In honor of BeyLabor Day, Beyoncé's official website features handwritten well-wishes from her family and friends and also Michelle Williams.
Let's analyze who loves (or, more importantly, is loved by) Beyoncé the most.
Jay-Z's MomContent of Message: "B
You came into my life a sweet southern girl. (LOL)
You've blossomed into an amazing woman. I admire how you remain grounded and humble, and haven't let success change the person that you are.
Ohmygod, parents, please never write "LOL" outside of an instant message or email setting, stoppit, you're embarrassing us. Handwriting contains interesting mix of upper and lowercase letters (all "A"s uppercase; all "H"s lowercase; "R"s: 70/30 split).
Signature: "Mama Carter"; "Call me Mama Carter" said Mrs. Carter. "Sure thing, Mrs. Carter," said Beyoncé.
Love of Beyoncé: 8
Is Loved by Beyoncé: 8
Inside joke bonus: The "LOL" implies that the "sweet southern girl" line is some kind of inside joke. I guess what Mama Carter is saying is that Beyonce was a huge bitch when she met her? Or that the Southern accent is an affectation and Beyonce is really from Rhode Island?
The Paltrow-MartinsOne of Gwyneth Paltrow's favorite things to talk about is how some of her best friends (Beyoncé and Jay-Z) are black or, anyway, that's what people tell her, she has no way of verifying this information because she doesn't see color and what is color anyway.
Every time Gwyneth talks about being BFFs with Beyoncé, it feels like a lie – like how a nerdy girl might tell her classmates she's close friends with a popular girl when what she actually means is they live next door to one another and their parents sometimes attend social functions together. In an effort to build up Gwyneth's self-esteem, Mrs. Knowles let her sign Beyoncé's public birthday card. The result, is exactly what you think a birthday card from Gwyneth Paltrow would be.
Content of Message: "For Dear Sweet BB on the occasion of her 31st birthday…We love you so very much.
Love, Gwyneth, Chris, Apple, Moses"
In true Gwyneth Paltrow form, the message starts out with a lot of pretentious, wedding invitation-esque phrasing ("on the occasion of the anniversary of her birth, one score and eleven years past…") then quickly realizes it doesn't have anything of value to contribute ("We love you, bye.").
Signature: Bonus points for letting Apple and Moses sign their own names (they were probably really excited to do this; Apple retraced some of her letters a couple of times, which bodes well for future manifestations of neurosis); bonus negated by Chris Martin's lazy, illegible signature. He seems to be under the impression Beyoncé asked for an autograph.
Love of Beyoncé: 10
Is Loved by Beyoncé: 6 (Bey will not take kindly to Chris' diva stunt)
Inside joke bonus: "That's a lot of paper!" (Thing Beyonce said to Gwyneth once, when Gwyneth showed her a standard college-ruled notebook, the cover of which she had decoupaged with pictures of black people.)
Tenitra "Michelle" WilliamsContent of Message: "Beyonce,
Happy Birthday to youuuu!! I love you so very much. I am so thankful you're in my life!
This is the kind of boilerplate message you would leave on the Facebook wall of a person whom you neither loved nor even knew so very much. She forgot to include the accent over the "e" in "Beyoncé." Lovely handwriting though.
Signature: Pretty sad Michelle felt she had to include her last name so that Beyoncé would know who she was. Even worse, adding "Williams" creates as much confusion as it eliminates. Is this Tenitra Michelle Williams, former member of Destiny's Child, or Michelle Ingrid Williams, of Dawson's Creek fame?
Love of Beyoncé: 3
Is Loved by Beyoncé: N/A (Beyoncé does not recall ever meeting this person.)
Inside joke bonus: "p.s. Me and you will never part! Make Ta Ta!!" (Inside joke would be more successful if Beyoncé knew who Michelle Williams was.)
Tina KnowlesContent of Message: "God blessed me with one of the greatest gifts in my life on Sept 4, 1981. Happy Birthday love Mom"
Don't know who Tina thinks she's fooling by calling Beyoncé "one of the greatest gifts" in her life. Beyoncé is the greatest gift in all of our lives. She should just straight-up say, "You are my favorite and most valuable daughter, no offense Solange."
Signature: "Mom" – shows a high level of intimacy with Beyoncé; Gwyneth Paltrow is very jealous of Tina.
Love of Beyoncé: 9
Is Loved by Beyoncé: 10
Inside joke bonus: Is it possible pretending to love both her daughters equally is, itself, an inside joke?
Random Pastors from HoustonContent of Message: "HEY BEYONCÉ!
It seems like yesterday when a shy 13 year old stood on the stage at St. John's and sang her heart out! Now at 31 the world is your stage.
Pastor Rudy & Pastor Juanita
These two are obviously as excited to write to Beyoncé as any of us would be ("HEY BEYONCÉ!"). The message is a standard one anyone from Beyoncé's past could have written, though their exploitation of the 13/31 symmetry is commendable.
Signature: Use of a tilda'd "~Houston Texas~" makes this seem like a post on a Xanga message board.
Love of Beyoncé: 10
Is Loved by Beyoncé: 7
Byl Thompson and the Team at Beyond ProductionsContent of Message: "Happy 31st birthday to someone who has been our magnolia tree, protecting us from the elements and fertilizing our hearts, minds, and spirits…allowing us to all the while dream big and touch the sky. May I take this time to say how much we love, respect, and admire you…We are forever grateful that we are your daisy patch!
Much love to you always,
Byl Thompson and the Team at Beyond Productions"
The extended garden metaphor is the kind of poetic element that would really appeal to Beyoncé. She will read it aloud to Jay-Z and shake her head and say "Isn't that nice?" She would Tumblr this if it weren't already on her official website.
Signature: "Byl" LOL OKAY
Love of Beyoncé: 10
Is Loved by Beyoncé: 8.