A lot of people said, when I deactivated Facebook, that they would happily follow suit were it not for the fact that they used it in order to remember their friends’ birthdays. I’m not one of those people who forgets birthdays: my memory is good at recalling them on the most part, but I also have a nifty gadget called a personal organiser (a paper one, obviously. I own a Discman, I’m a library volunteer, I don’t do technology very well) that has them in and which I consult every day. My mum has a super power of ALWAYS remembering birthdays. Her party trick is that she can move around a busy pub or party and announce everyone’s birthdays, even those of people she doesn’t know very well. She can hear the date of someone’s birthday once and squirrel it away for future reference. It’s an extraordinary talent but I get that that is what it is: extraordinary. This kind of thing doesn’t come easy to everyone and it is to those people that I say “why don’t you buy a calendar?” Most people have their noses in their phones for huge portions of the day; surely they can input birthdays into the calendar on them? My knackered, no-tech phone even has this function.
This discussion has stemmed from bumping into Mrs H and Miss B on Friday night. I think they were a little bit embarrassed that they weren’t aware that it my birthday. I didn’t expect them to, to be fair; after all, we just happened to bump into each other in the same pub, I hadn’t invited them out to help me celebrate. So for those people, I didn’t expect an unprompted greeting. Where I’m puzzled though is by the fact that neither Miss T nor Mr A remembered – the two people I’ve known since early childhood one can always rely on to send a card. I’ve been justifying this in my mind since anticipating my card-free doorstep on Thursday. Miss T has a six-month-old baby and a five-year-old son to wrangle; Mr A and I usually send each other cards via Moonpig who are notoriously tardy in delivering overseas, but they’ve never forgotten before. It seems weird to me.
My poor Blonde Sister got the worst deal this year though when my dad and stepmum forgot her birthday and then explained away this omission by telling her that they had forgotten because they had bought Mr P a card and gift instead (his birthday is two days after the Blonde Sister’s) and apparently both are incapable of remembering two dates that take place int he same week. The Blonde Sister was, quite rightly, very upset. To me, had my dad been single, I could’ve excused this oversight but he has been amrried to my stepmother for twenty-five years, they only have three of us to keep track of and my stepmother is a P.A. – surely she has a diary she uses for work? I refuse to believe that she doesn’t.
In the end, the Blonde Sister ended up faring better than usual when my red-faced father chucked her £20 and delivered a bouquet of flowers. Surely this mortifying incident might cajole him into parting with the measly sum required to purchase an aide memoir of sorts? In fact, I night suggest that The Blonde Sister buys him a calendar for Christmas this year, making sure to actually hand it over on New Year’s Eve.