The Queen…. is scatterbrained. I admit it. It’s always been true. It’s not like I’m totally unorganized because I’m not. I can organize like a Goddess! You just can’t expect it to stay that way. My thoughts on it have always been that my mind was simply working on too many things at once to keep things neatly structured and compartmentalized. (You have my permission to use that the next time someone accuses you of being disorganized, by the way. Get them with the big words!!!) Regardless, I’ve learned to live in organized chaos. I have to write everything down if I’m going to remember to do something about it, so my office is practically wallpapered in sticky notes. But that’s okay! I know where they all are and what they mean! With this in mind, I’m going to tell you a little story about birthdays and MPF (My Poor Father).
Now my father has always had an amused understanding of how unstructured my little mind is. He’s forgiven me for forgetting all sorts of things, including his birthday until a month after the fact one year. He’s laughed as he’s watched me try to find things… literally like my glasses on top of my head or my phone in my hand. And he just sort of chuckled the time I tried to explain how a dumpster had jumped out from behind a building as I was backing my jeep up thus causing that awful damage to the bumper. In fact, once when I came home for the summer from the state wide magnet school for academically gifted students that I attended (I told you all once before that I went to geek school), he asked me what I had learned during the year. I remember thinking about it and then providing him with this exceptionally accurate pig impression that I had learned from my dear friend, Rachel, just before school had adjourned for the summer. It may have been one of the few times I actually saw my father laugh so hard he cried. Face it, dear readers and loyal subjects, he’s just used to me by now.
The time I totally forgot his birthday, I called to apologize (Yes, a month later) from my car. I was heading out of town for the weekend with my daughters in the back of the minivan and explaining how hectic things had been and how sorry I was that I forgot. It had somehow just slipped my mind and I few awful about it. About 15 minutes into the conversation, I suddenly started cursing for no reason that he could understand. That was when I admitted that I was a good 20 minutes from home and had only just realized that I didn’t have my purse with me. He was laughing the whole time I was turning the car around and heading back home. Yeah, he had no reason to doubt my sincerity when I said “I just forgot it.” So this is what he’s used to with me.
Fast forward a few more years and we get to May 24, 2012. This year I was ready. I was NOT going to forget. I was going to call my father on his birthday like a good daughter and wish him a happy birthday on May 25. I had it on my calendar. I had it in the midst of the post-it notes. I even had an alert set up on my computer. And that was the night that I got an email from Connie, my step-mother who I adore. This is what it said:
You missed your dad’s birthday yesterday. I just wanted to send you an email to let you know.
…Do what? No. No, I didn’t miss it because it’s on May 25 and that was the next day, NOT the day before… right? I checked the date on my calendar. Yup, it was only May 24. Something was just wrong here. What could it be?! Oh yeah, it could be me! For all my planning and organization, I had completely neglected to get the actual date of his birth correct. It’s May 23 instead of May 24. Oh just greeeeaaaaaat!! How was I supposed to pull this one out of the fire?! I’d forgotten before so this was just unacceptable. Then I had it, and I called Dad.
Dad, rather sleepily (did I mention that I called him late so he’d already be confused?): Hello
Queen: Happy early birthday, Daddy!
Dad: Well thank you but…. Early? My birthday was yesterday.
Queen, in an oh so confident tone: No it wasn’t, Daddy. Your birthday is tomorrow.
Dad: I don’t think so.
Queen, patiently now: Oh Daddy, you know you get older and older with each birthday. Eventually the mind goes. You’re just getting senile. Your birthday is tomorrow and I am ALL OVER IT! It’s because I care. TADA! You’re welcome.
Dad, laughing now: Oh is that what it is. It’s so good of you to point it out and let me know. Does that mean I get two presents this year?
Queen: Now you’re just pushing it, Dad.
So there we have it. It’s the Queen’s fool proof plan for dealing with these little temporal lapses. Senility… either someone else’s or your own. If they’re younger than you, you’re on your own. Really, I can only be expected to help you out so much. Oh! And if senility doesn’t work, I still recommend ninja monkeys because we all know ninja monkeys can handle anything. And by the way, Happy Birthday, Daddy (even if I don’t know when it is).