I Hate Having to Say, “Happy Belated Birthday”

Ever forget a close friend’s birthday? A family member? It’s an awful freaking feeling. I know men say they don’t care as much, but guys, if you look deep down, it bums you out if someone close completely forgets your birthday. Aside from my own family, I probably only know a handful of birthdays by memory, but thanks to Facebook, I feel like we’re now expected to remember the birthday of every person in our lives. So what do you do if you forget one? The answer is simple. I don’t know…

Let me introduce you to Kristin. Her nickname is Dilly. Yes, she’s wearing cake frosting as athletic eye-black. Awesome. Dilly is a special friend, a wonderful person. She had a big birthday on Friday, and I forgot to wish her a happy birthday. This isn’t her first time on Lobshots. She’s dating a dear friend, Caster, a brilliant writer. My lovely bride and I had planned on celebrating her birthday this past weekend. I even told Caster and Dilly that we’d be there. That’s because I’m a giant boob and had forgotten to write on my calendar my aforementioned Big Bear trip that had been scheduled for about 8 months.

How’d she find out I was going to miss her birthday celebration? I tweeted that I’d be going out of town. Ugh. I felt awful, apologized, and said I’d make it up to her. How’d I go about doing that? Easy. I didn’t bother wishing her a happy birthday. Not by phone, not by any of the myriad of social media outlets at my finger tips. Some of you guys might be rolling your eyes at this, but I’m telling you, I felt like such a jerk when I realized my forgetfulness.

Why’d I feel like a jerk? Not because she complained. Not because she dropped some guilt trip on me. She did neither of those. Rather, I feel like a jerk because Dilly is the type of person that makes you feel like you’re more important than you are. When you walk in to the room, she makes you feel like you’re the only person there. Like your presence just made her day. When you speak to her… she looks you in the eye and her eyes don’t wander, she wants you to know that you are the only one, at that moment, that she cares about. She genuinely wants to know how you’re doing, and listens to what you have to say, waiting on your every word. This is quite a contrast from what I’m used to, and even how I speak to people. When I speak to people, I find myself waiting for them to shut up so that I can get in some clever saying or witty remark.

A small anecdote to show you how awesome Dilly is… and why everyone should have a Dilly in their life. A few days before Christmas I told her about a family tradition that my folks did for me, and I do for my kids. When Santa comes to leave presents on Christmas Eve, my kids can tell that he’s been there. Santa’s milk and cookies? Gone. Carrots for the reindeer? Gone. If that didn’t convince them, there is magic snow from the North Pole on the floor that has fallen from Santa’s boots.

As I told Dilly about this, she said, “That’s great, but if you don’t have a chimney, how does Santa get into the house?” I responded, “He comes through the patio sliding glass door.” She proceeded to tell me that I shouldn’t just leave the door unlocked because then anybody could get in on Christmas Eve and take our presents… I hadn’t thought about this scenario. Then, she told me about a “special key” I could leave out just for Santa so that only he could get into the house. I thought that was a wonderful idea, we continued to chat, and then I just sorta forgot about it.

The very next day… yes, the next day… Caster gave me a box, “This is from Dilly.”

I opened it up to find “Santa’s Magic Key”. I just stared at it for a second and tears filled my eyes. She had managed to buy me a gift that touched me so much, I literally started crying. How cool is that? How cool is she? She didn’t just listen to me… she heard me… and she took to action. One of the best gifts I’d ever received. I’ve always wanted to be that kind of person. The kind of person that picks up on conversation points with friends, only to surprise them later with some sort of gift that they never asked for, but definitely wanted, whether they knew it or not. Dilly is that person.

There’s a very short list of people in my life that I look up to… people that I want to emulate. The list starts with my wife, and has a few close friends, pastors, and mentors in my life. Dilly’s kindness and selflessness has put her on that list, and I was too selfish to make it a priority to even say happy birthday. Now I’ve got to figure out a way to make it up to her.

In the meantime… happy belated birthday, Dilly.


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