It's no secret that when I was a little girl, I'd announce to every single person I encountered on my birthday, the fact that it was my birthday. I'm talking about everyone, folks: teachers (they didn't have to be my teachers, just teaching in a school), school janitors, street crossing guards, doormen, busdrivers, tax accountants, bakers, plumbers, jewelers.
It was a tiring task, to say the least.
So, eventually, I started asking my mother to bring balloon(s) with her when she came to pick me up from school on my birthday. The louder the birthday message on the balloon, the better (I've always preferred the "IT'S MY BIRTHDAY!" to the boring "Happy Birthday." Of course, either one would do the job)! No longer did I have to speak to strangers. Now, I could simply tie the balloon string around my wrist and waltz down the street with my head held high and a smile on my lips, as "happy birthday"s rained all around me. "I know. Thank you," I communicated without words. "I know. Thank you."
Not much has changed in these almost 29 years.