Sunday, January 14, 2007


As of today, I've taken care of all of January's birthdays. I've sent cards, prepared cards, and tagged what day to mail them. I've shopped for presents, wrapped them, and packaged them up to be shipped. All that's left is to take them to the post office.

I would like to be proud of myself, but I have to take history into account. Every year I begin with good intentions. I have a spreadsheet, and every month I check to see who is coming up that we need to recognize. Sometimes we do cards, sometimes presents, sometimes cash or a phone call. But I try hard at the beginning of the year to be good about recognition and celebration.

Then comes May.

May ruins me every year. There is only one family birthday in May, which means I always forget to check my spreadsheet. And just like that, the habit is lost. From then on, it's haphazard. People are lucky if I remember they exist, never mind that it's their birthday. By October, all bets are off. I write off the year and resolve to do better the following year.

One Christmas, my sister-in-law made calendars for me and my other two sisters-in-law. She not only marked everyone's birthdays on them, she marked anniversaries, too. Man, she raised expectations that year. And guess what? It was my worst year ever.

She never bothered again.

My husband has tainted me. He says, "It's not *my* anniversary. Why should I celebrate it?" So that gives me permission to ignore them. Which I think is fine. Most people don't expect others to remember their anniversaries until they hit, like, 40 years. And I certainly have no expectations of others when my anniversary comes around on October 3rd. Like this year is my 15th anniversary. On October 3. I like that date. It's the same day the old Cleveland Stadium closed and the day the Berlin Wall fell. October 3.

But I don't expect anyone to celebrate it but us. Really. :)

Anyway. Do you have any tricks for remembering people's birthdays?


Anonymous said...

I get a calendar for Christmas every year, which hangs on the fridge. Before I hang it I write all the occasions in, so they stare me in the face every time I open the fridge. :)

So you ready for today? It's gonna be a tough one.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

The one my SIL gave us hung in the kitchen, too. The problem with "staring me in the face" is I stop seeing it. :)

Yes, it sure was a tough one. I can't believe they pulled it out. Tom owes Troy a huge steak. :)

MJFredrick said...

I actually have an affinity for it. For example, tomorrow is the birthday of a celeb I had a crush on in the early 90s. Dates ring bells with me.

But just to be on the safe side, I use the calendar on my email program, with plenty of warning ahead of time.

Natalie J. Damschroder said...

Wow, Mary. That's so not fair. LOL