Z: It was my mother’s birthday the other night. Happy Birthday, Mom!
She: Did you get her that green Jaguar she’s always wanted?
Z: No. I got her some computer games. I’m pretty sure that’s what she meant when she said green Jaguar.
She: And do you know what it means when I say I want a green Jaguar?
Z: What’s that? You say you want a new vacuum cleaner? It’s my pleasure.
She: Your family definitely doesn’t have the same appreciation for birthdays as mine does.
Z: What? We had a nice, family dinner at Marmalade. There was sparkling conversation, sparkling beverages and sparkling people. I thought it was fun.
She: It was. But it was only one night. In my family, a birthday lasts for a month.
Z: Then that would be a birth month.
She: Yes. And don’t forget the cake. Birthdays require birthday cakes, regardless of whether you have crème brulee with a candle at the restaurant. There’s a difference between crème brulee and birthday cake. A big difference.
Z: There’s also a difference between a birthday and a birth month. People don’t celebrate birth months. They celebrate birthdays.
She: I don’t know who these “people” are you’re talking about, but they clearly don’t appreciate the annual month-long celebration of one’s birth like my family does.
Z: I am still in awe of that. Which I shouldn’t be at this point, because between you, your sister and your parents, it takes up four months of my life every year.
She: You’re welcome.
Z: But then again, you guys look like pikers compared to the birthday party we went to in Santa Monica last week.
She: That was a very impressive display of birthday spirit.
Z: It was one of our first 50th birthdays.
She: Which doesn’t make me sad yet, because it’s a close friend’s husband who is waaaaay older than us. We don’t actually start on that 50th birthday circuit for at least another 50 years.
Z: Good math.
She: My favorite part of that party was the food trucks they parked in front of their house. I liked the taco truck better than the Italian food truck, and now I feel like a part of the hipster food truck scene in L.A.
Z: I liked the band and the hula-hoop girls.
She: The band?
Z: Fine. I liked the hula-hoop girls. They had two women in gold lamé pants and bikini tops doing sexy hula-hoop moves up on wooden platforms in their back yard. I thought it was great how the hula-hoops lit up.
She: Lit up?
Z: Fine. Gold lamé bikini tops.
She: Now that’s how you throw a birthday party.
Z: I don’t know that my mother would have appreciated that at her birthday. And I’m pretty sure Marmalade would have objected.
She: It’s the thought that counts.
Z: I’m also guessing she wouldn’t have wanted to jump out of a plane like the birthday boy did.
She: I’m more impressed that he convinced his brother and his parents to jump out of the plane with him.
Z: His parents seemed bizarrely nonplussed about the whole thing.
She: I couldn’t believe it. My mother is the only person I know who’s even less likely to go skydiving than I am.
Z: And your dad. Can you imagine all of the diagrams and e-mails and training videos we’d have to go through for Coach Bob to put on a parachute?
She: Not to mention the rewriting of the wills. We’d have to start planning now to make it happen.
Z: If you could convince your family to skydive on your 50th birthday, I would eagerly celebrate an entire birth year with you.
She: Unfortunately, I’d be at least 60 by the time we were properly prepared. Imagine the insurance liability. It makes more sense mathematically for you to start saving for that green Jaguar.
Z: Ah, it’s all about the math.
She: And don’t forget that cake is always, always, always part of the equation.
Z: Yes, dear.
— Share your birthday celebration ideas with She and Z by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.