I was just putzing along today, riding my bike, conversing with the realtor who says he has an offer on our house in California, donating books to the library, and looking forward to a trip with my sister next week when horror struck: I forgot to acknowledge my cousin's husband's birthday on May 1st.
You might wonder..."your cousin's husband's birthday?". Certainly somewhat extended family, right?
No. Not somewhat extended. Not remotely extended. Alan (the cousin's husband, whom I fondly call CIL for "Cousin In Law") is a pearl. Understand that due to varying degrees of dysfunction in my family of origin (and my cousin's), my cousin and had met only once when we were tiny children before reconnecting when my husband and I moved to Alaska three years ago. I fell in love with her right away, and with him maybe 15 minutes later. They welcomed us to their home and their home state with open arms as well as providing my husband with a place to live while he was working in their town and we were still living in ours, 80 miles away. I don't know what we would have done without them. We've shared holidays, laughter, health scares, pet losses, campfires, worries and successes, and they are close, close family. He matters even more to me because I am not easy to take, and he has done such a good job of accepting me, and actually caring for me (one night I ran out of automotive oil in Anchorage - it was dark and cold and I couldn't reach my husband, so I called Alan for advice, which he was happy to give). Not to mention that he is one of the smartest and funniest people I've ever met, a pleasure to be around, and grills the very best rib eye steak on the planet.
So I forgot his birthday this year. I've had a card for him for months. I found it in October and it was perfect, so I hid it someplace safe. On Tuesday, his birthday, I was taking my final exam for my second semester of nursing school and was entirely focused on that and moving out of my digs in Anchorage to return home. I'd have remembered if he had his birthday listed on Facebook, but he doesn't, and he shouldn't have to. I should have remembered.
I will never forget his birthday again. Kinda like I won't ever forget the answers to the test questions I missed in nursing school. Mortification will do that for a person. I'm scheduling an appointment to get a tattoo that will read MAY 1ST and I plan to have it done in red across my forehead.