This blog is part moan, part apology.
I’m sorry if I forget your birthday or your child’s birthday or your wedding anniversary or your dog’s naming day or any other special occasion that requires marking. I’m putting it out there because it will happen. Not because I don’t care, or have turned Jehovah’s Witness but genuinely because if I remember to clean my teeth in the morning I count that as a good day.
These days I constantly find myself apologising for forgetting things. I’m like the March Hare bounding about checking the 21st century equivalent of the pocket watch – my iPhone calendar. I always get there in the end, with cards and gifts (well nearly, I still owe my lovely friend Kate a birthday pressie for last May but she’s really tricky to buy for) I’m just a bit tardy. It’s the sheer volume of ‘stuff’ that overwhelms me. These days there are so many things you have to remember to do – a Facebook post, WhatsApp message, cards, email, gift…. How about I sky write you a message too? Don’t even get me started on the trend for making homemade gifts. No I don’t have the time or skills to knit you a scarf, whip up a batch of jam or make you a Welsh Dresser. If I do remember then there is the gift etiquette to consider. How much to spend? Too little and you look cheap, too much and you look flashy (rest assured my budget dictates I’m always leaning more towards the cheap side of things) Then there’s the wrapping – paper or bag or both? Bow, ribbon, gift tag, tropical butterfly that flutters out once opened? Too. Much. Pressure.
I sound like a right miso and I’m really not. I love special occasions, in fact birthdays are the only time my friends and I manage to get together such are our stupidly hectic schedules. I’m just imploring us all to cut each other some slack. We have so many balls in the air (actually it’s more like juggling with chain saws) keeping the small humans alive. In the grand scheme of things is it not better to be a bit late than not remember at all (and perhaps your gift will be wrapped in newspaper)?
For what it’s worth, here’s what I think about this thorny subject: It’s not a competition, it’s the thought that counts and I love you all lots 365 days a year. Not just on your birthday (if you could just remind me when that is again….?)