Life is the art of drawing without an eraser ~ John W. Gardner

Wish or Not

How do you view wishing your friend on his/her birthday? Is it a must? Is it unforgivable if you forgot his/her birthday? Is it a sin for not wishing him/her?

I have a very small database for friends’ birthdays. No matter how long you’ve been friends with me, there is still a high chance that I don’t remember your birth date. My brain is not programmed for dates I guess. There was once I even forgot the most important man-in-my-life’s birthday! My siblings will usually buzz me to remind me of another sister’s birthday. See, I don’t even remember my sisters’ birthday, except my younger sister as the birth date is a special one to me.

Hence, when it comes to friends’ birthdays, I feel pressured.

If I couldn’t remember and asked another friend about the exact date, that another friend would often reply, “HUH?! What?! You FORGOT her birthday??!! How can you forget her birthday after so long together?” Ya right, as if my brain is stone and the date is carved on it. Hello, even the stone also will get weathering ok.

If I did not log in to Facebook over the weekends and so happened it was someone’s birthday and I missed it, it looks so bad on me for not wishing that friend! I had people came asking me, “how come you did not wish her? Did you know it was her birthday? Didn’t you check your Facebook?” Gosh, give me a break. Facebook is not a calendar! And I do not check Facebook every single day.

I’m not sure how the other person feels when I forgot to wish them on their birthdays. More often than not, they would tell me it’s okay when I apologised and wish them a happy belated birthday. Whether it is truly okay for them, I have no way to tell. If they go behind my back and tell the whole world that I forgot their birthdays, I wouldn’t know. I do not bother either if they want to do so.

Is it really so important to wish someone on their birthdays? Will he/she be less happy or blessed without my wishes?

You may say I should at least remember some close friends’ birthdays. Well, I don’t. Except for a few special ones like born on the 1st of January or Labor’s Day or National Day or Christmas. Even when I know it is the Christmas, I may well forget to wish him/her. Bummer.

To me, I do not mind if someone says happy birthday to me or not. Yes, thank you if you do, but if you don’t, I won’t go all the way to remember who you are and mark you as a bad friend for life. Gosh, being friends isn’t just about wishing you on your birthdays.

I know, I can’t force you to think exactly the same like me. And you have all the rights under the sun to blame me for not wishing you happy birthday. Just don’t force me to remember your birthday either, even if you are a close friend of mine, please allow me the room to be forgetful at times. I’ll apologise for being late and it doesn’t mean I do not wish you good when I do not wish you happy birthday. I seriously wish all the good things to happen to you, not just on your birthday, but every single day.

A very Happy (Birth)day to all of you!

Photo by Ashley @

So, what do you do if you forgot a friend’s birthday?


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