Birthday Season

Both my wife and youngest girl Neela share the same birthday, but separated by an appropriate number of years.

The date of March 3 is forever seared into my memory for a couple of reasons, both of which are funny to me.

Firstly is that I had a girlfriend in another life whose birthday was March 3 too. 03/03. It was all innocent enough when I was young but I really feel like God (or Providence or the universe or whatever you tell yourself) combined his sense of humour with “let’s make sure Corey’s tiny brain retains just enough important information to keep him from getting killed later in life”.

I had a great memory for numbers up until the time I entered the real work force after high school (back then we used to have jobs when we were fourteen but those were more for fun), then I lost it. I have no idea why I lost my memory, or if I knew why have managed to forget it.

So I entered adulthood with only several dates in my head and here they were in order of importance:

December 25 (Jesus’ bday)

August 31 (my mom’s bday)

December 26 (Ryan’s bday. Mostly because he was always complaining about people missing his birthday due to not understanding how he could be less important than Jesus. Cough cough.)

July the first part maybe (my dad’s bday)

March 3 (old girlfriend’s bday)

September 15 (my bday)

The reason mine appears last is because I’m very humble, but also because I don’t really care. One birthday it was nearly noon before someone reminded me it was my birthday, which I found extremely funny.

Also I spent an entire year telling everybody I was a certain age, and then to my shock I actually turned the age I thought I already was. Meaning, I spent two years being the same age because I’m an idiot. Also funny.

I can’t remember what age that was because I can’t remember things like that.

So I was light years ahead of where I should have been when Erin told me her birthday day. I didn’t tell her until later that she had the same birthday as my old girlfriend because I wasn’t sure she would think that was insensitive or not.

The truth is I’m very sensitive. Not like connected to my emotions sensitive but don’t-like-being-yelled-at sensitive.

So after being present for the births of my four daughters it didn’t occur to me at the time that I would need to recall their birthdays in public so I didn’t put it in my phone calendar because Erin manages to trot out those details when needed.

The obvious flaw in my plan of course is that it’s not good form to ask her to remind me of her own DOB exactly one week beforehand so I neither have enough time to forget it or too much time to procrastinate.

But a woman (can’t remember who) surprised me one time by asking when my daughters’ birthdays were to test whether I was a good father or not and I responded with:

“I have no idea. I have too many of them to know.”

Every woman reading this now hates me but I refuse to lie to impress people because I’m better than that…

I bumbled around and tried to dig my way out of the hole I’d dug by talking faster, which has never been successful but I’m easily triggered by near death experiences.

“Maybe if I’d have only had one or two kids? Wait, let me think… I feel like there are a couple in August sometime? And Katie’s is near St Paddy’s Day (don’t ask how I remember that). Neela I have no idea whatsoever.”

Erin was within earshot, further proof that the universe was in this case conspiring against me, stopped what she was doing (planning my murder), turned her head slowly (like lion’s do when they’re hungry) and said:

“You seriously don’t remember Neela’s birthday????”

I should have, of course, just run and hid in the woods but in the efforts of honesty replied:

“No, should I?” Like a deer in the headlights.

“SHE WAS BORN ON MY BIRTHDAY!”

To which I replied “That’s weird? Where was I?? You’d think I’d remember something like that.”

So all that to say I don’t forget Neela’s birthday anymore and have been almost planning what to do for the last couple of weeks.

The good news is Neela wore a shirt to school the other day that said “My dad is better than your dad” so whatever backwards fathering technique I’ve been guilty of seems to be working.

That or her shirt is a terrible lie…

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