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Happy birthday to Me. I want presents.

Happy Birthday to Me!


You want to buy me a present. Come on, you know you do. I know just what I want and I’m not afraid to ask. Sheepish, maybe, but not afraid to brazening solicit gifts this year.


Go to this website – www.the3day.org/atlanta07/ginnyhendry – and sponsor me for my new project, the 60-mile breast cancer walk next October. Do it for cancer. Do it to protect someone you love from having to deal with the disease someday. Do it because I only have so many friends and I seriously worry that I won’t be able to dredge up enough fundraising.


Heck, I’ve been feeling so blue all week, do it just because there isn’t anything else that will make me feel better and no one deserves to be depressed on their birthday. Or do it because my snotty kid opened her website page at the same time I did today (same address only with Denverclark in place of my name for those of you who rather forsake me to sponsor her or who want to divvy up your support fairly) and within an hour she had donations already. Of course, she called me to brag obnoxiously and hint that I should be deeply embarrassed by my fundraising thermometer because it’s already been an hour and mine is still on the big fat zero. What can I say? Is that because she is nicer than me? Naw, it’s more like her friends are nicer than mine. Humm……. You gonna take that lying down?


Of course, some of the people out there who tune in to this blog are not exactly friends. They are checking in like moles to dig up FLEX dirt because they are excited by the turmoil going on. Ha. Well, my dear frienimies, you can sponsor me too. Do it because once I get donations I’ll have to do the dang walk, and that will cause me miles of suffering and muscular anguish. Certainly, that will bring a smile to your face. I might trip and twist an ankle even. Perhaps a deadly scorpion will crawl into my sleeping bag at night. There will be thousands of walkers – I might even be trampled moments before I limp over the finish line. See – there are lots of exciting possibilities if you maneuver me into walking.


The point is (Oh my God, everyone is right. I do say that all the time…) this is my official plea for your support.  Well – this is my FIRST official plea for support. I’ll have to be a total annoyance if no one responds and then I’ll start mentioning it on a regular basis, and that will get really boring. Let’s just get this out of the way right now.


It’s my birthday. This year I want presents.
Send them boldly in your name.
Or send them anonymously if you don’t want me to know you read this blog and I can pretend I have a secret admirer.
Send them with your name all in caps because I’m cornering you with this blatant request and you now feel obligated – might as well get credit for doing your duty as a friend, not unlike when you bought Girl Scout cookies because I was a troop leader and you made a show of stuffing them down your face everytime I walked by to remind me you got at least six boxes, despite the fact that you were on a diet. Now, that’s what I call a BFF!


A birthday is a perfect excuse to hit up friends, don’t ya think? And I am not one to let an opportunity like this one slip away. Today is the day. B-day. I’m asking.


Give me something real to celebrate.
Oh yea, I need to add one thing. . . .  Please.

About Ginny East Shaddock

Director of Heartwood Retreat Center, Ginny is also a writer. This is her personal blog with essay form writing about life and reflection. My entries are often lengthy and random, because I'm not here to promote or sell anything. I'm not expecting followers - just find this format a good place to think with the pen.

10 responses »

  1. Happy Birthday Ginny!!So, are you still rounding up your age??? I hope you had a wonderful birthday. Miss you, Jessica Ps- you don’t look a day over 30! PPS- I remembered your bday (before I read your blog – promise), and tried to send you an e-card but it bounced back?? What’s your email address again?

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  2. Happy Birthday, Ginny!I am saddened to hear that this whole dance studio situation continues to be an uproar, and that the Sarasota dance “community” (and I use that term loosely,) is continuing to fuel the fire on a dead topic.Here ye, here ye. Let me officially announce to the naysayers, whoever you may be, that Mark and Ginny Hendry are my friends. If that gets me ex-communicated from the super secret dance society, or my child is banished from her dance school, then so be it. (Sorry, Molly, but you wouldn’t want to be somewhere that you weren’t truly welcome in the first place.) I have remained a neutral third party in this entire FLEX epic battle, and never broken the trust that was placed upon me under any circumstances. I will continue to be simply the father of a child who enjoys attending Ms. Jodi’s dance class on a somewhat irregular basis. My daughter chose Ms. Jodi’s class even over my own small after-school dance class for pre-K students at the school I teach. I stand by her decision, even if it is a small blow to my ego.For those of you with malice in your heart for the Hendrys or those who have been dissuaded by a shadow of doubt, I urge you to do a little soul searching. Mark and Ginny are the people who inspired us to dance. They built dancers. But more importantly, they built character. I challenge any program student from the old school FLEX days to dissuade that comment. They made us laugh and cry, and not make excuses for ourselves. In those days, we couldn’t hide behind our parents’ shadows so that they could explain away our own shortcomings. I recall those simpler times in my life with great affinity, because those are the friendships that will endure long after you’ve taken your last dance class.Personally, I like to think of my years at the big purple and pink building like I was the karate kid (humor me, please.) Mark and Ginny played the part of Mr. Miyagi, and they put me through the paces of windexing mirrors and assembling barres and painting stairwells and assembling floats and pressure washing back rooms and emptying dumpsters and provided a solid dance education. But they also taught me the value of friendship and love and standing up for yourself in the thick of things rather than become a casualty to the lemings. And I took those skills, both practical and personal, and used them to pay my bills during hard times living in NYCMaybe we should just settle the score with a big breakdancing session on cardboard boxes in five points park. It seems appropriate.The time and energy focused on tearing others down is ill-placed and serves no purpose but a momentary adrenaline high which further darkens the spirit. Your energies are much better placed on being suportive of one another. Namaste.

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  3. You say it’s your birthdayIt’s my birthday too—yeahThey say it’s your birthdayWe’re gonna have a good timeI’m glad it’s your birthdayHappy birthday to you. Yes we’re going to a party partyYes we’re going to a party partyYes we’re going to a party party I would like you to dance—BirthdayTake a cha-cha-cha-chance—BirthdayI would like you to dance—BirthdayDance You say it’s your birthdayIt’s my birthday too—yeahThey say it’s your birthdayWe’re gonna have a good timeI’m glad it’s your birthdayHappy birthday to you. Cha, cha, cha!

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  4. Jeni Goldstein

    Happy Birthday!!

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  5. Have a great birthday! I always remember your birthday b/c Jamie Mueller’s is the same day. Hope you have a fantastic one!

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  6. Just wanted to say Happy Birthday from the Chesley’s. I thought your entry for today was great. I really hope you have a great day. Tell everyone we all said hello and we miss all of you.Love ya,Patty

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  7. Hi Ginny- I donated your birthday gift like you asked. I made it in memory of Anna and my grandfather. I think it’s great that you and Denver are doing this! I was thinking a lot about Anna with Easter having come and gone. She was in my seventh grade science class when I met her. (It was my first year in program at Flex) I wanted to be a geat dancer like her. I’d stretch all the time to try to kick like her! She was so passionate about dance, even in the worst of times she wanted to know what was going on in the studio. I will always remember Anna as the 7th grade dancer. The most pure person I’ll ever meet. I wonder if she’s watching all of this drama from heaven. I often think about the girls from the “Old School” Flex. Some have come and gone. Some I still talk to from time to time… Hi Kathy, Michelle, Jessica, and Traci! And then there’s the ones I grew up with that amaze me the most. The ones that now thrive on people’s failures, that maliciously spend there time plotting people’s demise, that think of nobody but themselves. Dance was supposed to be about passion and spirit and integrity!! When did that change?? How can anyone that grew up with Anna’s love for dance and struggle with life not have gained anything?? If they could have gained 1% of Anna’s pureness than they would know there’s more to life than greed. Anna was never “just a leg” she had spirit from the top of her head to the tip of her toes. And when I teach, I try to pass on a little bit of Anna everyday. No matter what happens to Flex or any other dance studio… my passion for dance is always a part of me thanks to my 7th grade friend. -Jill

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  8. MY BIRTHDAY IS NEXT MONTH!!!! GIVE ME MONEY TOO!!! :p I’m not really as evil as my mother makes me out to be ya know 😉 ❤ Denver ❤

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  9. Happy Birthday, Ginny! I’ll be sure to check out the website to make a donation. Good luck with the walk; it sounds too tiring for me. But it’s great to have people like you and Denver who are willing to participate in these events to support important organizations. My friend Kip hiked the entire Appalachian Trail for the American Heart Association. Cool, huh? I wouldn’t last a day. On another note, I’m beginning to plan my trip home and to Georgia this summer. I’ll probably leave for Sarasota on June 16th and would like to make it to Georgia by the 21st. I’ll let you know more details soon. And do you know how far it is from Duluth and where you live?

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  10. I’ve got to publicate resembling like this on my website and this gave me excellent idea. Thank You!

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