Thursday 08 Dec 2016

Cupcakes and Candles
Jennifer Flaten

What is seven days away? No, not the zombie apocalypse, that‘s at least a year or so away, and don’t worry, you still have time to prepare. What important annual event is a mere week away?

The answer is my birthday. I don’t have an “official” birthday happening this year. I have to settle for that nanosecond between midnight 28 February and 12:01 on 1 March. Curse Julius Caesar and his infernal leap year.

Actually, I like having a leap day birthday. Not only is it unusual, which certainly fits me, but when people find out I don’t have an actual birthday, they tend to give me lots of cards and gifts to make up for my lack of a special day.

Just in case you were wondering, I really like cupcakes, especially the kind with sprinkles.

Moreover, since I have no actual birthday, my friends never have to send a belated birthday card, anytime before the next birthday counts as on time.

This year a friend sent me a gift card, early. The envelope the gift card came in was still fluttering to the ground and I was in the car heading to the store to buy shoes.

Checking out the clerk asked if I wanted to apply for a store credit card. I politely said no.

Usually this works, most clerks don’t really care if you get the damn store card or not. Ah, but not this woman, she apparently decided it was her personal mission to get everyone signed up for a store credit card that day.

She offered again. Once again, I said no. Really, this should be enough for even the most persistent clerk.

Nope. She proceeds to question why I wouldn’t want to get 10% off and be able to pay for my purchases later.

I resisted the urge to ask her how she‘d like my purse upside her head and settled for once again, much more forcefully this time, declining the offer.

After our little tete a tete, she gave me my receipt and encouraged me to complete survey. Uh-huh, I’ll get right on that--who doesn’t like a license to complain.

After completing the survey, I had the option to post to social media about my experience.

Okay, this whole “word of mouth” advertising thing is getting a little out of hand. As much as I love social media, which I use to keep up with friends, it’s hardly word of mouth. Pixels of fingers, yes, but not word of mouth.

Hey, since I work, and again I use that term loosely, from home, social media serves as my water cooler. It’s where I go to chat and get annoyed.

Instead of hiding out in co-workers cubicles avoiding work, I do it electronically.

While I am more than happy to share a favorite book, song, or movie I draw the line at hitting yes when my tax program asks if I would like to post that I completed my taxes.

Soon I expect the clerk to ask me if I would like to post my receipt from the grocery store to face book.

Yeah, now my friends can exclaim over the bargain I got on canned soup and question why I need six jars of jelly. They were having a sale.

Watch out it won’t be long before your pharmacist will ask if you would liked to post that you just picked up your prescription or your doctor offers to post your medical exam results.

Jennifer Flaten lives where the local delicacy is fried cheese, Wisconsin. She writes about family life, its amusing or not so amusing moments. "At least it's not another article on global warming," she says. Jennifer bakes a mean banana bread and admits an unusual attraction to balloon animals and cup cakes. Busy preparing for the zombie apocalypse, she stills finds time to write "As I See It," her witty, too often true column. "My urge to write," says Jennifer, "is driven by my love of cupcakes, with sprinkles on top. Who wouldn't write for cupcakes, with sprinkles," she wonders.

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