December 18, 2014 WHAT TO DO WHEN YOUR FRIENDS FORGET YOUR BIRTHDAY Today’s question comes from Avalon, who writes: The other day was my birthday. When I went to school, absolutely no one wished me a happy birthday, which made me feel so sad that I hid in a bathroom stall and cried. What should I do? My Advice: Hi Avalon! First things first: HAPPY BIRTHDAY! I wish it was your ACTUAL birthday, and I was there with all your BFFs so I could be like, “Pssst!!! Girlfriends!! Let’s surprise Avalon with a SUPER special birthday lunch!!” (But since we’d be in school, that would mean us standing around you with jazz hands while you eat mystery meat!) Since I can’t turn back time, and we don’t go to the same school, consider this advice my belated birthday gift! I’m sure it was a huge bummer to feel like NO ONE cared enough to wish you a happy birthday. And I totally get why you got upset and cried. But it’s probably NOT that they don’t care. It’s more likely they all just forgot. I know, that doesn’t make it much better. Your friends are supposed to remember stuff. But maybe they all had a lot on their mind. Maybe one was stressing about a super hard math test, and another was freaking out because she tripped and fell RIGHT INTO her crush, and another was half asleep because she stayed up all night playing Candy Crush. (It’s addictive!) This doesn’t make it okay, but it happens. People make mistakes! I say you give them all a chance to make it right. Talk to them one-on-one and say, “Hey, it was my birthday the other day, and I was kind of sad because NOT ONE of my friends remembered! I’m sure each one will say, “OMG! I’m SO sorry! And happy birthday! How can I make it up to you?” That’s what it means to be a true friend. It’s not about doing everything perfectly. It’s about admitting when you’ve messed up and doing your best to make up for it. If they DON’T respond like this, and instead say something like, “Bummer, hey I got to run, Jessie’s on soon!” then they’re probably not really good friends. I know, it stinks to realize that! But in a way, this is KIND of a gift. It means you get to find out who your REAL friends are. Real friends would NEVER want to hurt your feelings, and they ‘d do anything to make you feel better when you’re down. Odds are, you have more of these kinds of friends than you realize. And THAT’S something to celebrate! What do you guys think? Do you have any advice for Avalon?