Meredith C. Carroll: You’ll get nothing and like it

Meredith C. Carroll
Muck Off

I want to thank everyone who reached out to bid me a happy birthday earlier this week. My cousin Robin wins because she texted her well wishes at 11 the night before, which was 1 a.m. her time. For the past year or so I have not managed to stay awake past 9:15 p.m. on any night, and given that she is two years older than me, I consider her nocturnal pre-acknowledgement of the anniversary of my birth not just a gift but a feat of physical strength, too. For several decades she also could never remember if my birthday came two days before my sister’s or vice versa, so it’s possible she texted both of us in between to hedge her bets, but either way: Brava, Robin, brava.

Coming in a close second was an email at midnight from the plastic surgeon with whom I had one consultation seven years ago. I appreciate that his office remembers me so fondly, although it would be nice if they bothered to change even one word or the pink cupcake-with-a-candle graphic from any of the previous six years’ birthday greetings. I imagine that perhaps they save the good birthday emails with fresh messages for actual patients. I guess I’ll never know because I prefer the medical practices that think of everyone all the same, like the eye doctor I haven’t seen in four years because she stopped taking my vision insurance yet still sends an animated ecard annually. I hate ecards and spam from former medical providers but appreciate the effort.

A special shout-out to my home insurance agent for mailing a paper Hallmark Card that arrived before the card my parents mailed me. Of the two cards, one had a check inside and the other served as a reminder that I have a policy premium due next month. It would be tacky and inappropriate for me to say which was which, but mostly I worry it would be embarrassing for my parents if people knew what it costs me to renew their support each year.

I’d also like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the warm birthday tidings heaped upon me by some COVID-19 testing place where I guess I was tested once last fall. My husband gets extra kisses because, for maybe the first time ever, he wrote out my card with enough time for the ink to actually dry before I read it. I’d thank my beloved stepson, Quinton, too, for reaching out from college to send his affection on my big day, except he only called after I texted to let him know that I’d begun the legal process of disinheriting him and was instead writing his best friend, Niko, who texted me me a birthday note and a heart emoji, into my will.

Thank you to 97 of my Facebook friends for taking the time out of their busy scrolling to show me a little love. To my other 869 Facebook friends who expressed no appreciation for the fact that I was born, or anything at all for that matter, rest assured that I’m not petty enough to reciprocate your indifference; expect to hear from me soon, in fact. Same goes for the people who showed up for my birthday car parade last year and yet ran out of gas this year, apparently.

A big shout-out to the stomach virus that plagued my entire household in the week leading up to and including my birthday. Why enjoy being celebrated one day a year when you can spend it with your cheek pressed against a toilet seat instead. I’d like to thank the moon for being full and pink on my birthday this year, and the clouds that blocked it from view for the whole night. I’d like to thank all the restaurants in Aspen for closing on my offseason birthday for still another year, because why should this year be any different.

And finally, to the Aspen Daily News: Thanks for keeping alive the tradition of not wishing me a happy birthday on the comics and horoscope page of your print paper. I don’t like to draw attention to myself ever, but especially on my birthday, so your continued snub is fine and even appreciated. Really.

More at and on Twitter @MCCarroll.