I am one of those people who has to keep a calendar. I have to write down all my appointments or I forget. Not just the obligatory doctor and dentist appointments, but social ones as well: bridge dates, when I have to direct bridge for the duplicate club, hair appointments, and other minutiae of life.
I have a friend who writes down everyone’s birthday on her calendar. That is a good idea. She is the one to schedule birthday luncheons right on time. I would be clueless if she didn’t call me and tell me the dates. I never know them to write them down. I need to ask to copy her calendar. I know my children’s birthdays and my grandchildren’s, at least down to the closest week. I know my sister’s birthday and my oldest granddaughter’s because they are the same day. My sister was mighty pleased when my oldest granddaughter was born on her birthday.
I always get my husband’s mixed up. I can’t remember if the day is 23 or 25. To be fair, I get mine mixed up, too. My daughter was born on a 25th and I was born on a 26th. And I get confused. Plus my birthday falls either on Thanksgiving or right before or after Thanksgiving, and it gets lost in the holiday rush.
My husband and I don’t make a big deal out of our birthdays. We are happy with a card from the children. We are at the stage in life when, if we want anything, we go and buy it. (Or he tells me to go and buy it for him.) So we really don’t get each other presents. I usually bake him a pecan pie, and he might take me out to eat.
Anyway, my Monday breakfast routine is to get out the calendar and see what is in store for the week. I usually have to alert my husband to any social engagements. If I don’t remind him way ahead of time, he will make other plans.
On the Monday under discussion, I got out my calendar and looked at the week. It was going to be a busy one. I had a hair appointment, I needed to renew one of my husband’s prescriptions, and we had a dinner engagement, all on the 23rd day.
Suddenly, I was electrified. The 23rd echoed in my mind. Oh, my goodness, I thought; it is my husband’s birthday.
I told him when he came into the kitchen that he had a birthday this week. He just nodded.
I went into action when he left to run errands. I called both of my daughters and put them on alert to buy a birthday card and get it to him by the appointed date.
On Wednesday, since we were going to be gone most of Thursday, I made him a pecan pie.
I also went to the pharmacy to pick up my husband’s prescription. The clerk asked me for my husband’s birthday and I smiled and told her tomorrow.
She fiddled with the cash register/computer and fiddled with it again, and then some more. She finally asked me to give her my phone number and address. Finally deciding I was who I purported to be, she gave me the prescription.
Thursday morning, the birthday boy came into the kitchen and said somewhat sheepishly, "I have to tell you something."
"What?" I asked.
He said, "My birthday is in February, not January."
He’s right. I got the right day but the wrong month. He did thank me for the pie and said I didn’t have to make another one in February.
I had to call my children and tell them what had happened. Both of them said they had thought daddy’s birthday was in February. What I want to know is why they didn’t mention that to me.
Then it suddenly dawned on me why that clerk at the pharmacy was so confused. I had come to get a prescription for my husband and didn’t even know his birthday. I bet she thought I was the one who needed medicine, not my husband.
I really need to put birthdays on my calendar.
Paula Travis is a retired Newton County School System teacher.