Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Birthday Presents for Me AND for You

When my sister and I were younger, our parents always had the whole family over for a party every time we had a birthday. It was always a big ordeal with BBQ and birthday cake and, of course, presents. My mom is an only child, so we're the only grandkids on her side. Every time it was my birthday, I would get a few presents from my grandparents. They would also bring one for my sister. They did the opposite on her birthday. We no longer gets presents on the other one's birthday (because we're big girls now who understand why the other gets birthday presents on her birthday), but I always thought it was a really great concept.

So... with my big 2.5. rapidly approaching (ahem, Tuesday), I've decided that I don't want to be a birthday hog. I of course will accept all forms of birthday gifts you might like to bestow on me (and not just money or material items... I also accept kind words and love); but I'd also like to give a gift to all my readers.

Here's how we'll play. You have from now until next Tuesday the 13th to ask me ANY question you would like in the comment section of THIS post. I've seen other bloggers do this before and think it's a pretty neat idea. I will pick one person who asks a question through a random drawing to win a special birthday prize in honor of my own 25th birthday. I will also answer ALL of the questions in a special blog post, so that'll be like a little gift for everyone involved.

Ask anything. What do you want to know about your favorite Marathon Melanie? What do I not mention in my blog that you're curious about? Do you have a question about running? Do you wonder what songs I sing in the shower? I do so solemnly swear to answer every question, but I also reserve the right to be evasive if I need to be since I'm not an especially anonymous blogger.

As for the prize, I promise it's not going to be a regift from my birthday presents. I already have a special surprise in mind that I think anyone would love. You will of course need to feel comfortable with sharing an address (work or home) for me to send your prize to. I will contact the winner to get that when it's time. If you're not ok with that and still want to ask a question, then just let me know you don't want to be in the drawing. Also, I can only send it to someone located in the US (sorry to my international readers!) so please let me know if you're not in the country if you ask a question.

You might already be asking why I've decided to do this? Well, the reasons are 3-fold. (And for my fellow Friends fans out there, I always think of The One with Chandler in a Box everytime I say that!)

1. I think that giving presents is as much fun as receiving presents and that my birthday would be a good time to honor my readers with a little gift of some sort.

2. I really liked the idea when I saw other bloggers do it and, like many of them, I'm hoping it'll encourage some of your lurkers to delurk and leave a comment. :) (I'm not a selfish person, but it's my birthday... please let me know who you are because I appreciate it that you stop by and read my posts.)

3. I am amazed at the connectivity that exists in this world of blogging. The best way to share what I'm saying is to copy something I emailed to a good friend recently when she and I were talking a good bit about our blogs and why we keep doing it and why we read others:

"I definitely am spending more time than necessary reading blogs of other people, but I have found that there are a lot of really cool people out there to read about. I've realized that all they're really doing is sharing stories about their lives... kind of like what I do. And I find it really interesting. I definitely try to write in a way that people who know me will feel like they're reading me as if I'm chatting with them like I do on the phone, and also so that perfect strangers won't be completely lost but will still have a picture of my life. I think in the end I'm writing and reading blogs to share in this walk of human life... and even though most posts are random things about our lives, they're often things other people can relate to. And since I've discovered some other bloggers who have in turn started making comments on my posts, I've found that other people know exactly what I mean about some of the things I write about... and then I've got something in common with this perfect stranger.

I think for me, this blog has become a way of connecting with other people out there... you know what I mean? I think your blog is just fine. I think it's kind of like what I'm saying... you're sharing about your experience in this thing called life. Isn't that in some way all any of us can really do? Share in the ups and downs, the rants and raves... And I mean, relationships are what we're kind of here for, in my opinion. God gave us relationships. He said to love Him and love one another. I feel like even though I'm not cultivating bunches of new best friends through a blog, I am making some sort of cyber relationship with some others and could quite possibly have an impact on another person who reads what I write. Not to mention, the lives of other people I read about in blogs can impact me. As writers, isn't that a big part of what we're trying to accomplish? Writing something that will create an emotion or action or some sort of "hmm" moment in the people that read it? It is for me anyways...

Wow, I have no idea where it came from but I so totally just felt like Carrie from Sex in the City when I was writing all that. Asking questions and writing about relationships... I just had a moment where I felt like I was typing some really profound column at the end of an episode. I don't know that what I was saying was all that profound, but hopefully you'll know what I mean.

I hope you chose orange juice. That sounds delicious."

Ok, well the part about OJ doesn't really matter, but it does show how interesting transitions in emails with best friends can be.

So there you have it. Somewhere in the past year since I started this blog (yet another reason for celebrating in May!!!), I've become really wrapped up in it. I feel like I'm connecting with others in a new way, and I like it. Thank you to all my readers. And thank you to all the writers who keep me coming back daily for more. I'm enjoying sharing this adventure with you.

Ask away. It's my present to you. And good luck in the drawing! (Speaking of which, I'll probably hold it on Wednesday or Thursday... it just depends on when I have time.)


Rachel said...

Cool post and great way to celebrate your birthday and generosity! Have you ever run a marathon in Georgia? How did you get started running marathons?

Katy said...

What a fun idea! Ok, I'm just now TRYING to get back into shape (I used to run 2-3 miles a day BEFORE college)and its just as hard on my joints as on my stamina. How did you get started? Did you just hit the pavement and go?

jojo said...

Hi! I'm a lurker, I admit it. Happy birthday early. So, my question: what do you like most about the city you live in?

B2G said...

Firstly, I love that you used the word "connectivity."

Secondly, my question is: What are the top three characteristics that you're looking for in The One? One thing can be something physical.

Susan said...

What fun! The above comments asked some great questions, and I'm looking forward to your answers. Hmmm, let's see... my question will be:

What is your usual exercise routine/schedule (How often, far, long do you run each week? Do you do different exercises besides running?, etc. etc. etc. and so forth)

I also wanted to ask you "What 3 places would you like to visit and why, but maybe I'll let someone else claim that if they wish... or can I use it as a bonus question?) :)

Happy early birthday to you! 25 is a super age! Enjoy it to the fullest! :)

Crazy Daisy said...

Happy Early Birthday!

My question... If you could do any job in the world what would it be and why?

Quirky said...

Happy Birthday Mel. You'll love 25. 25 is when you aren't a considered a kid anymore, but still young enough not to be old. :-)

Okay, here's my question: If you could have absolutely ANYTHING (cost is no object) as a birthday present, what would it be? And it has to be fair asking for a loving husband or boyfriend or world peace.(although if mail-order husbands exist, maybe that counts). A bazillionaire wants to give you a birthday present...what do you ask for? Go big.

Joe said...

What is your earliest memory? Was it a good memory or bad memory?

I think my question is going to win. No offense to any other question up here though!

smc said...

Happy (upcoming) Birthday!

My question is: If you were only allowed to listen to one cd for the rest of your life, which one would it be?

Speaking of presents, I sent yours on Thurs. They said it will arrive on your birthday. So keep an eye out on Tuesday!

peachy perspective said...

Ah, love the episode with Chandler in the box... "you stay in there and think about what you did"!

So in honor of that, what is your favorite Friends episode?

Preppy(STB)Peshke said...

I have just started working out again - got to fit into a wedding dress in 88 days. My first trainer appt was this morning and she killed me. Any advice to beginning runners.

Also, 25 is such a great age - any quarterlife crisis yet? Are you where you thought that you'd be at 25? I didn't think that I was at the time, but in retrospect I was in a perfect place in life.

Happy Birthday!

Nate Tallman said...

Have you ever been out of the country? Which country (or groups of countries) do you most want to visit, if any?

Joy said...

Hey Melanie!
Happy, happy 25th birthday! My 25th is next Monday, so I've really enjoyed reading your "pre 25th" posts. My question is this: what is your favorite Nashville restaurant? Why do you like it, and what do you have there?

Jackie said...

What is the first thing you do in the morning and the last thing you do at night?