Monday, July 29, 2013

A Facebook Birthday with Cake

Facebook is a super happy place for birthday celebrants. I could just hang out there on my birthday and eat cake. Nothing wrong with that.

For one thing, Facebook friends are always good about posting heartfelt birthday greetings. These greetings are genuinely touching and the thank yous the following day feel every bit as sweet and sincere as the birthday wishes themselves. I think of the fun I have watching people kiss and hug at airport arrival gates. It’s almost as good as the real thing.

So thank you to Facebook for providing all of us with this way to connect on a day that can be a bit of a wildcard. (And congratulations to those of you who’ve figured out birthdays. Suggestions, please.)
If you use Facebook, you know that you can go into settings and opt for helpful Sunday prompts that alert you to the week’s upcoming birthdays. And when you do hop on FB and send a birthday greeting, FB kindly offers gift choices you can easily purchase. The Starbucks’ gift card seems like a fantastic idea — so quick and simple, and yet something most people would like. But if you have more than a handful of friends, Starbucks’ gift cards would get expensive, right? So far, I’ve refrained from e-gifting.

What I hadn’t really noticed till this week — my own birthday week — is that the FB advertising you see on your page is cued to your age, not just your past shopping behavior.

As of this week, I’m happy to announce that it’s now real easy for me to join a dating service for seniors. All I have to do is click on a link and enjoy my man hunt. In case I don’t know what gorgeous bounty is out there, I’m shown a photograph of a virile-looking man with broad shoulders, a white mustache and a thick mane of white hair. Look again and the man has morphed into a smiling man in a baseball cap, white hair (again, lots of hair) all set against a backdrop of beautiful blue ocean. Don’t all such dates start with that ubiquitous barefoot walk along the shore? Full moon a must.

I am fortunate to cohabitate with a superior version of this model. (How did this happen, you wonder? Check out my book “Free Fall.” It explains everything and it, too, is just a click or two away.) I’m wondering, because I’m currently all set in this department, can I just opt out of this ever-present ad so that something more relevant can slip into that space? And, by the way, how is it that FB advertisers know my age but not my relationship status?

Continuing on with the right-hand column window shopping on my FB page, I see that I can now buy scary ugly shoes made with seniors in mind. These black lace-up clod-hoppers I’m looking at right now are hideous. They ought to be sold in tandem with those wrap-around black sunglasses people with impaired vision buy because they cannot see themselves in the mirror. We could wear handsome shoes and designer frames, but then how would people identify us as old?

And now, at last, I can address my wrinkle issues. All I have to do is click to eliminate them. I can also “retire online,” which I think is more of a grammatical misstep than an actual option. And I guess because I love to look up recipes online, I have been given three options for ridding myself of belly fat. Food, as we know, is synonymous with fat.

So there you have it. To have a happy birthday on FB, read and enjoy the heartfelt greetings from your friends, eyeball those ugly shoes and have a good laugh, and then take a gander at Mr. Big, senior. True, a little birthday cake on the side could well justify those belly fat ads. But help is only a click away.

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