Let me tell you a story about me growing up.
I was a...forgetful child. Meaning that barely any information seemed to stick to the inside of my brain, unless an adult didn't want it to. Then it would muddle there for several weeks.
But most of the time, I couldn't remember to put my shoes on. (Fun fact: once I went to the zoo without shoes. My poor father discovered there were rollerblades in the trunk and had me just skate around the place. Happiest day of my life.)
So, as I grew up, I began to have more responsibility and thus, began to not be able to handle even the lightest tasks. At the forefront would be playdates and parties. Whenever I got invitations, my mother taped them to our family calendar and filled in with thick black ink the date and time.
I vividly remember the first time I made the birthday mistake. One of my friends had invited me to what I think was her ten year old birthday party. It wasn't any big hullabaloo - I believe we were just watching movies at her house. (With cake, of course.) I was playing in our living room when my mother approached me.
Mother: You know, the party is in a half hour, do you want to get ready?
Me: Sure. (Stands.) (This equates to "getting ready" when I was ten.) (Wasn't it a different time?)
Mother: ...Are you going to bring anything?
Me: (Baffled.) What would I bring?
Mother: ...(defeated)...a present?
Me: OH NO! QUICK! TO THE EMERGENCY PRESENT CLOSET!!!
See, on my mother's side of my parent's bureau, she kept a few odds and ends that might work as last minute gifts. Body soap, cute rubber ducks, bath bombs - things that you can bring to almost anyone, in case happy tidings were sought. It was not meant to be rampaged every time her sixth grader forgot to care about her friends. But, alas, these things happen.
To all my buddies from elementary and middle school: I swear, I didn't think you smelled. I just can't remember things.
It's weeks like these that I wish I had an emergency present closet. It's real hard to remember everyone who you have ideas for, who you don't have ideas for, who will probably get you something so you have to have something on hand...it's rough. Can't we just all get each other finals week gifts and call it a day?