I was a bad kid. I forgot my Grandma's birthday. Yes, you can whack me profusely about the head and neck with a wet noodle. We should not ever forget the birthdays of our Grandmas. It's not that I forgot when her birthday was--it's June 13th and I didn't even have to consult my Geek Calendar for that. It's the fact that it did not register in my brain that last Wednesday was actually June 13th. I spent the entire day without once considering what the actual date was. I was just happy to remember to pick up my prescription, much less remember anything more significant. The date was also firmly planted in my brain as "Wednesday, the first full day of summer vacation for the kids and four days before my son's birthday and OMG he's turning ten!!!"
Now, I have calendars everywhere, including, but not limited to, all computers, the bedroom, my pocket purse calendar, my iPod, and the kitchen (both wall and fridge). On every one that can be written on, there's an entry on June 13th that says "GRANDMA'S BIRTHDAY!!!!" You would think this would be sufficient as a reminder. Apparently not.
I do have alarms on my computers and iPod, and I could try using those again. However, they're very easy to ignore. They give you a nice little beep or play some pleasant snippet of music, both of which I might hear if I turned down the volume on my iPod to a reasonable level. They're so easy to ignore because they're just too darn polite. The message of these pleasing little beeps and bits of music is this: "Oh, Jae, we're so sorry to disturb your day by intruding upon you with this news. If you would be so kind as to click on the gently blinking icon, which cycles very slowly so as not to overly distress you, we would be most grateful for your momentary attention. We now return you to your previously scheduled Geek activity, and we hope you can forgive us for the inconvenience upon your time."
Of course, I truly appreciate polite alarms, because if I'm in the middle of something, a raucous alarm would scare the snot out of me. This would be bad if I'm actually doing something Important, which is far more often than Jimbo ever thinks happens, but that's another blog subject. Anyhow, the polite alarms are way too easy to forget. The polite little chime rings, I think to myself "Oh, that's nice, a pleasant reminder that Wednesday is the 13th and therefore is Grandma's birthday. Thank you, polite alarm!" Then I get sucked back into whatever is happening at the time, such as driving the van or refereeing the latest child battle over whether it's going to be Lego Star Wars or Star Wars: Battlefront playing on the PS2.
What I really need is something that is less polite. I need something that says, "Hey, you!! Yes, you, Geeky Mom!! It's June 13th! Yes, the 13th of June! You know, 9+4, 10+3, 17-4--that makes it THIR-TEEEEEEEEEEEEEN!!!!! Got it? Well then, go call her for heaven's sake!!!" Then it needs to be hooked into my phone system so that it repeats every 7.2 minutes until I actually call her, at which point it'll say "Glad you finally remembered! See you next year!" That might help me remember a birthday better. Provided I remember to turn on the alarm, that is.