How To Avoid Being A Bugger or: How To Keep Track of Birthdays

September 11, 2012

This summer I did the unthinkable. The almost unblog-able. I did something that I have been quietly hating myself for ever since. I forgot to call one of my dearest ones on her birthday. Dearest as in- the closest thing to kin where no shared blood exists. That kind of dearest. And I forgot to call her. I was late to the party.

When I awoke from my haze of ignorance, realized the grave error of my ways, I spontaneously burst into tears. Naturally. These are the things worth one really losing their shit over. So there I am, crying via voicemail, tripping over my I’m so sorry please forgive me‘s and you know this is so unlike me!’s  and willing time to rewind to the day prior, before I assumed the position of a ragingly idiotic bugger.

Of course when said friend called back it was to say, “Oh my god, shut up and stop crying. I know you love me and you’re busy with stuff. Get a grip” etc etc.

And though I assured her of my love and endless devotion for her, though months have now passed, I remind myself ever so often that I’m a lunatard and what a frickin’ thing to do, Annie.

The point of all this backstory is to illustrate the great trauma that inevabitly ensues when a birthday– a most holy occasion in my book, in case you weren’t able to derive that from the above anecdote- is forgotten. You don’t want to be that giant green bugger kicking yourself for your own buggery ways. You don’t want to be me.

So let’s take a look at some of the methods one might employ to avoid finding oneself in a similar scenario.

– First off, it’s wise to have reminders for two separate dates: one at least a week prior to the actual birthday (this will be your heads up to get cracking on a card and gift so that you can have it all prepared before the last second), as well as a reminder on the actual day.

– Calendar. This is the most obvious option, and can be executed in both real live calendars and virtual ones. Virtual calendars of course can (and should) be set with a reminder alert. Again, I suggest writing or typing in both the upcoming-warning-date and the actual birthday.

Note that with iPhones, birthdays may be entered either directly into the calendar or added to contact pages. Enter a birthdate when in your address book, make sure your calendar preferences are set to show birthdays and they’ll automatically appear there as well.

– Transfer over birthdays when switching calendars. When the new year arrives, make sure you take the time to jot down in your new calendar any birthdays noted in your old calendar.

*To avoid this problem, you may want to get yourself a perpetual calendar exclusively for important dates. These will chart the months without using any days of the week so that it remains correct year after year.

This can also easily be accomplished with smartphones. When entering a date, you’ll be given the option of when/if to repeat it. Simply select “every year” and you’re good to go.

– List. To avoid having birthday’s get lost in the shuffle of other calendar events, it can be helpful to make a monthly birthday list. Write or type a separate list for each month, tracking the date and the person’s name of any birthday’s that fall in that month. Then hang the list up in a prominent place, such as the fridge or bulletin board.

– Facebook. If you have a facebook account (that’s right I said IF NOT EVERYBODY DOES PEOPLE), it can be hugely helpful for keeping track of birthdays. Users input their birthday info into their account, and you receive a notification by being friends with them. I believe facebook also allows you to opt into birthday notifications, which means you receive an email over the weekend summarizing friends birthdays in the week ahead.

Also, this is pretty dope: instructions on how to import Facebook birthdays to Google calendar.

– Apps and such. Of course, there are also loads of other technological ways to track birthdays, including Yearly, Punchbowl, Occassions, Birthday Alarm, and Birthday Pal just to name a few.

– Don’t forget to take advantage of opportunities to collect birthdays. Guest sign in’s are a perfect time to do this.

How do you avoiding appearing like a glob of green mucus/ remember birthdays? Do tell!

Image credits: Kate S. Jordan, Pretty Chic BlogRinse. Repeat. DropletLinda & Harriet, Martha Stewart
P.S. Today, of course, is a date that none of us could ever manage to forget. Though many years have passed, the tragedy of 9/11 remains in our collective memory. I know we’re all sending waves of love, good energy, and support to all those people who lost family, friends, coworkers, neighbors, on that fateful day. 


1 Comment

  1. Samantha Penner on September 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

    I love that birthday calender where you can put names next to the date. Smart! I have forgotten a birthday of a close friend too and it really is an awful feeling. 🙁

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1 Comment

  1. Samantha Penner on September 11, 2012 at 6:13 am

    I love that birthday calender where you can put names next to the date. Smart! I have forgotten a birthday of a close friend too and it really is an awful feeling. 🙁

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