Early onset?

To my deep everlasting shame, I can’t retain dates in my memory bank. If you are my sibling, my parent, my child, married to me or…or…nope, that’s about it…then I can remember your birth date. Otherwise, there’s no chance, no matter how much I love you.

I don’t remember the date I first went out with my husband – the only anniversary we commit to is our wedding anniversary, and I have forgotten that in the past. I can’t even keep holiday numbers straight, except for Christmas and that’s because forgetting Christmas would be death for a mother of three! And thanks to a date-fail mishap, I have even missed the first day of a new job. It’s not a personal thing…I think it’s a numbers thing. Numbers and me – well, we aren’t so close. As intuitive as I feel with words, numbers remain alien and hostile aliens at that.

This means that no matter how much fun I had at your wedding, no matter how many times we used to party hard on your birthday when we were younger, no matter how significant and poignant it was to me (and it was) when your beautiful baby was born – I won’t be able, for the LIFE OF ME, to remember that date.

Believe me, I’ve tried.

I’ve had more Birthday Books than Address books; occasionally I come across old ones and flick through them nostalgically only to bury them in horror at discovering what I have forgotten. For what it’s worth, writing for me is primarily a way to help me remember, enjoying the wordplay is secondary to that. I keep old calenders in the hope of remembering occasions celebrated the year before and I always find them a month after I wished I had them and the notes scribbled are always unintelligible.
“R’s Bday chmprs,7!!!”

And if it helps, I only remember the dates I do, because someone else in the family reliably tips me off.

I like to think of it as one of my eccentricities instead of one of my abject failures.

Just to recap, I love my friends and family unswervingly, but I will probably, most likely never remember any date of significance to our relationship. I am sorry. If you can somehow forgive me this, you will find my love and loyalty everlasting – and I am not offended by hints or blatant reminders.

On the bright side, I won’t remember how old you are either!

5 thoughts on “Early onset?

  1. When I saw the words “Early onset _____”, I filled in the blank with “menopause”. You’d better have a digital watch when that hits or you won’t know what day of the week it is.

    I remember my parents’, my brother’s, and occasionally my son’s and partner’s birthdays. I can’t remember the day I was married. Either time. Honestly! But I know the day, month, and year that explorer Samuel de Champlain died. Sigh.

  2. I am the same. So is my husband. I think this is more common than most people think.

    In our culture, it seems it’s usually the female of the species whose job it is to keep all of these things in her head, regardless of whose side of the family the birthday is on. My husband has never once felt bad about forgetting anybody’s birthday, and I have decided to take a leaf out of his book!

  3. i can remember a birthday that our parents forgot!!

    i was at your house having a low-key morning. dad rocked up for a cup of tea – i noticed the silence in the room and his mouth hanging wide open trying to work out the charades taking place over my shoulder. my sister. you remembered. ‘IIIts her biiirthhhdaay’ point! point! point!

    the woman who gave birth to me remembered later that night. you probably called her to remind her too – didn’t you?

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