Writer, tell the truth:
You feel obligated, or at least pressured, to write more than "happy birthday" on people's Facebook wall. Because you're a writer. And a writer can't write the same thing as a nonwriter. It's an insult to the recipient, who has a right to expect something more from a writer friend.
But goddamn, you can't be expected to write hundreds of original birthday greetings, quips, teases and natty notes every year, can you?
And a simple "happy birthday" is better than nothing, right?
Or is it?
I mean, for a lot of your Facebook friends, you're the only writer they know. And all they get from you is a lousy, "happy birthday"?
Say your favorite writer was one of your Facebook friends. Toni Morrison. George Saunders. John Irving. Say you're scrolling down all the birthday greetings, and Toni Morrison comes up.
You're excited! What will she say?
You'd be all like, thanks for nothing, Joyce Carol Oates! Norman Mailer could have done better than that, and he's dead.
I don't know, writer pals. Unless lightning strikes, I actually think we might be better off saying nothing at all.
What do you say?