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To avoid this sounding like an angst entry in a teenage girl’s diary, I will attempt to share this story without too much emotional inflection. That may be a challenge, but I want to convey the facts. Straight out of an 80s Rom Com plot, my boyfriend committed one of the biggest relationship sins and forgot my birthday.
I am not huge into birthdays. I don’t expect the entire month of April to be about me, I’ve never really wanted a birthday party with a large gathering of people, and I don’t expect gifts from family and friends now that I pay my own bills. As an adult, I think birthdays are best spent celebrating one on one with a special someone. My expectation for this year was to go out to dinner somewhere nice, then relax at one of my favorite breweries with an IPA, a heartfelt gift, a love letter maybe, thrown into the works. I had alluded this to my boyfriend a few months back. The hint attempt did not work.
I will preface by sharing that my boyfriend, who I’ve been seeing for a little under a year, also forgot about Valentine’s Day. Holidays are clearly not his forte.
As my birthday was getting closer, the excitement was growing as I thought about what big surprise my other half had in the works. I hadn’t heard him mention anything about it so I assumed that meant it was both secretive and excellent. As a safety precaution, I had made a backup reservation at one of my favorite restaurants in the city. Their waitlist is insane, so around two month prior I made the ressy on OpenTable, fully prepared to cancel once the real birthday plans came out.
I found myself at the beginning of this week, my birthday looming only 5 days ahead, and still nothing had come up. I thought maybe my boyfriend was just being coy. In the past, I’ve been accused of having a controlling nature, so I didn’t want to say something about the lack of plan discussions. I reassured myself that all was well and I was being paranoid.
Two day before and still no details. During a text conversation, I mentioned how long this work week was feeling, but that I was excited for Friday evening to come around. I threw in the smiley emoji for extra emphasis. My phone buzzed as I got a text back that read, “What’s Friday? Just seeing me?”
I’ll spare you the conversation after this point because it’s long and boring. I will share that he first tried to cover up his mistake, but quickly just admitted he had forgotten the day entirely. I wasn’t mad at him. Something about our relationship and my feelings towards him has rendered my incapable of getting cross or fighting. I’m not sure why, it’s something my therapist said I should probably work on. There wasn’t anger, but my feelings were incredibly hurt and I went to bed at 7:50 that night. My dream of a special surprise had been shattered. I felt like shit.
I tried to mull over if it was possible that he had never actually known the date. But with LinkedIn, Facebook, even Instagram posts from last year making the information accessible online, that was not the case. When we first started dating, we had a conversation about when our respective birthdays were. I also realized little moments when it would have come up; he entered my info, including DOB, for a flight we took. He was in the ER with me during a freak illness and I had to confirm my birthday a thousand times to each nurse coming through the room to give me fluids. So he couldn’t feign total ignorance.
I’ve since received multiple apologies, and I can recognize that all of them are sincere. He felt horrible after realizing his mistake. I was able to pull myself out of a weepy state long enough to apply a little rational thinking to the situation. Nothing was ruined. The backup dinner reservation I made hadn’t been cancelled, there was still time to book a hotel (we both live with roommates), and “Big Forgetful,” as I’m now calling him, still had 24 hours left where he could maybe come up with a last-minute surprise or gift. Even if it ends up a wash, I’ll have other birthdays in the future that can make up for this flop.
I plan on going into tomorrow evening with a good attitude and hope for the best. All I can say is I better be getting the best birthday sex of my life this weekend. I think I deserve that at least..