The Crotchet’s Corner

My perspective about all things inconsequential

About birthdays …

They say that the easiest way to remember a close relative’s birthday is to forget it once. You will receive such a shellacking that you are unlikely to ever forget.

 

I have forgotten more birthdays than I remember. And, this has been a sore point for many in the immediate family and beyond.

 

They view my amnesia as a sign of not caring enough, indifference, lack of sensitivity, etc. They are justified in feeling aggrieved, I suppose.

 

It’s not that I don’t try hard to remember. Many are the reminder lists that I have created, but the hard part is remembering just where I have kept that list. And by the time I do, the momentous day has arrived and passed on.

 

And, consequently, there is one more sore relative to contend with.

 

To be sure, I do try and defend myself valiantly.

 

In the olden days, I got away by blaming the postal department and saying that the card I sent has perhaps got lost in transit from Point A to Point B. In today’s context, my suggestion that the congratulatory email might have got lost in the vast expanse of cyberspace invites hoots of derisive laughter.

 

There are moments when I gently remind them that getting older is not necessarily the best of things to celebrate. But, this is viewed with a “have you gone nuts?” kind of response. There are other times when I defend my forgetfulness by saying that I would prefer to wish them on their astro-star birthday (that is invariably later than the Gregorian one). That cuts no ice either.

 

I should, perhaps, invest in one of those remind-me computer programs. Or, learn how to put in reminders on my mobile phone.  

 

Which brings me to the question – why do we celebrate birthdays, anyway?

 

One way of looking at it is to suggest that having arrived thus far, we look forward to the future, a declaration of sorts that we have the potential to reap the benefits of the what the next few/many years have to offer. A delusionary proclamation, perhaps, of our somewhat suspended mortality, if there is such a term.

 

The downside is that as we get older, the concept of diminishing returns kicks in, and it is, therefore, irrational to mark this as a special day.

 

It’s not that I don’t believe in celebrating birthdays. It’s great to remember that one has survived, that one has had the privilege of ticking off yet another year of existence. And, it certainly feels good when others remember, wish you, and give you presents.

 

Ah!! That is one thing about birthdays I like, especially when it is mine!!!

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March 27, 2009 - Posted by | About this and that | , ,

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