Saturday, January 11, 2014

Today is your what?

I have a birthday once a year. November 5. Every other year PHD remembers it. The next year he makes up for forgetting the previous year. Then he forgets that he has forgotten it, ever, and
completely traumatizes himself when he forgets it the next year, even though he has now done that about 10 times before. Does that make sense? Doesn't matter, it is highly entertaining. To my co-workers, who are relatively new to this cycle, however, it is horrifying and upsetting. So, last year, when I arrived at work on my birthday everyone wanted to know what I got for my birthday. I said, "Nothing, I think he forgot." The lovely innocent people I work with argued with me briefly, believing he must have some super special surprise waiting for me when I got home. (And I work in HR so it is possible someone actually used the words "super special". Maybe even me.) 

While I was at work explaining to everyone that the key to a successful marriage is to lower your expectations, my mother stopped by my house and left a card for me. Also, the reminder I had set on Boy 2's iPod popped up as "Mom's Birthday". If Boy 2 had seen the reminder, he would have realized it was my birthday. Instead, PHD saw the reminder and later said he thought at the time, "Why would Boy 2 have a reminder about Mom's birthday in November? I thought Mom's birthday was in June or something." I guess in that moment PHD didn't understand that our kids call our mothers "Grandma". Or that his mother's birthday is in September. Anyway, we all sat down to supper and the conversation went like this:

Boy 2: "Why did Grandma leave a card for you Mom?" 
Me: Because it's my birthday.
Boy 2: Oh.

PHD is not yet saying anything but judging by the expression on his face I am guessing this is what is playing through his head: I like potatoes. Why is everyone looking at me? Did they say birthday card? I just had a birthday, Mmmm cake. It's not my birthday, uh oh, is it November? November 5? Oh F...

PHD: It's your birthday today? (in really accusing tone like, why do you have to do this to me every other year - how dare you have your birthday on the very day I have forgotten it?). 

This was followed by lots of apologies and general embarrassment on his part. He kept saying "I can't believe I forgot your birthday." and I would think, "I can but I am amused by how absurdly outraged you are this time." 

So this year I woke up to a dozen roses on my birthday. They were lovely but I was actually slightly disappointed that there wouldn't be entertainment on my birthday this year. So, to make it up to myself for him remembering this year, every once in a while when I have had a rough day and need to cheer myself up I say things like, "Since it's my birthday today, can we go out for dinner?" This simple sentence immediately shows me if he is actually listening by either not saying anything or immediately looking panicked and frantic. When he says, "WHAT??" I can say things like, "I SAID, since it is Thursday today, can we go out for dinner?" Doesn't even matter if it is actually Thursday or not, he is so relieved it is not my birthday this time that he packs the kids into the car and away we go. We got to eat out a lot in December. 

This whole incident leads me to believe I should write a book: MacFuddle Guide to Marital Bliss, or if PHD remembers I have a blog and reads this it may have to be titled: MacFuddle Guide to Divorce. Either way, it will be a super special surprise.

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