Dear Men and Boys; (of course this isn't addressing anyone in the Common Sense family - they are all PERFECT - and would NEVER not buy a gift or a card or completely ignore my birthday)
If the significant woman in your life says she "doesn't want a big deal" made out of her birthday that is NOT a hint to ignore it completely.
Lesson #1 - Buy a card. Make a card. Write a letter. Yes Hallmark is an extortionist organization BUT WOMEN DON'T CARE. Make some effort. Show some interest. Let her know she is worth it. Even if it's cold outside. Even if you are busy. Even if you don't think its all that important. She does.
Lesson #2 - If she gives you EXPRESS INSTRUCTIONS about what she would like, FOLLOW THEM. You've been complaining for years that women want you to read their minds so if she takes the time to actually TELL YOU what she wants clearly, and the reasons she wants it, its probably important. Screwing up with this is pretty lame.
Lesson #3 - If you screw up. APOLOGIZE. Do not blame aliens, the weather, the play of the Boston Red Sox or WORSE - HER. Ever.
Of course, none of this applies to my life. The fact that apparently my birthday is now being celebrated on January 8th has NOTHING to do with the above.
Word to the wise -- if you marry a baby of a family, expect training.