Author Topic: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .  (Read 4109 times)

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jpcher

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Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« on: January 19, 2013, 05:54:08 PM »
. . . 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

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2013, 05:59:28 PM »
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

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #2 on: January 19, 2013, 06:07:25 PM »
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.
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gellchom

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #3 on: January 19, 2013, 06:19:58 PM »
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

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #4 on: January 19, 2013, 06:45:31 PM »
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.

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


oceanus

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #5 on: January 19, 2013, 07:32:33 PM »
Quote
. . . Is there a polite way to say "I'm sorry, I forgot?"


That's polite.  Just tell her you're sorry and do something special for her.  Don't go on and on with an explanation or excuses.

cross_patch

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #6 on: January 19, 2013, 08:06:04 PM »
. . . 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?"

Isn't that just what you would say? I'm very sorry, I forgot?

gramma dishes

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2013, 08:23:37 PM »
Well, actually you did (if I'm reading the story correctly) call her on the right day.  It was her birthday. 

I'd call her back all embarrassed (which would be real, not at all fake) and say, "Oh, Mom.  I'm so sorry that yesterday when I called you I forgot to atually wish you Happy Birthday!"

That would imply that you knew when you called;  you just forgot to say the words.  Not totally truthful, but not totally a fib either.  I think she'd rather hear that than "Duh.  I totally forgot yesterday was your birthday."

DottyG

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2013, 08:26:23 PM »
Hmmmm....GD has a good point, too.


kckgirl

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #9 on: January 19, 2013, 08:40:58 PM »
Go with Gramma!
Maryland

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #10 on: January 19, 2013, 08:50:47 PM »
I spoke to the Stork (my mom) on the 10th (my birthday).  As she usually ends our conversations, she said, "OK, anything else?"

I asked her if she was forgetting something.  She paused, thinking, then said, "Like what?"

I said, "How about my birthday?" in a laughing tone.

She just started laughing and laughing and laughing.  "Honey, I've thought all day today was the 9th.  I wrote it on scripts and everything!  I even told a nurse I had to call you at lunch tomorrow!  I'm so sorry!  Happy birthday!"

I had a pretty good laugh at it, too.  I don't seriously think my mother forgot my birthday, she just didn't realize it was the 10th already!

Call your mom, apologize, and tell her you just didn't realize it was the 18th already!
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Outdoor Girl

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #11 on: January 19, 2013, 08:56:24 PM »
I once called a friend a week after her birthday.  I totally forgot.

I said to her, 'You know how you sometimes think during the day, oh I must do such and such when I get home?  And then when you get home, it totally slips your mind?  Yeah, it was nothing like that.  I just clean forgot.'  I apologized and wished her happy belated birthday.

Fortunately for me, she laughed.  And forgave me.

Call her, apologize for forgetting to wish her happy birthday yesterday and carry on.  She's your Mom; she has to forgive you.   :D
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MariaE

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #12 on: January 20, 2013, 02:44:14 AM »
As somebody whose best friend forgot her birthday last year...

It is a LOT less hurtful to hear "I'm sorry, I completely forgot to wish you happy birthday." than "I'm sorry, I completely forgot your birthday". The former is "I was thinking of you, but forgot to actually say the words." the latter is "I wasn't thinking of you." and since you DID call her (even if it wasn't for that reason), you obviously were thinking of her :)
 
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jpcher

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Re: Forgetting someone's birthday . . .
« Reply #13 on: January 20, 2013, 06:42:26 PM »
As somebody whose best friend forgot her birthday last year...

It is a LOT less hurtful to hear "I'm sorry, I completely forgot to wish you happy birthday." than "I'm sorry, I completely forgot your birthday". The former is "I was thinking of you, but forgot to actually say the words." the latter is "I wasn't thinking of you." and since you DID call her (even if it wasn't for that reason), you obviously were thinking of her :)

This makes a lot of sense. Thank you, everybody, for your replies.

I called Mom back with DD#2. Once Mom answered we started singing "Happy Birthday" I told her "I'm sorry that when I talked to you yesterday I didn't mention your birthday! I just didn't realize what date yesterday was." Mom, of course, was fine with this and really appreciated the call back.

Then I called DD#1 and suggested that she call her Gma to wish her a happy b-day.



It's just that my mother is the queen of etiquette. Even though she would never say that I was wrong, I still feel bad.