Anonymous Duckbill users record a notable episode in their Duckbill experience - with love and gratitude to NYMag's Sex Diaries for the inspo and years of entertainment.
11:30pm: It’s another Tuesday night and I’m lying awake in bed, mindlessly scrolling Instagram while I wait for my brain to shut down. Terrible news out of Israel, terrible news out of Gaza, terrible news out of climate research… I’m about to shut down when my stories flip to my cousin’s account. “Love you so much,” she writes, over a repost of someone wishing her a happy birthday. Fuuuuck, I think, as I thumb a few more similar birthday reposts. R.’s birthday. I totally forgot.
R. and I grew up in the same town, and as the two oldest cousins in our family (I was 2 years older), we bonded as the only two kids at boring family get-togethers for several years. We grew apart a bit during the middle school years, but got a lot closer in high school, when R.’s dad was diagnosed with stage 4 cancer and passed away pretty suddenly. I took on more of a big brother, driving R. to school every day and ensuring the upperclassmen treated her like the VIP that she was.
When she got married a few years ago, she asked me to be her Best Man - the one dude in the bridal party - which really meant a lot. And here I was, totally whiffing on her birthday. If I’m honest, I can’t remember wishing her a happy birthday last year either.
“Happy birthday!!!” I tap out on my phone, hoping it’s not too obvious that I only remembered after seeing her Instagram posts.
I put my phone down and rolled over, feeling like a real shit.
6:30am: R. hadn’t responded by the time I woke up, and I’m still feeling guilty for having forgotten her big day.
As I’m brushing my teeth, my phone buzzes and I look to see a push notification telling me that my wife’s birthday is five weeks away. “Should we book a dinner out and send you some gift recommendations?” the copilot asks.
I set my toothbrush down and grab the phone. “YES,” I tap out, “And also, can you do this with other people - send me reminders of their birthdays and even just send them flowers or a card in advance so I don’t need to remember?” I submit and set my phone down to finish brushing my teeth.
My phone buzzes a moment later. “Of course!” says the Duckbill copilot. “Just send us names and dates, and we’d be happy to send our Duckbill signature Winston’s bouquet or a handwritten card in time for their birthdays from here on out!”
Without even pausing to put on a shirt, I pop open my computer and type up a list of critical people in my life - cousins, parents, siblings, wife, friends; birthdays, anniversaries, all the things. For most of them, I note, “Send a handwritten card - just run the note by me before you send.” But for a couple, I take Duckbill up on its signature Winston’s bouquet. Having made the mistake of sending super expensive, last minute, 1-800-flowers bouquets that turn out super tacky and sparse one too many times, the chance to send something really nice for <$100 feels like a no brainer. I am no flowers pro, but I know enough to know that Winston’s are super nice (and usually super expensive).
“While you’re at it,” I type, finishing off my note to the copilot, “Could you send one of those bouquets to R. with a note apologizing for missing her bday yesterday?”
“You bet,” the copilot responds. “We’ll get this out to R. this morning and get the rest of these teed up for the right dates throughout the year.”
I breathe a sigh of relief, my guilt momentarily lifted, close my computer, and return to getting ready for the day.
1pm: I’m in a meeting when my phone buzzes. It’s a text from R. “T!!” the message says, “These flowers are gorgeous! Thank you for the birthday wishes and always being the most thoughtful. You even remembered Winston’s are my fav!! Thank you cuz 🥰”
Def hadn’t remembered Winston’s was her favorite, but thank my lucky stars that I’ve managed a small bit of a comeback.
DAY THIRTY FIVE
4:30pm: It’s my wife’s birthday and thank god I remembered, thanks to the reminders and planning of my Duckbill copilot. We have a reservation at her favorite place tonight, and they helped me find these special wine glasses as a gift, to honor her favorite hobby. No idea how they found them, but I have to admit, they really were perfect for her.
My phone rings and it’s Wifey. I pick up, hoping everything is still on track for dinner tonight. “Babe!” she says. “This Winston’s bouquet - it’s gorgeous! So thoughtful. What’s gotten into you this year?”
I realize I’m blushing, having forgotten that I gave the copilot sign off weeks ago to send my wife one of their signature bouquets on her birthday. Made her day without even remembering it.
“Just so grateful for you,” I say. “And excited for tonight,”
“Me too,” wifey replies. “See you then.”
A birthday where I can be a hero without even remembering it myself is my kind of celebration.
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