My birthday was Saturday. It was a big one: the kind that end with a zero. I feel relatively unfazed by it, perhaps because I haven’t given it too much thought (busy at work, sister just had surgery, dear friend in personal crisis- too much going on to really fret over it). One thing that does make me uneasy about birthdays, however, is how they serve as a stark reminder for the various ways in which I sometimes suck at friendship.
I am truly surprised and sincerely grateful when people remember my birthday. I’m not picky about the medium- I love and appreciate cards, texts, and even facebook messages. But with each birthday wish that I receive, I feel a vague sense of panic as I run through my very fuzzy memories of the past year, trying to remember if I remembered to wish that person happy birthday when it was their special day. Too often, I’m afraid, the answer is “nope, I totally forgot.” And then I feel bad and berate myself for being such a disorganized loon.
I fear it says something sad about me that one of my primary feelings associated with receiving birthday wishes is guilt.