Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Happy Mirthday: The Birthday Phenomenon

            For the past three years I’ve either been out of state presenting one of my humor programs or attending a conference on my birthday.  I was not pleased having to spend this special day in an unfamiliar city with a group of strangers who had no inkling that it was my special day.  So this year I decided to change all that.  Before I left town, I scheduled an alternative date to celebrate my birthday with my family and was determined to created an outrageously fun birthday for myself in spite of the situation.            
            First thing I did was to let everyone in the conference session I was attending know that it was my birthday.  Then I told them that I wanted a hug from each of them.  I not only got hugs throughout the day but throughout the conference as well.
            Later on in the day, in a crowded elevator, I announced my birthday and asked twelve total strangers to sing “Happy  Birthday ” as I exited.  What a wonderfully funny sight seeing and elevator filled with adults singing to Happy Birthday as the doors closed.
            Next, I headed to buy myself some flowers.  After I selected a stem of lilies, I asked the florist if she had a Birthday card to include with my selection.  She handed me one and then noticing how much time and care I was taking in writing the card asked, “Oh, are you buying these for someone special.”  “Yes,” I said.  “Me.”  She looked puzzled and then laughed as I wrote, “To Allen.  Happy Birthday.  I love you.”  And then I signed my name.  
            What I noticed throughout the day was that everyone I told that it was my birthday, from the hassled hotel desk clerk who gave me a bud vase for my flowers to the convenience store clerk who looked like she hadn’t smiled for years, not only willingly participated in my off-beat requests but, without an exception, immediately smiled, became friendly and a most willing participant to help me celebrate in my special day.
            Then it struck me-- I had just discovered “The Birthday Phenomenon.”  Tell someone it’s your Birthday, whether it is or not, and suddenly they cheer up.
            So, the next time you are down when out of town (or even in town for that matter) tell someone it’s your Birthday (even if it isn’t)-- and you'll create a Happy Mirthday.

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