General Etiquette > Life...in general

Forgetting someone's birthday . . .

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jpcher:
. . . Is there a polite way to say "I'm sorry, I forgot?"

I called my mother yesterday evening just because I wanted to talk to her. (I usually call her once a week or so, or she'll call me.) We had a nice chat, got caught up with news on everybody's lives, etc. Our usual chat.

I, just now, looked at the calendar. Yesterday was my mother's birthday.

I did not say/sing Happy Birthday to her.

I feel like such a heel.



Is there a polite way to say "I totally cheesed when I talked to you. By the way, Happy Birthday?"

Sharnita:
Did you forget her birthday was that date or did you not realize what date it was? I think they are two different things. If somebody never fogot my birthdate but just got mixed up on what date it was that day I don't think it would upset me, although I don't see my bithday as a big deal anyway.

Tea Drinker:
POD Sharnita.

Last week, I looked at the date stamps on recent posts (I think here) and realized that the day before had been my mother's birthday. So I IM'd with "Happy belated birthday" and we chatted for a little while. It's not that I had forgotten my mother had a birthday coming up, or what day of the month her birthday is: I had forgotten to look at a calendar on the relevant day.

gellchom:
I agree with the others, but in the case of your own mom, I think you will feel better if you don't just sort of shrug it off.  A lot depends on how you think it made her feel not to hear from you on the actual day.  Some people, like Sharnita, might not care much.  To be truthful, I don't care a whole lot about birthdays, but I think I would be a little hurt, and definitely unimpressed, if my own children or my husband didn't call on my birthday.  Not a big deal, but I'd care more than if it were anyone else -- even my brother or mom or best friend, I wouldn't care at all if they didn't call the right day.

So even though it is not serious, I think you'll be happiest if you apologize rather effusively and let HER tell YOU it wasn't a big deal.  "oh, mom, I just realized I got all mixed up about what day it was yesterday and I completely forgot to wish you happy birthday! I'm so sorry!  What must you have thought?  Did you have a great day?". The point is, rather than defending yourself or giving excuses, let her be the gracious one.

DottyG:

--- Quote ---So even though it is not serious, I think you'll be happiest if you apologize rather effusively and let HER tell YOU it wasn't a big deal.  "oh, mom, I just realized I got all mixed up about what day it was yesterday and I completely forgot to wish you happy birthday! I'm so sorry!  What must you have thought?  Did you have a great day?". The point is, rather than defending yourself or giving excuses, let her be the gracious one.
--- End quote ---

Was going to respond, but gellchom said it perfectly. I agree with this.

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