Maybe I would’ve remembered on Saturday. I don’t know that for sure, though. My thoughts have been occupied by so many other things lately. Plus, my brother’s in town and his birthday is tomorrow. We’ll both be working, so I asked him to come over on Saturday instead with some of his colleagues for a small get-together.
My children’s father called today. After asking how I was doing, he said solemnly: ‘Happy Anniversary.’
I hesitated and then asked, ‘Happy Anniversary?’ I was confused as I wondered what he meant. Which anniversary? My mind flitted to my brother’s impending birthday. I guess I heard ‘anniversary,’ but my mind processed something else. It was on the tip of my tongue to point out that the birthday will actually be tomorrow, and then, half a minute into this thought process, it hit me.
Our 16th wedding anniversary would have been this Saturday. How could I have forgotten?
‘Ohhhh …’ I said, with a little chuckle under my breath. ‘Very funny.’
‘Why’re you laughing?’ he asked, still solemn.
I paused. We’ve had an almost identical conversation every year around this time for the last few years. It always went like this. He would ask why I reacted the way I did (I always seemed to inadvertently have some reaction that would make him question me), and I would get defensive.
This time, I decided to be original.
I didn’t respond to the question. Instead, I replied, in spite of myself, ‘Happy Anniversary.’
‘Thank you,’ he responded solemnly.
He was calling to ask for my intervention with ‘the Nigerian phone,’ which has been dead for almost a month now, apparently, and I assured him I’d take care of it.
I hung up, startled by my own forgetfulness. I felt decidedly guilty. My rational side says there’s no reason why I should feel that way. My ‘Nice Girl’ side begs to differ.
I have never forgotten before.