Southern Gentleman

Know what’s in that little blue box? Forgiveness. Whether you remembered her birthday or not, just the sight of this box is gift enough; wait until she sees what’s inside. It’s the thought that counts, unless you forgot the big day, in which case you’ll need what’s inside to get you out of the dog house.

Asking Forgiveness

By Jason Frye | Photo by Jason Frye

Hopefully, you will never need this guide to a forgotten birthday or anniversary, but in case you do, here are some tips to make amends.

Not to brag, but after 17 years of dating and marriage, I have yet to forget my wife’s birthday or our anniversary. Not once has either slipped my mind. It’s not like I have some astounding memory for numbers; I don’t. I’m a writer, of course I don’t. Numbers make me feel like I have my hand in a bowl of crickets.
That creepy feeling associated with numbers is the reason I prefer a crossword to the sudoku, the reason I remember every Wi-Fi password with a weird word combo but have to ask my in-laws’ for their password every single time (it’s their phone number, how bad is that?) and the reason my checkbook has been balanced twice in 10 years.
So how do I do it? How do I hold so firmly in my mind two dates that are critical in keeping any relationship in good standing? Simple: they’re all in October.
October? You ask. Why October? Well, my birthday is October 10 and my wife’s is October 1. All I have to do is drop a number – 0 – from my birthday and I have hers. And our anniversary – October 20 – is even easier. 1 + 1 = 2, so October 1 + October 10 = October 20.
I told you I’m not good at math, but whatever, it works for me.
There have been a few times I’ve come close to forgetting something – the card, dinner reservations – and I’ve found myself at Target picking out a card on the way home from work, then scribbling a note from the passenger seat one red light at a time (fortunately, my normal handwriting is also a scribble, so it’s hard to tell if I jotted down a last-minute note).
What do you do when you actually forget? When the world keeps you distracted and Monday becomes Tuesday becomes Wednesday becomes, wait, Wednesday? That’s your anniversary. You’ve got no card, no flowers, no nothing. What now?
In two words, you’re screwed. Or rather, you’re not, but that’s another topic. But you are in hot water, and sometimes hot water is hard to get out of.
That’s why I’m here. Not to brag about the cabalistic math that allows me to remember that October is a Birthday, Birthday, Anniversary, Birthday extravaganza (where’d the third birthday come from? It’s my mother-in-law’s and in the memory of dates, these are the most important: your birthday, spouse’s birthday, your anniversary, your mom’s birthday, your mother-in-law’s birthday; none of the other ones matter – sorry dads, but you know your place), but to help you out of a jam.
If you forget. Boy, those are heavy words. If you forget, you must make amends and fast.
What can you do? Cards aren’t enough. Flowers won’t cut it. You need to go deep. Tiffany.com is loaded with gift ideas, and depending on which anniversary or birthday you forgot – the amend making escalates with the importance of each – you might be in the market for their $115,000 ruby, diamond and platinum necklace; though the sterling silver crown charm with matching chain for $210 may be enough to keep your queen happy while you make last-minute weekend plans (BIG weekend plans, by the way).
Ok, fine, a gift of jewelry – even if it comes in that gorgeous little blue box – for a missed birthday is a little old fashion, but old-fashioned works.

Beyond 25, you’re on your own as long as you’ve set a reminder on your phone for your 50th Anniversary. If you forget the 50th, I suggest a healthy dose of thoughts and prayers along with modifying your will to leave everything to your wife’s prison commissary account because you’re a dead man walking.

Read More in DeSoto Magazine online.