Wednesday, May 25, 2016

Birthday Guest - Amy Lane

Please welcome my birthday guest - Amy Lane!

Birthdays and Other Things I Forget

There is a thing on FB—you know the one? Where FB prompts you to wish a friend a happy birthday, and sometimes, it sends an automatic birthday wish to your friends, and then you can send an automatic reply back to all of the automatic birthday wish and no.

I don’t really participate.

Don’t get me wrong—I love getting birthday wishes from friends on FB.

And I love telling friends happy birthday.

But the computer thing is way too organized for me.

My Modus Operandi for other people’s birthday is usually the following:

About two days before a friend’s or family member’s birthday, I will call them up. Why am I calling? I have no idea. There is a tickle, somewhere, that tells me I need to talk to them. I am thinking about them in some way. It’s weird.

Anyway, I call them up, we have a chat—a warm, wonderful, amazing chat, one that lasts an hour, at least. And I hang up so happy that they are my friend and/or a member of my family. 

Four days later, I remember that there was a birthday I forgot.  I call this person up in full contrition, not sure how that day got away from me, and they are usually very hurt. “I thought, you know, after our conversation, you would remember my birthday.”

“Oops—apparently the phone conversation was your birthday present. Surprise!”

I am famous for this. This behavior has become a staple bitch of family dinners, Christmases, Easters, and summer reunions.

I am the person who forgets the birthday.

Or confuses it—I have two friends who are almost six months apart. I’ve known them for thirty years. To this day, I can’t tell you if Stacy’s birthday is on May 22nd or 23rd, and if Wendy’s birthday is on November 22nd or 23rd.  It’s infuriating. I know Maryanne’s birthday is sometime before Wendy’s because they are both Scorpios, but is it the 18th, 19th, or 20th?  I know my brother’s birthday is in May, but is it Mother’s Day this year or did I completely blow it off? My dad is Leo on the cusp of Virgo, but does that make his birthday the 21st of August or the 22nd? My stepmom’s birthday is a day off of an old friend’s—one I haven’t spoken to in seven years, by the way—but is that April 16th or 17th?

And my phone has apparently set itself to European time, and the calendar is no help at all.

In fact, in the entire world, there are exactly six people besides myself whose birthdays I remember consistently and with fanfare.

October 1st is my mother’s birthday. I remember this for two reasons.

One is that my birthday is September 30th. The other is that Mate’s birthday is also October 1st. Mate and I are 26 hours apart. Bam! Instant mnemonic, and that’s two birthdays for the brain space of one. I’m covered.

The other four are my children’s birthdays—probably because I was there when they happened originally, and it was a significant achievement on my part to push the little buggers into the world. My youngest was ten pounds and four days late. Her due date was March 31st which is when I went into labor. She was born on April 3rd, and April frickin’ Fools! You better believe I remember that day.  But other than that?

It’s a crapshoot.

In fact, that crapshoot—coupled with the fact that I’ve never met a deadline I couldn’t blow the fuck off—has led me to just abandon any kind of schedule while making people gifts. If I know you and I like you, I shall knit for you, and you shall receive it at a random time during the year. Happy Birthday/Christmas/Chanukah/New Years/I Just Generally Love You Day to YOU.

You’re welcome.

So what’s so special about birthdays, besides a number that explains who that old woman is in the mirror whenever I look?

Hopefully it’s about survival. “Look! I lived to be this old, and I could have sworn I wasn’t that bright!”  If you’re really good, it’s about wisdom. “Oh my God! I learned so much this year, and I have the battle scars and/or wrinkles to prove it!”

If you’re winning at life? It’s a celebration.

“I am both older and wiser, and I can still party, even if a party to me is a game of scrabble with my family and the extra Oreo during TV time. Woohoo!”

And if you’re getting the blue ribbon, gold star win at life?

Then you have other people to help you celebrate.

Happy birthday, Nicole—you are getting the blue ribbon gold star birthday treatment, and you so deserve it. Now go out there, play some scrabble, eat the last Oreo and write yourself a book, hon. Us writers gotta know how to live!

Selfie: A Bluewater Bay Novel
One year ago, actor Connor Montgomery lost the love of his life to a drunk driver. But what’s worse for Connor is what he still has: a lifetime of secrets born of hiding his relationship from the glare of Hollywood. Unable to let go of the world he and Vinnie shared, Connor films a drunken YouTube confession on the anniversary of Vinnie’s death. 

Thankfully, the video was silent—a familiar state for Connor—so his secret is still safe. He needs a fresh start, and a new role on the hit TV show Wolf’s Landing might be just that. 

The move to Bluewater Bay may also mean a second chance in the form of his studio-assigned assistant. Noah Dakers sees through Connor’s facades more quickly than Connor could imagine. Noah’s quiet strength and sarcastic companionship offers Connor a chance at love that Hollywood’s closet has never allowed. But to accept it, Connor must let Vinnie go and learn to live again. 

* * * * * * * 

Bluewater Bay stories can be read in any order — jump in wherever you'd like! 


Amy Lane
Amy Lane exists happily with her noisy family in a crumbling suburban crapmansion, and equally happily with the surprisingly demanding voices who live in her head.
She loves cats, movies, yarn, pretty colors, pretty men, shiny things, and Twu Wuv, and despises house cleaning, low fat granola bars, and vainglorious prickweenies.
She can be found at her computer, dodging housework, or simultaneously reading, watching television, and knitting, because she likes to freak people out by proving it can be done.
Connect with Amy:
Twitter: @amymaclane
Facebook group: Amy Lane Anonymous

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  1. I'm an absolute devil for forgetting birthdays, I've got reminders everywhere, and I'm often still late.

  2. For family always on time with birthdays, friends hit and miss

  3. I am so bad about birthdays, my best friend's was April 1st and I still haven't given her the present or card. :-(

  4. I would have to join the forgetting birthday club as well, with only close family remembered :D Maybe we could help each other remember? Funny that you mention facebook, as I have found that I don't always get reminders for everyone's birthdays :(

  5. I am quite good with birthdays I usually remember I think it's because my parents always made them special because neither of them had a great childhood and they wanted us to be happy.


  6. I'm horrible at remembering birthdays even though I have reminders set in my calendar program. I'm also horrible at sending cards. :-(