Birthday Gift Ideas

I’m 26 tomorrow – an entirely unremarkable birthday. Still, I love to celebrate the anniversary of my existence, as everyone should.

I mean, everyone should celebrate the anniversary of their own existence. You’re all brilliant, so on your birthday just don’t forget to say a big YOU’RE WELCOME to the world.

But, back to me. I will be treating myself, of course, but since gifts are traditional and I’m such a mysterious and inscrutable woman – I thought the Internet might want some Gift Ideas for Caoimhe.

So, here’s my wishlist.

  1. The end to all riffs on “keep calm and carry on” – it has been so long since that has been even a bit funny and each poster or mug or fucking flag or whatever I see gets further and further away from the original design. I have seen several images using the font with almost no connection to the original message. I’ve seen “keep calm and drink champagne” with an icon of a bottle which is not propaganda or a joke it’s just… good sense. I’ve seen “we can’t keep calm we’re Spanish” with no icon on a Spanish Flag which was still somehow supposed to be a pastiche of this tired meme. Like, nobody asked you to. So, I know that this will be the ruination of countless trashy London souvenir shops… But please stop, for my birthday.
  2. The return of the Regular Potato Fries. Why does everyone insist on pushing sweet potato fries on me? Just because they’re more expensive doesn’t mean they are better, it’s progress for progress’ sake and it’s nonsense. Plus, they have a weird texture. Stop being pretentious with chips, they are a humble food.
  3. More people to write letters to me.
  4. No more “To blank or not to blank, that is the question”. While I’m banning things, let’s get rid of this, too. I like a good Shakespeare reference as much as the next nerd but this one is the lowest of the low – it’s like mentioning Einstein in a conversation about Smart People, or saying your favourite Queen song is “Bohemian Rhapsody”. It is the basic bitch of Shakespeare quotes and even a play on it (pun) is lame.
  5. Unicorns to be less mainstream. They are everywhere right now, which seems to defeat their message of individuality, no? I can’t move for unicorns.
  6. Everyone to acknowledge that sexism is still rampant and the sexual assault and harassment of women is not a joke but a real and serious thing that happens hundreds of times per day and is basically always a threat hanging over our heads, bubbling under the surface of our daily lives and maybe it will never even come to a head for an individual but maybe it will and it could and that’s a problem.
  7. A Yankee candle.
  8. Everyone to adore me and pay me loads of attention but also leave me the hell alone.
  9. People to understand that last one, even if I don’t.
  10. These pens.
  11. Red lipstick that stays on all day without smudging or bleeding.
  12. Sir Ian McKellan to survive until my 27th birthday.
  13. A coffee.
  14. A nap.
  15. Everyone to Be Their Best Self.

I want to say I’m not much for material things – but that would be a damn lie. Still, I buy material things all the time so this year for my birthday I think everyone should take heed of that last one. Live like you’re a quote on a Penney’s throw pillow, do what you love, be honest, be the change you want to see in the world, be a fucking unicorn if you absolutely must.

Be you, for me.

And stop saying “Keep Calm and Blank” or you won’t see my next birthday.


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