My daughters turn 12 today.
Here’s the Instagram-iquette for a tween birthday just in case you were wondering.
1) The night before, prepare video or photo montage accompanied by appropriate music celebrating your friend. The more pictures and more confusing the sequence is the better since it means you’ve known them longer
2) Tag as many people as possible even if don’t really know them well
3) Sit and wait for likes
4) For the recipient, wake early and begin writing comments back to each poster. Be sure not repeat comments or forget someone. This could prove costly
5) Attempt (in-vain) to get your parents to not post embarrassing pictures of you but instruct them on the proper way to post so as many people see it as possible.
6) Skip breakfast if needed in order to accomplish these tasks.
7) Like nearly all of the other birthday wishes to your friend. Reading them is optional.
8) Remain adorable despite the faux-maturity you are craving.
My favorite college professor, Rev. Mark Massa, introduced me to Reinhold Niebuhr’s classic The Irony of American History more than 20 years ago. Niebuhr posited that irony was the best lens through which to view American history. And not Alanis Morissette irony, real irony. For example, it is truly ironic that a land settled by religious pilgrims became the first nation to explicitly separate government and religion. Nearly every year that passes something happens in the US that proves just how right he was.
The most recent is the HOF voting being by the Baseball Writers Association of America. You see, election to the Baseball Hall of Fame is akin to sainthood to some of the writers who bear the responsibility of voting on the Hall. Drunkards, philanderers, cheaters or racists are all expressly forbidden. So writers have decided to punish known and rumored users of performance enhancing drugs by keeping them out of the Hall.
The result is, ironically, a less-important Hall of Fame. Every time the honor is withheld for these reasons, the honor itself becomes less valuable as do the votes these writers cherish. The very act of using the HOF votes as a weapon weakens them. Mr. Niebuhr’s thesis is proven once again.