For those of you who don’t know, Addie has a birthday coming up in about a week. Casey and Addie celebrate birthdays like they celebrate Halloween. That means they go all out for those occasions. At least, Casey usually goes all out for those occasions.
There was a time in our marriage when Casey fully intended to go all out for a certain someone’s birthday and then she didn’t. That certain someone was me.
I forget how long we had been married, but it couldn’t have been for more than a year or two. I highly doubt my birthday was on the forefront of her mind like her own dad’s birthday. (That lady never forgets her parents’ birthdays—ever.) And because we had only been married for a year or two at most, it’s understandable that she wasn’t all that focused on my birthday.
On that birthday day I came home from school and found a very grouchy Casey lying on the couch. Alright, why am I calling my wife grouchy? Let me cover myself a little here. When she tells this story to other people, Casey’s always the one who mentions her state of grumpiness, only she doesn’t usually use a word that starts with a “g.” Moving on. Casey had been watching something on TV when I got home and she had had a pretty bad day at work. I anxiously walked into the kitchen hoping to find a surprise birthday cake, or a stack of presents, or even a card that would clue me in on the plans she had made for the night.
I didn’t find any of that. I walked into the kitchen and looked around only to find a stack of dishes on the counter that needed to be done. Figuring the surprise had to be in the fridge, I opened the fridge and found, well, nothing.
I started to wonder what was going on. Was my wife grouchy enough that she refused to celebrate my birthday? I decided she had to have forgotten, so I went about the rest of the day making sure that nothing happened that would remind her it was my birthday.
I took my parents’ birthday calls in private. I stayed away from any news programs that might list the date on the TV. I did everything I could to keep the thought of birthday from entering into my wife’s head.
The day passed without a single mention of my birthday from Casey. I did the dishes that day and made myself macaroni and cheese for dinner. We went to bed as if the day had been just any ol’ day.
The next day went the same as the day before; except that Casey wasn’t nearly as grouchy that next day. But still, no mention of my birthday.
On the third day after my birthday, Casey called me from work in tears. She sobbed on the phone and apologized profusely for forgetting it was my birthday two days before. While she sobbed, I laughed. Not because I’m a jerk, well, maybe I’m a little bit of a jerk, but because I honestly thought it was pretty funny and I still think it was pretty funny
That weekend Casey showed up in our apartment with a brand new Play Station 2. I was stoked. The birthday gifts didn’t end there though. That weekend we also unloaded my first HDTV into my living room.
Those gifts were all an attempt to make up for missing my birthday, and each year since I’ve hoped that she would forget my birthday again. I could really use a bigger TV in my bedroom.
As a side note, I have a minimum of 20 reminders on my work calendar of when Casey’s birthday is because I don’t ever want to be on the opposite end of this story.
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