Another year has gone and past, and you’re not sure what your friends will have gotten you for your birthday. Seriously, what more could you want? You have a home that you love that you pay for on your own, a budding career that has just begun with promise of a luxurious future, you’re seeing someone that you think may evolve into a serious relationship, and you’re healthy. What could be missing from your life?
You wake up on the morning of your birthday, and while you’re showering, you start to think about all the things your friends could’ve gotten for you. You do need a new mug since your last cracked, but you hardly even drink coffee anymore. You could use a new welcome mat to your home because the last one is getting ratty and frayed around the edges. You would love to just go out to dinner for some drinks and laughter with them while they toast to your new age.
As you get dressed, you think about all the great things you want, but you’re too afraid to tell people you want them. You want a new car because your old one just doesn’t suit the new adult you are inside. You want a gift card for a grocery store because you hate having to pinch pennies just to make sure you can feed yourself normally. You want a new scent of laundry detergent because the one you normally use is getting stale in your nostrils as you pull the shirt over your head.
You go to your office job, and as you come in, everyone politely tells you, “Happy Birthday!” You nod in return and thank everyone for their well wishes, and you keep walking through the room to your desk. There, on the darkly stained wood of your workspace, lays a baby blue envelope that’s face down. Some balloons buoy in the air at the corner of your desk, showing off vivid reds, yellows, greens, and blues. As you sink into your leather chair, you swivel toward the card and open it slowly as the scent of the envelope’s glue hits your nostrils.
Inside is a card with a crudely drawn cartoon of a dog that wishes you the best birthday you’ve ever had, and inside, everyone in the office has signed. Some people have scripted message saying that they’re excited to continue to work with you over this past year while some simply just tell you “Happy Birthday”. You’re grateful, but you can’t help but feel a little deflated at the gesture, but you shake away the thought and get to work.
Lunch time rolls around, and your boss insists on taking you out to a corner bakery down the street. You protest politely, but you end up going anyways, when your boss orders a sandwich for you ridden with onions. You despise onions, but you smile the same and eat the sandwich anyways because you think you should be grateful for this nice gesture, and between spicy bites, part of you wishes that your birthday was just over already.
As you clock out and get into your car, you drive away from the office with your hair flailing in the rolled down windows with your favorite music blaring through the speakers. You start to think about how nice it was that everyone at work even remembered your birthday or how it was nice that your boss bought you lunch, even if you hated the taste of it. You try to tell yourself to be more thankful in times like this, but before you can give it another thought, you’re home.
You walk in front door and kick off your shoes, and as soon as you flip the light switch on, there hidden in the darkness are all of your friends. They scream “Surprise!” as they jump up and down and release balloons that bounce against your ceiling as you cup the place where your heart should be. You smile widely, and your best friend comes forward with a large, square-shaped, wrapped present.
“Happy birthday,” they say, as you take it from them. You quickly peel the edges away from the frame to reveal a personalized canvas, and you feel tears weld up in your eyes. It’s a picture of you and all your friends from years ago when you were still in college, and the image is made up of written memories of everything that happened. It starts with the night you laughed so hard milk came out of your nose, and it ends with you being there for your friend’s wedding, and how you all danced on the dancefloor together.
“Wow,” you gasp, looking at it intensely, but you have no other words because who knew that this was the thing you wanted all along? It’s stylish. It’s adult. It’s unique.
Luckily for your friend, it wasn’t difficult either! They simply just uploaded an image at photo-to-text where they could then add the specific text that they wanted to used on to make up the image. They got to choose from one of three canvas sizes, and it couldn’t have arrived any easier! Seriously! It’s ready to hang on the wall already.
While you take a picture of your photo-to-text to share on your social media with all your other friends and family, you thank everyone for the image, and while you all hug, someone brings out a cake with candles atop it. You smile as everyone sings Happy Birthday to you, and as soon as they’re done, they tell you blow out the candles and make a wish. You think about how your wish already came true, so you think about how grateful you are, and you extinguish the candles with your breath. Who would want anything more?