Curtis Jackson, making way more than his moniker in profits off of the celebratory song’s success.

The central hook, “Go shorty, it’s your birthday/ We gonna party like it’s your birthday…” doesn’t even require it to be a birthday for fun to be had. After all, regardless, “we gonna party LIKE it’s your birthday.”

So, its a hit on your big day and whatever other day you want to rock the house.

It’s the Simple Things

The Source writer in the article, “How 50 Cent’s ‘In Da Club’ influenced birthday themes all over the world,” further noted the song glorifies life. Noting, “This is only logical, with the rapper’s prior near death experience due to nine bullets including one to the face.”

Yet it may be the song’s simplicity that truly drove it to becoming a top birthday song. “Simplicity is a big key to hit music,” said 50 via People. “Don’t overthink things, just organically see what you feel when the production comes in. Like, ‘Go shorty, it’s your birthday.’ It’s not rocket science. It’s a simple statement.”

The song’s simple statement earned it a spot atop the Billboard Hot 100 and several other charts, including internationally in countries like Greece, Switzerland, and Austria.

Today, whether you’re in the Black community or not, if you’re a certain age, there’s a very good chance “In da Club” is on your birthday playlist.

Help With Your Birthday Message

Want to stand out from the others saying “Happy Birthday” or, if really creative, “Hope you have a Happy Birthday” on someone’s social media? You could add a birthday bitmoji! I personally prefer the unicorn one:

birthday greetings

If you don’t have that app, the Internet has your back. You can easily grab a birthday gif or meme from google. This is a fun one…

giphy.gif

Then there’s the need to draw attention to ourselves on our birthdays. But what is the perfect thing to say when posting our selfies? 

Seventeen magazine weighed in recently with a list of “35 Birthday Instagram Captions Perfect To Celebrate Your Big Day.” Some of my faves from the list included:

  • “Surround yourself with people who are more excited for your birthday than you are.”
  • “It’s not the years that count, it’s the memories you make over these years.”
  • “Hold on to your inner child as you grow older.”
  • “Live your life and forget your age.”
  • “This is my year of dreams coming true.”
  • “Birthdays are good for me. The more I have, the longer I live.”
  • “Of course, I don’t know how to act my age. I’ve never been this age before!”

To me, some of Seventeen’s suggestions work better as a social media post you’d share with someone celebrating their birthday:

  • “It’s your birthday you don’t have to do nothin’.” – Destiny’s Child, ‘Birthday’
  • “Birthdays are nature’s way of telling you to eat more cake.” — Jo Brand
  • “Growing old is mandatory, but growing up is optional.” Walt Disney
  • “Today you are you, that is truer than true. There is no one alive who is youer than you.”Dr. Seuss

Still need some ideas? Try some birthday jokes. The ones I found on this site are pretty awful, but they sent me to this video with some funny ones:

birthday greetings

 

Birthdays Can’t Be A Problem!

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Growing up I remember enjoying logic puzzles. The kind where you would draw a grid of all of the people and one other attribute about them to, by process of elimination, determine the solution to the posed problem. Somehow, I am no longer any good at these puzzles. Or, they have become much more complicated (or maybe I don’t remember cheating?).

Recently though I came across a Birthday Problem in the Guardian:

“Ariel, Balthazar and Chastity are great mates, genius logicians and they always tell the truth. Neither Ariel nor Balthazar know the day or the month of Chastity’s birthday, so she decides to tell them in the following way:

First, she says out loud, so both Ariel and Balthazar can hear her: “The day (of the month) of my birthday is at most the number of the month of my birthday.”

Then she whispers the day to Ariel and the month to Balthazar

Ariel says “Balthazar cannot know Chastity’s birthday.”

Balthazar thinks a bit, then says: “Ariel also cannot know Chastity’s birthday.”

They carry on like this, each saying these exact same sentences in turn until Balthazar announces: “Both of us can now know what Chastity’s birthday is. Interestingly, that was the longest conversation like that we could have possibly had before both figuring it out.”

When is Chastity’s birthday?”

I read the first few lines and thought, “this one I can do.” She has to have been born by the 12th day of the December, right? Only that still leaves me with a whole lot of options and the remaining text of the clue did not help me at all!

How does their saying to one another that they “cannot know Chastity’s birthday” over and over again get us to the answer?! Argh. This is why my brother is the logician in the family (really, truly, he is) while I’m the one blogging about birthdays.

What about you? Did you figure it out? If not, the answer is provided here. Wish I could say it made me bang my head to my forehead and say “oh, of course! How could you miss that?!” But, no, I really must have been cheating to do well on these in the past.

This isn’t even the first birthday problem I’ve encountered. Seems wrong to me to make birthdays a skill-testing question.

 

Kids Share Birthday Love with Signing and Singing

My last blog gave two examples of birthday kindness from strangers to little boys. But this one is about kiddos returning the favor for an adult in their lives. And a teacher providing her students with a valuable lesson along the way.

A Tennessee kindergarten class learned how to sign Happy Birthday to surprise the hearing impaired school custodian with the birthday song.

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The custodian, identified by The Tennessean as James Anthony, immediately brought his hands to his head in disbelief, his mouth open in a stunned smile.

The cute video of the children singing and signing to a very shocked Mr. Anthony was posted on the school’s website.

Dozens commented on the video to wish a happy birthday to the custodian, who has served in the county for 20 years.

“Happiest of birthdays, Mr. James! You haven’t aged a bit,” wrote Elizabeth Fox. “What a blessing you have been to the students and staff of many Coffee County schools.”

“I am 34 years old and Mr James was my janitor at Hickerson as well!!!! GOD BLESS this wonderful man!!!!!!!!!!” Jordan Carter commented.

The teacher and students are pretty wonderful too for learning the signs to make this birthday message so special to him.

Pots and Pizza? 2 Examples of Birthday Kindness

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Birthdays often bring out the best in others. If you’re at a stadium and someone starts singing “Happy Birthday” to a stranger a few rows back, you’re likely to hear a chorus of sudden comrades joining in too. People also go out of the way for others.

In an example from my local Charlotte newspaper, a Mom was carrying pots of water in 90-degree heat from her kitchen sink to her son’s kiddie pool outside. He and his friends were going to cool off in the pool to celebrate his birthday. 

On the way back from a call, Firehouse Engine 18 happened to see the Mom struggling to fill the pool and stopped to help out. “What was just a simple task for us turned into laughter, smiles, and a life long memory for the neighborhood kids as well as the men on Engine 18.”

It’s the little things that can bring the biggest smiles to our faces!

More Birthday Kindness

In another outpouring of stranger love for a boy’s birthday, take a look at this pic of forlorn six-year-old Teddy. The boy expected a crowd of 32 classmates at his pizza party, but no one showed up.

His mother sent a photo of her son sitting alone with the empty plates and uneaten pizzas to a local Tucson, Arizona, reporter, who posted it to Facebook. It went viral.

birthday kindness

The result?

  • The local iHeartRadio station staged a birthday do-over.
  • Teddy has also received Twitter invites from professional basketball and soccer teams to celebrate his birthday at their upcoming games
  • Music producer DJ Khaled shared the image on Instagram, wished “Young King Teddy” a happy birthday, and promised him a gift.

Now, a cynic could argue that all of these are entities trying to get marketing out a sad six-year-old’s situation, but the grand gestures weren’t the only thing Teddy enjoyed.

His family received kind words and birthday wishes from all over the country and as far away as Canada and Argentina. Mazzini said so many people wanted to send birthday cards to Teddy that she set up a P.O. box.

“Teddy is learning how to read and write, and it would be nice if he had a birthday card from anyone who wants to send one,” she said. All birthday wishes to Teddy can be sent to P.O. Box 18952, Tucson, AZ 85731.

Birthdays a Tradition, on the 13th no less.

birthday luck

foter.com

OK, so there are many people out there who are superstitious about 13, and particularly Friday the 13th. It’s even got its own name — triskaidekaphobia. Now, that would get you a bunch of points in Words with Friends.

The term comes from Greek, where tris means three, kai means and, deka means ten and phobia means fear. A triskaidekaphobia info site — yes, you really can find anything online — tells us:

“The number 13 wasn’t always bad-famed, quite the contrary. In ancient China and Egypt, thirteen was considered a lucky number. It is unclear when exactly [13 did] become an unlucky number.

Some attribute it to the Bible, where the Last Supper was attended by 13 people, and some speculated that the 13th person at the table was Judas, who later betrayed Jesus. However, there is no reference to support this theory.

Another belief is that the phobia of number 13 is caused by it being an irrational number and 12 being the number of perfection.

There are 12 months in a year, 12 zodiacs, 12 hours in a clock and there were 12 tribes of Israel.”

Now, all that said, you’re wondering what this has to do with birthdays right?

Birthday Luck

Well, there is a family in Orange County, California that can only look at the 13th as a lucky day. After all, FOUR generations of the family celebrate their birthday on August 13th!
Sarah Peeler shares her birthday with her daughter Lori (which distracts me with the thought of having to go into labor on your birthday — ugh). But the day was special even before that.
Lori’s grandfather and great-grandmother also were born on the same birth date. And Lori’s parents didn’t even plan for the Aug. 13 delivery.
“Several weeks before, we just thought this won’t happen, for sure it won’t happen,” Sarah told ABC News. “Once we reached the week of, we both looked at each other and said ‘I think it’s going to happen, it’s fate!'”

Lori’s birth earned the family a spot in the Guinness Book of World Records, for “most generations born on the same day.

birthday luck
Now Sarah’s husband Ryan, and Lori’s dad, only has one date to remember:
“I hadn’t really thought about it, before we celebrated this weekend, let’s have two back-to-back parties,” he said. “Trying to figure it out, I don’t know what the protocol is yet for something like this.”

The odds are estimated to be somewhere in the one in a million range, the family said.  But Ryan for one doesn’t need to push his luck, saying his daughter is: “Better than any lotto ticket.”

Facebook Fundraisers for Birthdays = $$$

 

facebook fundraiser

Image source: Facebook

This blog has looked at birthday generosity and social media etiquette around birthdays in the past. So, it only makes sense to examine a merger of the two: using Facebook fundraisers on your birthday to donate to a cause you care about.

The feature began just over a year ago, and already its earned more than $300 million for various causes, per Facebook. About 750,000 non-profits currently have access to Facebook’s fundraising tools, but the feature isn’t yet available in every country.

Still, the feature itself is easy to use. You can create a birthday fundraiser for an organization that you have in mind already, or use their selection tool to find a beneficiary to support.

Top organizations benefitting from the birthday fundraisers include:

  • St. Jude
  • Alzheimer’s Association
  • American Cancer Society
  • Share Our Strength—No Kid Hungry
  • American Society for Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA).

And just before you shrug your shoulders at this as a way for Facebook to make money off people’s good intentions, the company in November 2017 waived fees. So 100% of all donations made on Facebook go directly to the nonprofits.

Famous Folks and Me on Facebook

This Facebook tool has been used by an array of Facebook users (or the PR handlers posing as celebrities online). The company shared:

Not wanting to make it a popularity contest or anything, but Madonna opened a fundraiser benefitting a Home of Hope orphanage located in a rural, high-need area of Malawi.

Her post noted, “For my birthday, I can think of no better gift than connecting my global family with this beautiful country and the children who need our help most. Every dollar raised will go directly to meals, schools, uniforms and healthcare.” Her fans and Facebook friends helped her surpass a million dollar goal in just two months!

Facebook fundraiser

Image source: Facebook

I did my own birthday fundraiser for my local library system’s foundation this October. At the time of this writing, I’d reached a whopping $15. I did use Madonna’s tally today to suggest that surely I could get to my $150 goal. We’ll see I guess!