For me, dates have never been important. I don’t really care if it is someone’s birthday or anniversary or whatever. Dates are dates, that’s it. As long as you care for a relationship, dates are not important. I somehow try to remember the dates of close ones, like mom, dad, husband and few cousins. Other than that, I am lazy to remember birthdays and other dates.
We are now in the 21st century, which is essentially Facebook century where everything happens through the broadcast medium only.
I see wives wishing their husbands “Happy anniversary” on their Facebook wall. Come on, how difficult is it to tell your husband when he is sitting right next to you. Scribbling on his wall takes more time than yelling at him. It’s not like you don’t yell at your husband AT ALL. Then I see 10 people like and then 10 more wish the couple. And then this tube light in my brain lights up after realizing that the whole point of wishing anniversary on Facebook is to get more people to wish you. Not many people remember anniversaries, do they? Unless you get married on Independence day or Republic day, like we did. We lost our independence on the day India got its independence. Every single person who attended our marriage made fun of us using this reference. Anyway, coming back to the Facebook culture, I see couples posting their wedding pictures or pictures of them together in some exotic place or just wish each other on Facebook. This kind of sends out a message to others on their friend list -“Dumbo, wish us on our anniversary. It is our anniversary and look we are so happy together”. The truth was that the husband never wanted to take that exotic vacation, as he had loads of work to be finished. But the wife had to fight with him so that she could put the picture on Facebook for others to see or vice versa.
Recently I realized that people celebrate “engagement anniversaries” too. When I told this to my dad, he asked me when they were getting married. I had to clarify that these were married couples. Along with their marriage anniversary, people celebrate engagement anniversary, first-meeting anniversary and some other anniversaries. To test the husband, I asked him if he remembered when we got engaged. He said “of course, I know when”. “Okay then, tell me the date”, I said. “20th-something”, came the reply. “20th- what ?”, I asked him and he had no reply. To be frank, even I don’t remember the engagement date. I think for me, it was an insignificant date to remember. We got engaged and got married – end of story.
Sometimes, peer pressure takes a toll on us. I had nothing special planned for my wedding anniversary, but people started asking me – “what are you folks planning to do?”. That was when I realized that I should do something special so that I can remember this day. And we did something special, but I don’t even remember what we did. We did go to the city for my birthday and our anniversary but what we did on which day is kind of muddled up in my brain. So this time we did not do anything special and people were shocked to hear me say, “Nothing. We just stayed at home”. The point is why should we celebrate our marriage on a particular day and why not celebrate it every day? The same logic that applies to father’s day, mother’s dad, husband’s day, grandfather’s day or whatever day.
I remember how people reacted when they saw me remove my engagement ring. My ring was pretty fancy and I did not realize that when I bought it. I had seen my mother’s engagement ring and I wanted something like hers. So I got a fancy ring which cannot be worn everyday, not in India at least. If you did, you can be assured of getting robbed. So my friends were shocked that I had removed the ring. One friend quipped that she had not removed her ring, even after so many years of marriage. That I was out of my mind. Again for me, it was not a big deal. Engagement, marriage etc are there for the sake of society. You do these ceremonies to advertise to the whole world that you are now married and not for your own sake.
I wore my mom’s old earring for my wedding. I wore it only because my grand mother had given it to my mom. People were shocked to see that I did not buy a fresh pair or wear something more fanciful for my wedding. But for me, sentiments were more important than price tag or showing off to other people. Why do people think it is necessary to show your belongings or affection towards others through medium like Facebook or marriage ceremony? Isn’t it enough to have those feelings or sentiments in your heart?
I removed my birthday from Facebook, as I feel people wish me for the heck of it. Facebook shows my birthday and people just wish me because it shows up. Not that they somehow magically remembered my birthday and took the trouble to wish me. In this Internet age, is there a friend who would take the effort to call you on your birthday? I prefer wishes that come through email or phone, instead of scribbling on my wall. I also stopped wishing people for their birthday for the same reason. I feel I am obligated to wish somebody just because it pops up on Facebook. Also, I cannot wish one person on Facebook and not wish the other person. Because if I forget to wish a person, they will get offended. So isn’t it better to not wish anybody on Facebook? I feel guilty when few of my friends who remember my birthday wish me. It brings a smile on my face, when I realize that they somehow remembered my birthday. But what hurts me is knowing that I forgot to wish them on their birthday. I promise myself that I should remember to wish them on their birthday but I get so busy in life, that I end up forgetting.
I must do a better job at remembering dates. I might not do something ‘special’ per se, but at least I should remember dates. I am planning to get a diary on which I can jot down some dates to remember. But who will remind me to check that diary, huh?! Now you understand my problem with dates? Jokes about men usually involve those where wife remembers dates, while the husband doesn’t. I cannot even apply that joke on my husband. *sob*.