So I noticed something about myself. Say what you want about Facebook, but at least it helps me remember birthdays. At least those of people who are my “friends” on Facebook.

There it is on the upper right corner of my home page. “It’s F. B. Friend’s birthday today. Write on his/her wall.” So I do, I click on the message and write a very original, unique, and heartfelt message: “Happy Birthday!”

I know. Nobody else is going to say that to them. My own genius frightens me sometimes. Oh well, it’s the thought that counts, right? At least I wrote something, if it wasn’t for FB reminding me they would hear exactly diddly from me. Seriously, how can I be expected to remember people’s birthdays? Everybody has a different one…sheesh!

But here’s what I’ve noticed. For some people I write “Happy Birthday!” For others I write “Happy Birthday!!”

Are you seeing it? The subtle difference? Yet others, a lucky few, might get “Happy Birthday!!!”

I don’t know how this started, it wasn’t a conscious thing, but the more excitement I can work up for the particular FB friend that I’m saying “Happy Birthday” to, the more exclamation points they get.

“Happy Birthday!” is pretty much for that person I know from years ago, a former school, job, or church that I went to. The person that I hadn’t thought of for years until voila, there they are on FB saying “Remember me, let’s be friends!” So I said, “Click. OK we’re friends but that doesn’t mean that I care about your political opinions or the fact that you need help in Mafia Wars.”

“Happy Birthday!!” is the domain of people who actually are, or were my friends in the non-digital world and those that I can actually see myself hanging out with. Family often goes in this category or higher.

Now I know I’m taking an awful risk in sharing this with my fervent readers. I know that those of you who do know me under my real name on FB are right now going to your timelines and scrolling down to see how many !s I gave you on your birthdays. Let me just say this: First of all, some people who initially start out as a ! progress to a !! or even a !!!, and it goes the other way too. But, rest assured fervent readers, those of you who do know me on FB belong in the third category:

“Happy Birthday!!!” is what I wish the people who are really special to me. People who have been in my corner, even if we’ve lost track of each other and re-connected on FB, or if we’re just getting to know each other. Sometimes you can just tell if a person is a quality human being, even if you only communicate over social media.

So rest assured, fervent readers who also happen to be FB friends, you are all !!! quality.

Which leads to another question, what do I say to all the people who regularly check out le blog but don’t do Facebook? How can I express my !!! love to them. I’m working on that. Until then, please accept this !!! from me, to all my friends that I have met and those that I have yet to meet.

Thanks (!!!) Joe

PS. Speaking of Facebook. My Misplaced Boy page can always use more love if you’re so inclined !!!

Art: Exclamation marked streetlight, originally uploaded by monkiemike.


4 thoughts on “Explanation Marks

  1. Well, it’s WAY more effort made than say… Thumbing Up a death in the family status update. :p

    lol I think I might have adapted the same ! !! !!! rating system. But I really SHOULD update my overused Happy Birthday GIF image in my phone’s photo album; but it’s SO hard to search Google images for the perfect one, it’s like card shopping!


    • Yeah, that’s always a strange dynamic: “My Mom died last night, we’re sure gonna miss her!”

      F.B. Friend likes this (thumbs up)

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