So It Goes: Congratulations

Even as I write the word, I feel my heart rate go up.

That is even with full knowledge that no small explosion will occur on the page I write the stories on.

Like Pavlov's dog, I anticipate with a beating heart and sweaty palms the exploding aftermath of typing that single word.

I try to avoid it.

When people on Facebook brag about their recent endeavours or talk about special occasions, your first thought is to type that word.

I could type 'well done' or 'good job' or something to that effect, but it is not what you immediately think of and it does sound a bit like a school report.

Oh, so you have got married? Well done.

You have just had twins? Good job

See what I mean? There really is nothing else that cuts it in the world of digital communication.

So you pop in the word 'congratulations' and, as you do, you hold firm to the chair, sit upright and brace yourself.

For a moment you hope the people in Facebook land have come to their senses and stopped the mini explosion of alleged joy and all good things, at least for the moment, but there it is – like a party popper, your good wishes explode out of the corner in a jubilant display of hyped up joy.

I am not an avid Facebook user, and so I am not big on recording special moments and having people say 'congratulations' to me. I think the explosion should really be for the person receiving the congratulations and not the one giving it. Please correct me if I am wrong, but I am not entirely sure how that one would work or if the person receiving the word has any idea of the true gift you have given them in response to their good fortune.

The real gift is the selflessness involved in typing the word and putting up with that moment of terror. The real gift is thinking enough of that person to increase the heart rate for their sake.

You take your life in your hands for that moment. Their congratulations could be your heart attack.

Congratulations to anyone who has done it. (Even now I am waiting for some sort of explosion. Let me know if it is happening at your end.)

- Linda Muller