nowadays when there are social network services on the internet & reminders on mobile phones/personal computers, it’s so easy for us to remember someone’s birthday or anniversary. actually, you can’t really say you “remember” them, since you don’t actually remember them. just that you’d remember to say congrats to them on the d-day.
i think i must be one of those (rare) people who are a bit old fashioned. i feel that it’s more sincere and thoughtful if i do actually remember someone’s birthday/anniversary in my head, and not just because i see it on a friend’s facebook wall that it’s his/her birthday that day. as i thought about it, i began to wonder if i am actually the only one who’s like this.
i remember when i was taking the admission test to my high school (that was year 1996… more than a decade ago!), one of the tests was like some psychology/etiquette test more than any academical subject. one of the questions went like this: please write down the birth dates of your parents and siblings. (yeah, i know, weird question on today’s standards.) anyway, i had no problem answering that. easy peasy, since, of course i remember their birthdays! i’m pretty sure they’re tattooed on my brain. but as i walked out from the room after taking the test, i heard so many other kids ranting to each other on how they had no idea when their own parents’ birthdays are, and they ended up making up the dates just so that they’d have something to answer that question with. (and yes, in case you’re wondering, i ended up getting accepted to this high school :D.)
and then, fast forward that to some 10 years, i got together with the guy whom i ended up marrying. as i got to know him back then, i was again bewildered when i learned that he doesn’t remember his siblings’ nor his own parents’ birthdays (!!!!!!). actually, up to this date, i’m the one who remembers HIS siblings’ & parents’ birthdays. he only remembers his own and my birthday (thank God for that). at around the same time as i got to know my future husband, those were the days when Friendster was all the hype in my home country. just like everyone else, i put my birthday there for everyone to see, and every year i’d get quite happy by the fact that i’d get dozens of birthday wishes, even from those i wasn’t really close to.
but when the Facebook era came, i was a bit older… and hopefully wiser. there were (and are) some things i’d rather not share with the rest of the world, especially since we don’t know how reliable Facebook really is when it comes to keeping your personal data. so i never put my birth date there. and the result? nobody remembers my birthday, ever. except for a tiny few (3 people, outside of my own family, at the max), nobody remembers.
i don’t mind it, really. when i turned 30, the only people who congratulated me were my sister and mum, and of course my husband (again, thank God for that). a cousin of mine texted me some days afterwards, apologizing for forgetting it on the actual date, but that was it. i’m not saddened by the fact that the others don’t remember my birthday, but if you take all the technologies away from today’s life, i wonder if people would even remember anyone’s birthday/anniversary? this fact is what saddens me more than anything else.
all my life, for some reason it’s quite easy for me to remember people’s birthdays (not anniversaries, though, except my own)… at least those to whom i got close at one point in my life. i don’t know if this is a blessing or a curse, since apparently they don’t remember mine. :p but just for fun, i’m gonna list them down here, without their names, to see how many dates, exactly, i can remember in my head up to today, excluding my own. and i swear i didn’t cheat by checking it on Facebook! if you see your birthday listed down here, congratulations. that probably means you somewhat mattered to me some time ago, ha!
January: 10, 11, 27, 31
March: 3, 14, 23, 24 (2 people)
April: 11, 13 (2 people), 17, 25, 28
May: 10, 15, 16 (1 birthday, 1 anniversary), 20, 26
June: 13, 30
July: 2, 7, 9, 15, 17, 25, 27
September: 14, 17, 18, 28 (2 people)
October: 8, 16
December: 6, 22, 25, 31
total = 40 dates. not so bad! 😀