Tuesday, January 31, 2012

So Tell Me, Is This Your Dad's Picture?

So my friend C is great. She's living in Buenos Aires and used to live in Japan and before that Copenhagen. I met her when she was living in Seattle. She has a fantastic sense of humor. Perfect person to talk to. Little did I know how perfect....

I wrote her a message yesterday and got a note back from her today. Actually I got 2 notes. The first tells me that she's up for it. She's not going to send mail from Argentina for problematic postal reasons, but she's in. She will ask friends in Japan and Hong Kong to get on board. Sweet. Then she goes on to say that she's found a great site that sends picture cards from New Zealand. Her e-mail ends with, "So tell me, is this your dad's picture?"

It is indeed. It's Dad swearing at me for taking his picture when we went sailing on Christmas eve. In jest, of course, but nonetheless, that's a picture of Dad calling me a jerk.

That being said, C got no confirmation before moving ahead with her next step.  She wrote, "I hope it is him because this card will be postmarked from NZ and will be sent BY 'the people of New Zealand'". Wouldn't that have been great if her Facebook stalking had yielded a picture of an uncle or cousin or someone we barely knew? 

As it turns out, there is a photo card of my dad coming to my dad on behalf of "the people of New Zealand". Oh, and it was sent by my American friend in Argentina. Awesome.

Like Cat Hair on a Couch

So it's interesting to see where people's minds go when I tell them about this project. Reactions tend to be quick-- Within 30 seconds, text messages are being composed, friends in the US and abroad are being added to lists, puzzles planned, horrendous cat stickers retrieved. (Truly, the kitten stickers are awful. I've got to get a picture of them!) And, of course, people want to get clear about what I am asking them to do. I'm including below a few questions I've been asked, as well as my responses. 

Can my dog send a card?
Absolutely! Shoot, your neighbor’s urban chickens can each send a card. It’s all good.

Can we (third graders) really address a card to “Bubbles”?

Sure! Everyone calls him Bubbles so I can’t imagine addressing it any other way. That being said, I like to stir that pot, so when my teacher friend filled me in on her students' question, I thought I should up the ante. I said they could feel free to address their cards to Bubbles, The Great Robert, Robert the Great, or Bubble Bear, whatever strikes their fancy. I love that he may get cards addressed to Robert the Great. He's always joking that that's what we should call him. That or The Great Robert the Great. I get the feeling he'd like us to emphasize his greatness. 

So you’re saying that you want complete strangers to send your dad cards?
I sure do. This whole thing’s a game and it definitely has layers, but one of those layers is called volume. Friends are sharing with friends and those friends are asking their friends. I got a great e-mail from a friend of a friend in New Zealand today. She doesn't know me at all but she’s asking her friends and family to participate and assures me that she's “all over it like cat hair on a couch.” I love that.

Monday, January 30, 2012

Pssst..... Help Me Send Some Cards!

I created this blog to share a mission with you and ask for your help. 

First, three things you should know: 
1) My Dad is turning 75 on February 14, 2012. 
2) He has one of the greatest laughs on the planet. You know that full body silent laugh?    
    He's a pro. 
3) My family has created a scheme to fill his birthday with laughter and you can help!

Here's the plan. I'm asking friends, friends of friends, and friends of friends of friends to send birthday cards to Bubbles. New cards are great, as are reused (truly, cross out your name and write his, then cross out Grandma’s and write yours if you wish).  Cards that are funny, sentimental,  tacky, colored by toddlers etc--- whatever strikes you would be most welcome. What we’re going for here is volume—both in cards and the resulting laughter. We’re shooting for at least a 1,000 cards with postmarks from at least 25 countries. Scratch that-- we were shooting for 1,000 cards from 25 countries, but we quickly doubled our goals, then upped them again. 

We're shooting for at least 10,000 cards from at least 50 countries.

My Dad is a character. He loves people, and he loves jokes, and surprises. Which is why we think this is idea is right on! (Anyone who has gone by the name Bubbles since age 7 must be a character, right?!)

Are you up for sending him a card? Can you think of others who like spreading a little love, like laughter or have great fathers and families? Please ask them to join the fun and send a card!

Please send cards to:
                   P.O. Box 426
                   Oxford, MD 21654

Anytime after February 7th is great, but don’t worry too much about timing. Early is great, as is late!

Thank you for your support!

p.s. I will be updating this blog as we gear up for his birthday week, and as cards are received. I am so, so excited for his reactions as he goes to the post office every day and finds that, yup, more cards are pouring in. Stay tuned--- yours may be featured!