To invite you to my birthday party is to hold you in high esteem. If you are reading this, you are a person of discerning taste, and are almost certainly invited to my birthday party. Michelle Kwan is, as previously mentioned, invited to my birthday party; so is Mindy Kaling, neé Chokalingam. Vincent Baker and televison’s Rob Thomas are invited to my birthday party. Maria and I watched P.S. last night, which has restored Laura Linney’s invitation to my birthday party, after a brief revocation involving The Mothman Prophecies. Tom Peterson of LEO Weekly is invited to my birthday party. Kelly Link and Emily Watson are each invited twice.

The obvious corollary is that mere joy or sexual allure are not enough to score an invitation–but being disinvited is not necessarily a slight. Hackers is not invited to my birthday party; it would spill soda on the ponies. M. Night Shyamalan has had his invitation taken away and put in my desk drawer until he makes a movie without a twist. The casts of Arrested Development and Firefly are invited to my birthday party, but only one at a time. We don’t want to lose focus.

The metaphorical birthday party we’re discussing here is not to be confused with my actual birthday parties, which are pretty much just like Tuesday Night Basketball except I get to go “whoo!” and think about death.