I am very good with dates. For example, say I am at the bank, and I am filling out some paperwork alongside another person who is doing the same, and this person asks me the date. After a few seconds of pensive thought (which often includes looking at what date I put on MY deposit form), I will always tell them the date. And at least 8 times of out 10, I am right. Call it a gift.
Unfortunately, I am not as keen at the assignment of EVENTS to various dates. This is especially odd considering that I was a history major in college, which, quite often, constituted the act of matching up dates with events. I made up for this area of detriment with my inherent ability to bullshit my way through any 18-page paper thrown my way. My dates may have been off, but details are often irrelevant when you are waxing poetic about why King George III was legitimately insane. (Sample: “King George III of England was born simply ‘George’ sometime around the time of Jesus. And let me tell you – that guy was crazy. Allow me to explain…”)
Throw in the fact that some historical information doubles as trickery, and it makes life that much harder. For example, there is the famous trick question, “When was the War of 1812?” which seems self-explanatory, except that the answer is “never.” This tomfoolery suffices to explain why I left history in the dust years ago, and am now bullshitting my way through other stuff.
Anyhoo, I bring up my inability to remember the importance of various dates because, just yesterday, I forgot my parent’s anniversary. Again. And this wasn’t an instance of me forgetting to email, or call them. In fact, on the contrary, I DID call my mom, only this communication was to serve my own self-interest, as in “Hey mom. It’s me. Did you finish editing my article yet? Because I need it. Okay, good. Hey – did you like ‘24’ this week? Yeah, I wish Jack was real too. But you finished my article, right? Okay, well, I guess I better go. Ummm, what are you and Dad doing tonight?”
It was at this point when she informed me that her and my father were going out to eat. To celebrate their anniversary. Ouch. At first, I tried to lie my way through it, actually trying to convince her that I was waiting until the very END of our conversation to wish her a happy anniversary. (“Oh wait, mom – before you hang up…Haaaapppyyyyy ANNIVEEERSAARYYY!!! Ha ha! You didn’t think I’d forget, did you?!” Yeah – that sounds like me.) Then I topped THAT off by telling her that I mixed up the date of her anniversary with my cousin Mark’s birthday, which does happen to be the day after (Happy Birthday, Mark!), but is something that I am only aware of because my mom mentioned it over the weekend when she was casually reminding me to remember her anniversary.
Yes, because she realizes she has a son that needs to be reminded of such matters, my mom actually gave me fair and advanced warning of said anniversary, casually mentioning it to me sometime during the Super Bowl, at which point I made a mental note to remember, and then finished drinking my beer. (Hmmm…coincidence?) I think it went something like this: “Wow, this game is pretty boring, huh? Maybe I should use this time to think of what to get Mark for his birthday, which is on Friday, February 10. I always remember Mark’s birthday because it’s the day after mine and Dad’s anniversary.” It should also be noted that my mom doesn’t do this so that she gets a call on that day, or a present, or anything like that. She actually does it selflessly – so that I don’t feel like an idiot for forgetting. Obviously, she failed.
Maybe remembering my parent’s anniversary would be much easier if it were tied a more famous and memorable event than Mark’s stupid birthday. For example, my wife’s birthday – March 9th – is a date that I never forget, because it’s the same day that the Notorious B.I.G. was shot (R.I.P.). Basically, I need the date of when a rapper I never met was killed to remember the date my wife was born. I think it was three years ago, when I was driving around town, listening to a Biggie tribute on Hot 97, when I said to myself, “Oh crap! Why are they playing so much Biggie? I better pick up some chocolates!”
And it’s not just my parent’s anniversary that I have been known to forget. Two years ago I forgot my friend Pete’s birthday, about two weeks after I had asked him to be my best man. Obviously, I am not his.
In summation, if your birthday/anniversary/anything else I am required to remember through small, thoughtful purchases and phone calls, does NOT fall on the same date as a famous rapper’s slaying, please forgive my forgetfulness in advance.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, Mom and Dad, if you’re reading this, Happy Anniversary! As Biggie would say, please give me “One more chance.”
And Mom, if you’re reading this, please email me the corrections.