4/04/2017
Another birthday missed

A good ten years ago Arlene said that she will never forget my birthday.

It didn't stick with me because I'd gladly take anybody remembering my birthday. It stuck with me because that told me that I should not forget other people's birthdays, too.

I'd like to think I exerted some effort to do that. Facebook was a good tool to remind people of when you're born, at least until people hid their birthdays, perhaps in a bid to determine who actually remembers their birthdays. (I don't see the point.) I remember a few years ago when I went through all my friends' birthdays and put them on my phone. Every year I would get a reminder, down to the age. I'm still a sucker for specificity.

And then my phone decided not to remind me. It used to be that my notifications area would tell me whose birthday it is, so every time I woke up I'd know. And then it didn't, and, well, I guess my head thought opening my calendar every day is an extra step it's not willing to take, especially since I still get reminders of my meetings for the day. So that was gone.

And then I got too busy for Facebook, too. Well, okay, part of my work involves checking Facebook and posting things on it, but there are days when I get too swept up in my work, or other things, that when I actually notice the notifications, I do nothing about it. And then I forget, until the day has passed, during which I find myself having to do "belated!" posts on their walls.

I guess we're at that point now. We're at that point when we forget the birthdays of those who we, at one point, held dear to us. We forget because we move on; we forget because we have other things to deal with. We forget, just because that's how it is.

I feel a tinge of frustration when I do. My phone says one thing, Facebook says nothing, and I just know that it's not because one or the other is wrong. I missed it. I get extra apologetic, but then the greeting means nothing much. Greetings - it's additional noise, an additional notification you read for a second before moving on to other things. And this is a person I didn't just spend fleeting moments with. There are conversations. There are cups of coffee. There are more awkward conversations. There's a reason the birthday is on my phone.

But we're at that point now, when we really have to rely on our senses - and when those fail us, well, that says a lot, doesn't it?

This year, or perhaps last year, Arlene didn't greet me on my birthday. I do not begrudge her one bit for it.

And your responses...

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