Must Be My Birthday!

Call me crazy, call me out to lunch, but I have a feeling my birthday’s approaching. Maybe it’s nothing more than a hunch. Or it could be nothing more than intuition. On the other hand, I might have a sixth sense! Where’s Bruce Willis when you need him?

Well, whatever it is, I suspect it’s true, because the birthday cards have started to roll in.

And, I just love getting pretty, colorful birthday cards, don’t you? Especially the kind that wish me a very happy day, with many happy returns. And though, I’ve yet to figure out exactly what “many happy returns” actually means, I’m pleased as punch, all the same.

But, if truth be known, these cards aren’t from family, friends, or even acquaintances. No, these birthday cards are from my neighborhood retailers, from the shops where I do business.

After all, we have an understanding. I shop and make purchases, and, in return, they take my money. Oh, and once a year, they show their appreciation, for all my wonderful business, by sending me a birthday card.

I guess they figure I shop there so often, we’re more like pals. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Clearly, they must care about me very much, don’t you think? I’m sure they don’t send these lovely cards to just anyone. Particularly not cards that come with gifts.

Oh, didn’t I mention the gifts?

My local Hallmark store sent me a “little something” with a card that had the nicest message:

“Hope your birthday is special from beginning to end. Happily celebrating another year of you.”

Hallmark sure knows how to capture the feelings of the day, which isn’t surprising. They’re the experts when it comes to greeting cards.  And, the enclosed gift was just as special–

$2 off any purchase of $10 or more!

Does it get any better than this??

Victoria Secret also sent me a birthday card, and a coupon entitling me to $10 off anything in their store. Which is great news, indeed, because now I can get my annual pair of birthday underwear!

And, Starbucks must think I could use a pick-me-up. They sent me a postcard and all I need do is bring it in for a coffee of my choice! What will it be? Java Mocha Chip Frappuccino or a Caramel Latte? Hmm…

Even the airline I travel on has gotten in on the action. They sent me a card festooned with brightly colored balloons that coincidentally matches their logo—and the card is signed by the entire crew! Too bad they didn’t think to include a free round-trip flight to anywhere in the world. That would’ve been way too cool.

My car dealership didn’t send me a card, but this morning I did get an email, wishing me a happy birthday in all CAPS and two exclamation points, thank you very much.

But, no free car. Not even a new set of tires. Oh, bother.

Seems to me, if these merchants think enough of me to remember my birthday, the least I can do is have them over for dinner. Maybe we’ll go see a movie, too, and I’ll use the coupon I received, for a free small popcorn, from the local movie theater. Just me and my retailer pals, painting the town red, assuming I remember to bring the quart-size can of paint my local hardware store sent me.  We can also go to the nearby takeout shop for a free order of Cream Cheese Wontons, followed by a complimentary dessert at the organic restaurant near my office.

Oh, the possibilities!

If you ask me, I have THE most thoughtful retailers in the whole wide world! And to think, all I had to do was shop, shop, shop and say, “Charge it, please!”

So tell me, what goodies have you received for your birthday from your usual shopping haunts?

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51 thoughts on “Must Be My Birthday!

  1. Hi Monica

    Another great post, I am cruising towards my birthday in November.

    I never receive anything useful from shops or suppliers. I get almost daily emails from the likes of Staples offering me a free gift if I spend over a certain amount plus tax, it’s a shame the gifts which of course are not really free are of no use to me at all. They claim I am one of their best customers!! It must be two years since I have bought anything from them!!

    Call me a miserable old devil but I am not a fan of greetings cards for birthdays or for that matter Christmas either. I just can’t see the point, rather than send a card, just ring people up and have a nice chat, far better than a card any day.

    Anyway on the day Monica have a great birthday and just enjoy yourself after all that’s what it’s all about.

  2. Happy Birthday Monica! I know what you mean about the retail cards. And AARP offered me a free travel bag if I’d join. They offered it almost daily via letters and email. That one hurt just a little.

    • Renee, full confession: I am a card-carrying member of AARP. Thanks to them, I’ve been able to attend their conferences, and see some great shows. Elton John, Rod Stewart, Earth, Wind and Fire, and Lily Tomlin have all performed there. Plus, I’ve been able to go see such guest speakers as Betty White, Dan Rather, Bob Newhart and Connie Chung. And , as a member, I didnt have to pay much at all for any of this.

      If you ask me, AARP Is pretty cool, so get over the ageism thing, and join. It’ll open new doors for you!

  3. Wow, I’ve never shopped enough to get that sort of treatment! You must really, really like shopping. :D
    I must say, though, that your retailers do seem to be the best in the world. I doubt, even if I spent every sent at mine, that they would do the same for me.
    Have a wonderful birthday and fabulous year ahead!

  4. I have never received anything Monica BUT I think it is a great marketing strategy. A simple expression of one’s appreciation–/ who knew it could mean so much when received timely. And now you know what they are doing with all the info they collect on us. Happy early birthday!

  5. Happy Birthday!

    I sensed your birthday was coming but I didn’t know what you liked, so I didn’t get you anything. Better safe than sorry? My car dealer used to send me cards but they stopped since I haven’t gotten services from them. I figured it was a give and take relationship though but I miss the cards.

    • Totsy, that was very practical of you. It’s always best to be safe. Maybe I’ll have a virtual birthday party and share some of these goodies! It’ll be a fight to the death, though, to see who gets to use the Victoria Secret coupon for $10 pair of underwear! ;)

  6. Happy birthday! I know people who sign up for the birthday club thing. How many dinners and other free merchandise can you use in a week or a month or even “on the day”? The cup of coffee does sound nice though.

    • That’s it. For me, these coupons and certificates are only good in the month of September. So often they go unused. There’s only so much of me, after all. I did get the cup of coffee. I asked for a Frappuccino and they gave me a latte by mistake, so, in the end, I was allowed to keep both!

  7. Happy birthday Monica; you’ll soon be receiving a Facebook card from me. Funny thing is, I’m not even the one sending it. Somehow Faceboook has set up my account to automatically send out e-birthday cards to everyone who is a Facebook friend, including a woman whom I had only met once and befriended me on Facebook (professionally) and she inquired why I was so thoughtful to send her a birthday card after meeting her only once. I didn’t have the heart to go back and tell her that I really didn’t remember her and that Facebook did this without my knowledge. “I” also sent a Facebook birthday card to a newly single man whom I hardly know but I wonder what he thought when he received it and “liked” it on his Facebook page. So let me know what “my” card says and add it to your pile of retailer cards. But I still wish you a very happy birthday :>)

    • That’s funny, Susan. I wonder if you signed up for something without realizing it. I get these random requests that so-and-so wants me to add my birthdate to some calendar and that I need to “allow” it. Well, I always hit “no.” I don’t like any of the FB apps that you have to “allow.” “Allow” is giving them carte blanche to wreak havoc on your private info. No, thanks.

  8. Happiest (early)Birthday to you Monica, I hope it is bright and happy just like you. Mine is around the corner, well, sort of. Although I haven’t got any cards celebrating me or my day yet, and I wish they would hurry up! I do like getting those cards that wish me the brightest day ever, the happiest moments in my life and the joy of celebrating another year. Oh and the one retail store that sends me $15 off my purchase, every year, beats all the other cards, especially the one I get from my insurance company. Not that I need a reminder of another year passing me by, reminding me of all those trips I want to take with my family, that my girls are growing up too quickly and um, well, that I still have much to accomplish. I am looking forward to all the cards from family and friends. I love those.

    • My birthday is imminent, MM, and I’m bracing myself. For I don’t like the reminder either, that I’m getting older or in my case, OLD. Yikes. Where’s Rod Taylor and his Time Machine when you need it?? Send me back in time–please! ;)

  9. Of course, I a sending you bday greetings from San Fran – can you hear me singing? It’s all about customer service and repeat business. Two bucks off if you spend 10… hmm, me thinks they KNOW you will spend much more than ten. In any event, wishing you the best day ever. Enjoy!

  10. Happy Birthday, Monica! You must shop at some of the same places I do, for I was practically inundated with coupons and such when my early September birthday rolled around. I think it’s their way of saying, ‘Hurry back in here and spend some more money!’ It’s really a pretty good marketing tool, if you think about it. I mean, they recognize your Big Day AND they give you a gift — win, win, don’t you think?!

    • Happy Birthday to you too, Debbie. And, may I say, you haven’t changed a bit. Now, let’s get together and start using our coupons! They’re about to expire, you know, as they’re only good for one month!

  11. First of all, Happy Birthday! And second — WTF?! You get gifts from where you shop? I got nothing — nada — zip — not EVEN a damn card. I remember when I was a kid and I could go to my corner marked on my birthday and get a free ice cream. It was the most exciting part of my birthday. May your birthday be as special as you are, my friend.
    :) Hugs, Jayne

  12. It’s both funny and sad, because if you come in to their establishment and spend more money, you get an little extra somthn somthn on your big day. Yay you! Or them. Really them.

  13. Happy Birthday Monica – many happy returns :) Since the 18th century “many happy returns” has been used as a salutation to offer the hope that a happy day being marked would recur many more times. It is now primarily used on birthdays; prior to the mid 19th century it was used more generally, at any celebratory or festive event.

  14. It’s those AARP letters that put me over the edge. Ha ha to your keeping your wits about you. Re: my birthday — I do have a favorite ‘gift.’ A favorite restaurant in NYC that sends me a Happy Birthday e-mail with a 50% off coupon.

    • Deborah, did you see my comment above to Renee, about AARP? Did you hear how my AARP cronies booed a certain Paul Ryan off stage? Need I say more?

      Okay, I will. AARP is the coolest club around, and I’m proud to be a member! ;)

  15. Monica, truth be told, I can’t recall the last time any of the retail shops in my burbs sent me a birthday card. I think I got a two euro discount on my next hair cut from the salon I visit once a year but that must have been a decade ago. I guess that goes to tell you how little I shop. Sigh. If you’re not using that Starbucks card, I’ll take it! hee hee! :)

  16. Happy Birthday Monica! I know I’m late but i am going through all the posts I have missed lately :(
    My birthday was on the 22nd and I didn’t get any of those :(

    • Your birthday was the 22nd? Well happy birthday to you, too! Hope you did something special. :)

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