I am a very forgetful person by nature. I forget what time I am supposed to meet people. I forget to bring food items to gatherings when I promised to do so. I have even forgotten to show up to events! I don’t even want to tell you how many birthdays I have forgotten, but it’s bad enough that my husband is now in charge of ensuring our children have gifts and cake on their special days. I don’t know how to explain to people that this is just my nature and I do it to everyone. Unfortunately, many friends and family members take it personally. Please help me find a way to make them understand.
Dear Forgetful Francine,
This is actually an unbelievably easy problem for me to solve. Simply tell your family and friends the following –
They are unimportant and you’ve got better things to do.
Let’s not quibble over semantics, you are forgetful because you place no importance on remembering. You didn’t list a medical condition that renders your memory virtually useless (which is an actual sound reason for forgetting your offspring’s birthdays and the meatloaf for the Christmas party). You don’t claim to forget your pants, your cell phone, or even your coffee on the roof of the car each morning. Instead, you claim to forget everything that other people would consider important to them.
Perhaps you’ve heard of the most magical of inventions – the calendar.
This is a paper device that allows you to write in events as they are planned. When someone calls you or sends you an email, you simply write down the place and time on the calendar. Then you look at it each morning and make sure you haven’t forgotten to wear pants and show up to Lou’s retirement party. You remember Lou – she got you the great job you currently use to feed your family. Get her a card and thank her for the effort she made to remember your name all these years.
There’s also another even more magical invention – the electronic calendar.
Available on every single phone on the face of the earth, these calendars allow you to remember important events. Like the paper version, you simply note the place and time and then your phone will beep incessantly to remind you to show up. The best part is yet to be revealed – if it is a yearly event, you only have to put it in the calendar once and then the phone will beep every single year.
I feel like I’ve beat you up and now I need to raise your spirits.
People are usually pretty tolerant of the scatterbrained members in the group, especially if that person is good-natured. I have a feeling you are one of those people since you still receive invites to events. Apologies are nice, but useless when the behavior doesn’t change – be sure to do both.
You should also plan something extra special for your husband’s birthday this year – something tells me he has been picking up the celebration slack for quite some time.
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