Jan 10, 2009


So. Wednesday was my birthday. I turned fifty-freakin'-three which, I reminded myself, sucks but it sure beats never turning fifty three. It's all in how you look at it, a practice in rationalization that comes in handy as I age. My boobs sag like cannon balls in a gunny sack but at least I can stay out past 10 PM without asking for my parents' permission. Or, more accurately, I could stay out past 10 PM without permission if I could only stay awake that late.

Anyway, my beloved sister called me first thing to sing happy birthday and my friend Carol called next, and throughout the day I got birthday wishes from lots of family and friends.

My first hint that not everyone remembered my birthday came after lunch when my coworkers presented me with a cake and sang Happy Birthday to me (albeit in the key of "N"--you'll never see a barbershop quartet comprised of engineering types), and they gave me a birthday card they had circulated around the office for everyone to sign.

As I read the card my eyes were drawn to one particular entry: the one that was signed "oooops!". And that was my first clue that my husband had forgotten my birthday.

When I arrived home after work he looked like this, an expression not unlike the one prisoners have as they are led away to the electric chair.

He was so apologetic and remorseful about forgetting my birthday that I decided not to kill him after all. I ate the festive dinner of microwaved lasagne that he prepared all by himself with his own two hands, and I resisted the temptation to make him feel any worse than he already did--if such a thing was even possible. After dinner was over I gave him a wimpy goodnight kiss accompanied by a feeble "that's okay, honey" and went to bed.

The next day I worked from home on some year-end accounting stuff, and at 5:00 on the nose I heard my husband come in the back door. Normally I would rush to greet him with a kiss, but this time I stayed at my desk working because not only was I in the middle of a tricky calculation, but I was also in the middle of dishing out some apathetic treatment towards forgetful husbands.

After I finished the calculation I was working on I moseyed into the kitchen to greet him. And there he stood beside a bouquet of flowers as big as a Buick and a stash of gifts, each of which he had carefully and thoughtfully chosen (versus his normal selection process which revolves around whatever merchandise the store has displayed closest to the door).

And he gave me the sweetest birthday card ever produced by mankind then took me out for a wonderful dinner during which he said the nicest, sweetest things and made me feel like a million bucks.

And so I forgave him completely for forgetting my birthday and even secretly hoped he forgets again next year.

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