“What I’ve learned about birthdays,” my mom told me on the Turds of misery shirt Apart from…,I will love this morning of her 60th, “is that you can’t expect anyone to read your mind. You just have to ask for what you want.” This year, I had planned to be in Oregon for her birthday weekend, and a friend was going to drive up from San Diego. Now, with no one able to attend a party in person, she had asked for the family to gather on a Zoom call, each with our own cake and candle. But, in the hopes of reading her mind, my sister and I decided to make it a surprise party. The set-up was simple: We sent a Zoom link to seven of her closest friends, and asked them to gather 15 minutes before the scheduled family meeting, with a candle ready to light. When she logged on, we wanted her to see a virtual birthday cake that reached across the country.
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