I was a little bewildered at all the food and the fancy table settings for Friday's lunch. The only thing I could think of that would trigger this extravagance was the fact that my host mom's sister was in town, and so they were having a nice big family lunch. (Their big meal of the day is lunch, not dinner.) But then her son brought her flowers. I didn't think of it much, at that moment I just thought, "Awhh, how nice!"
Little did I know, it was my host mom's birthday. Wahh! Why didn't anyone tell me ahead of time? I felt so awful. But then what's more, Sunday was her son's birthday! So on Saturday we had champagne with lunch, and Sunday we had some kind of wine that was pinkish and bubbly. I knew better on Sunday, and asked that they give me only a tinsy-little bit rather than a full glass because I don't enjoy the taste of alcohol, and I don't really know my limit, and I'm not about to test my boundaries during lunch with my host family.
So where does the life application come from? Well, all weekend long, the house phone went off ALL DAY LONG. People continuously called to congratulate them, wish them a happy birthday, and wanted to catch up and see how they were doing. Each call lasted a good 5-10 minutes. At first I thought it was so strange, but I realized, that's how I want it to be. We've gotten so used to seeing on Facebook: "Today is _________'s birthday! Write on their wall..." Usually we didn't even know it was that person's birthday, and what's more, unless you have a relatively strong relationship with the person, the message starts and ends with "happy birthday" with maybe a smiley face or an exclamation mark. How sad?
I know it's slightly awkward to start all of a sudden, but I'm going to make an effort to 1) remember the person's birthday and 2) call them, NOT text them, not facebook them, and heavens no, tweet them, to wish that person a happy birthday. Granted I'm not going to call the girl I barely know from tenth grade, but I think the people I love and care about deserve at least a phone call. Maybe even a snail mail, hand-written card. I love snail mail. (And to those I said I'll send a post card, sorry it's been taking so long.)
What a wonderful way to share love. :)