It was Crystal's birthday today. Her 26th.
Since we work opposing shifts during the week, we celebrated on Sunday. We went to dinner at the Keg, went to see Eclipse (her choice, but I was interested) and I gave her a lounger so she can read out in the backyard (once we get grass). It was a great day.
I didn't see Crystal until dinner at her parents. When she got there I knew something was wrong. My happy greeting was met with sad eyes and a less than enthusiastic "hi".
A number of times over dinner it looked like she was fighting back tears. I asked her what was wrong, but she insisted there was nothing wrong. I knew otherwise but didn't want to press too hard. (That usually ends ugly.)
She always calls me at work to say goodnight. I didn't expect a call tonight, she had a bad day and probably just wanted to get to bed. Just after 10:15 the phone rang and it was her. I asked again what was wrong. Maybe she was tired, maybe she didn't feel like pretending anymore.
Turns out her birthday was pretty crappy. OK, really crappy.
She woke up and there were no flowers, no special breakfast, no card, not even a note to say "Happy Birthday." Just a drooling husband with bed-head, lying spread-eagle and snoring away half underneath the navy duvet.
She went to work and it was super busy. She described it as "tense." This meant their birthday lunch date was off. She emailed her husband to let him know the celebratory lunch wasn't going to happen and his response was "I'm sorry." Her husband was just leaving the church office (just up the road) when her lunch began, yet he did not swing by to pick her up and take her out.
Her cubicle at work was void of decorations, save for a couple balloons tied to her cork-board by her department head. It seems her birthday had been forgotten.
Just before her work day ended an email from her husband arrived in her inbox, claiming he had something that would "make her smile". It was the fifth season of Lost, that a friend had dropped off for them to borrow. Not flowers. Not chocolates. Not even a stuffed animal.
Maybe her birthday was forgotten. How could this happen? This was supposed to be a great day.
It was not.
And it was my fault.
I screwed up LARGE.
Almost 4 years into this husband gig and I'm nowhere close to getting it right.