Women are a bit like calendars. We have this magical ability to remember every single important date in our lives. Birthdays, anniversaries, landmark occasions – they’re all hardwired into our brain, ready to be recited back at any given moment.
One of the things that makes women so obsessed with dates and occasions is the fact that we attach an insane level of sentimentality to everything in our lives. We will remember where you took us on our first date, what you were wearing and how awkward the entire thing felt right down to the last tiny detail. We will decide to randomly celebrate the eight-month anniversary of our relationship without telling you and just assume you’ll know that it is our eight-month anniversary (and have presents for us) without question.
We forget sometimes that men do not have the same freakish memory as us. This is why, to a woman, there is nothing worse than you forgetting her birthday and/or your anniversary with her.
But these things happen, so how can you cope if you wake up one morning to the dreaded question: “Do you know what day today is?”
If there’s one thing that Hollywood has taught us it is that it’s always best to tread carefully in this area. So it’s probably not a good idea to respond to that question with a smart answer such as: “It’s a Friday. In March.”
The other thing that Hollywood has taught us is that no matter how badly she reacts to the fact that you are clueless, the situation can be remedied if you’re willing to put in a bit of effort.
Right, so you wake up and she’s staring at you having asked the question. The situation can go two ways: you can either admit to her that you have no idea what she’s going on about and be completely honest – this approach is likely to result in a slightly miffed or completely enraged girlfriend depending on how serious the occasion is. Example: you will be forgiven for forgetting a three month anniversary, but you will suffer if it’s your three year anniversary.
Or, you can let on that you know exactly what she’s talking about and hope that she makes some allusion to the fact that it’s your anniversary or her birthday.
If you’re playing along, frantically trying to think of what the occasion is and she isn’t giving you any clues whatsoever, you have to be smart. Tell her you have something special planned and leave it at that for now.
First things first, go downstairs before her and check the post for any birthday-card shaped envelopes. If this proves fruitless, chances are you’re dealing with an anniversary. If she’s been shopping over the past few days try to have a sneaky glance at her recent purchases.
New dress/shoes/handbag = most likely a birthday present for herself. Sexy underwear = probably an anniversary present for you.
Now, if you ever want to see those new pants, you need to put in some effort.
Wait until she’s left for work or until you have some time alone then get online and ring a restaurant. Rather than trying to come up with something elaborate at short notice, it’s probably easier to stick to something simple. Chances are you will be able to book a table in a decent restaurant, and it’ll look like you’ve been planning it for ages.
Then ring the local florist and ask them to put together something for you – flowers are a relatively cheap and simple way to score big points with the woman in your life.
That’s a nice dinner and some flowers sorted.
Depending on the scale of the anniversary/birthday that you’re dealing with, it might do well to buy your girl some bling. Jewellery shopping can seem daunting but it’s relatively easy when you know what you’re looking for. All you need to know is if she likes gold or silver and if her style is simple or blinged-out.
In case of doubt, choose something very simple with just a tiny bit of sparkle and you can’t go wrong.
The final touch? A simple card. Again, if you’re still unsure buy a blank card and write the message “I love you” on it. It’s simple, meaningful and doesn’t give her any idea that you’ve completely forgotten what’s so important about today.
If you desperately must know whether you're dealing with an anniversary or a birthday, ask her if she’s had a good day when she’s on her third glass of wine. Hopefully she’ll respond with “This is the best birthday/anniversary ever!” and she’ll never know that you organised the entire thing in a few short hours.
Congratulate yourself on a job well done.
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