10 October 2011

Birthday Game

Athol Kay once noted that celebrating birthdays is a rather beta sort of thing (which is essential in long-term relationships).  I imagine that, for the most part, the same is true of celebrating major holidays, like Christmas and Valentine’s Day.  You follow rituals that are generally stupid and get her gifts and do something “nice” just to show to her that you care, etc.

Anyway, I’m not overly fond of the beta frame inherent in birthday and holiday celebrations, so I spent some time thinking of a way to celebrate important days (defined here as her birthday, your anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and possibly Christmas, because all four of these days generally require the giving of gifts to one’s special someone).  It took me a while to come up with something, and I finally had a chance to test it last week.  The results were great.

Obviously, celebrating (in this case) a birthday is an inherently beta thing to do because the frame is generally that the one being celebrated is very important and worthy of celebration.  Again, this is very beta.  The goal is to celebrate her birthday from an alpha frame.  (Note:  This post primarily applies to men who are in a long-term relationship with women who are loyal to them.)

To this end, I’ve found that celebrating your girl’s birthday in an alpha matter is simply a matter of creating the right frame, which only requires a little money and a little creativity.  You will need:  a cell phone, five to seven cheap gifts, some paper and a pen, a card, a couple of hours to plan and implement, dinner or lunch plans, and a modified versions of Simon Says Game.

The first step is to go to Hallmark or some gift shop like that and sweet talk a cashier into helping you select gifts for your special someone.  You will need a general idea of what your target likes, but it’s helpful to have a cashier or sales associate help you because they will generally have a better sense of what’s cute than you will, and they will also know where all the discounted stuff is.  Simply tell them your plan, and that you need help selecting a couple of cute gifts for your special someone.  (Bonus:  Leave your number with the cutest cashier and tell her to call you if she thinks of anything else, if you’re not currently married and looking to upgrade.)  You should be able to get five to seven gifts for around twenty dollars, in my experience.

Since the game is basically a cross between Simon Says and a treasure hunt, you will want to take some time to find some hiding places for the gifts.  Garages, attics, and basements are all good hiding places.  Also, think of hiding some gifts on the top of shelves or cabinets, under beds, or at the back of deep cupboards.  You need to make the gifts difficult, but not impossible, to find.  Remember where you hide them, because you will be telling her where to find them later.  In fact, it may be best to write a script of how the treasure hunt is going to play out.  (Bonus:  I also made finding some of the gifts multi-part steps by sending her to find a note, which then told her to look for the gift.  Notes can be taped underneath drawers or on the back of cupboard doors in lesser-used rooms.)

The next step is texting her on her birthday.  Start by texting her something like “Simon says happy birthday.  Text me back to start the game.”  This should pique her interest rather quickly.  When she texts you back remind her of the rules of the game, and then give her the first command.  She should tell you when she finds the gift, which is your cue to giver another command.  Or you can wait to tell her later.  You can be direct or indirect about where to find things.  I avoided riddles because they are difficult to write in a way where the solution is neither obvious nor impossible.  In any event, you can take as long as you want in giving her clues, and you can be as vague as you want about the clues.  I only had seven things for her to find (six gifts and a card) and was fairly direct about the clues, but it still took about an hour and a half to play. (Bonus:  send her a text that leaves off “Simon says” and directs her to a card that says something along the lines of “silly girl, I didn’t say ‘Simon Says.’”)

The last clue should be her birthday card. I hid it under her bed, and she ended up tearing the bed apart to find it.  You should leave one last command tucked away in that card (write it on a 3x5 card) that tells her to get dressed in something nice/pretty/sexy depending on your plans.  Do not tell her why.

The last step is to pick her up and say “Simon says get in the car.”  Then take her out to eat somewhere.  Do not tell her where you’re going or what you’re doing.  Also, order for her.  I ended up taking her to a Cuban restaurant and ordering a Cubano for her, then taking her to one of the nicer parks in the city for a picnic.  Always have plan, but don’t feel compelled to tell her what it is.  It’s always fun to keep her in suspense, and it will help to establish that you’re the one in control.

While this plan doesn’t change the fact that celebrating her birthday is still a rather beta trait, it does strongly mitigate it.  By being the one with a plan that she follows on your terms, you establish and reinforce a rather powerful frame.  Thus, birthday game takes the best part of beta traits (comfort-building, bonding) and pairs it with some very powerful alpha traits (leadership, DHV), which makes it very powerful.  Because it takes time and planning, you don’t want to run this on anyone save for those women who merit your loyalty by having already demonstrated loyalty to you.

Incidentally, this game can be customized to a whole host of scenarios.  In addition to wives and long-time girlfriends, you can run modified versions of this on mothers, sisters, and daughters.  It simply takes a little more creativity to pull it off, but it can be done.  You can also lean more to the treasure hunt side of things, if you prefer, by leaving more clues at the house instead of texting them, or you can lean toward the Simon Says side of things by issuing other commands (think: sexting [for sake of clarity, this is not appropriate for your mom, sister, or daughter.  Ever.]).

My day followed that model somewhat closely.  I started texting her around eleven AM.  She found the last gift around half past noon.  I picked her up and took her to the aforementioned Cuban restaurant, and then to a park where we had a picnic because the weather was really beautiful.  I brought chips, drinks, and cupcakes in a picnic basket, as well as a quilt to sit upon.  The total cost of the gifts, including the card, was under $18.00.  The total cost of lunch for the two of us was just under $12.00.  Gas probably cost around $6.00.  All told, this was a rather inexpensive way to celebrate her birthday, and very memorable to boot.  It took around three and a half hours to play the game and go to lunch, but because this was spread out over three locations, this felt like it took closer to six hours.

In all, this is a very fun and easy way to celebrate your girl’s birthday, and has a bonus of being done from an alpha frame.  She’ll have fun, you’ll have fun, and you won’t go broke.  Best of all, the memories of this will stay with her pretty much forever.


  1. I had forgotten the Simons Says game!

  2. @Athol Kay- It has a pretty wide array of applications and works like a charm.

  3. "She’ll have fun"

    Really? After you have a substantial number of kids, something like this would wear pretty thin, especially if you're the recipient of a bunch of junky trinkets. I don't know about you, but I throw out junky stuff that I won't use. This wouldn't appeal to me whatsoever, especially if I found I had just had to dismantle a cupboard, or un-make a bed to find something.....and then get the privilege of putting everything away and re-making the bed. This would be the most non-fun thing I could do.

    For my birthday, I just want to be left alone. I don't want gifts because 90% of the time the gifts are junky things I won't use and don't need. I don't even really want a card anymore because I am just going to throw it away. I'm so over birthdays. I'd rather just buy my own present because I know what I want and don't have to worry about having to gush over something I neither want nor need. I'm practical. Just let me alone, is all I want.

    A tired homeschooling Mom