As I wrote about last year, I hate trying to remember birthdays. When I’m elected President of the United States, I’m not going to pardon a silly bird. And I’m definitely not going to pardon non-violent offenders, no matter what my cousin Vinny “The Dull Ax” D’Angelo has to say about it.
I’m going to pardon, in advance, people who miss other people’s birthdays. Notice the phrase “in advance.” Historically, I’ve taken a strong stance against apologies made in advance of a person doing something wrong. If you have a spouse, or someone who hangs around enough to be mistaken for one, you probably know what I’m talking about.
Pre-mature articulation of an apology is what the American Council of Marriage and Family Therapists refers to as “some bullshit.” For me, it’s just lame. Here’s an example that I just found on a website called, “Lame things that lame people do.” Now, just to make sure nobody feels like I’m picking on men, or picking on the institution of marriage, I’m going to call the two people in this conversation “Person 1” and “Person 2” so that the genders can remain anonymous.
Person 1: Listen, for the tenth time this week I’ve sat down on the freezing cold toilet bowl rim in the middle of the night, whacked my arm against the wall to catch myself from falling in, all because you can’t reach out and flick the toilet seat down when you are done.
Person 2: Ah, geez. I’m sorry. I really am. And I’m sorry if I forget and do it again.
Now, imagine if those people were discussing something a little more serious. Again, I’ve protected the genders so as to protect
men the worst offenders of this practice.
Person 1: Where is the grocery money? I specifically put $250 aside in an envelope marked “secret grocery funds” so that I could make a special holiday dinner for your family.
Person 2: I gambled on the game and lost it all.
Person 1: Are you kidding me?
Person 2: No. I’m really sorry. I promise I will never, ever do it again. But if I do happen to forget and do it again, I’m really sorry.
No matter how you slice it, trivial or compelling, apologizing in advance just doesn’t hold up in court.
Back to birthdays and the second thing I will do as President of the United States (the first thing I’ll do is make it mandatory for all presidential candidates, regardless of party affiliation, to pass a basic, high school science proficiency test.) SO the second thing I’ll do is pardon in advance anyone who forgets a birthday. One caveat: Parents must remember their children’s birthdays until the age of 18. After that, all bets are off and parents are released from any and all liability (guilt). It will still be lovely to remember, but no longer mandatory.
My friends and family are important to me, but I’m busy. And I’m here to tell everyone in my semi-circle of friends and family that I won’t be offended if you miss mine, and I don’t love or appreciate you any less because I forget to send you a card, text or email on your birthday. I mean, I’m glad you are alive, so the day of your birth was important to me. The 47th anniversary of the day you were born? Not so much.
And I just want to say, I’m sorry in advance for all the birthdays I forget in 2016.