Compliment her hairstyle Flattery never fails. "Darling, you look the same as the day I met you and I didn't realise that another blissful year had passed. You look gorgeous today. Have you had your hair done?"

Tell a white lie "Don't worry, I didn't forget. I've got a big surprise planned for the weekend." Then get online
and book a weekend getaway in an exotic location.

Talk of traffic blues Cook up a realistic tale like, "I was stuck in traffic on the Sharjah-Dubai road and by the time
I got to the jewellery shop, it was already closed."

Blame technology Tell her that your FaceBook reminder didn't pop up and the proxy server blocked the e-card you e-mailed her.

Blame others "My secretary and the woman in the gift shop where I usually buy you presents couldn't get through on my cellphone to remind me as my line was continuously busy. You know how many people phone me to exclusively invite me to become a member of their hotel, apply for a credit card or make an appointment to see me for some solid financial advice!"

Blame the credit crunch "Sorry, I have been working very hard in the office because the developer is threatening to cancel the deal. And with our house rent doubling again
and so many more expenses, it totally slipped my mind."
Blame the TV "I was watching a match with friends and my favourite team lost. Somehow I ‘lost' the shoes
I bought you for your birthday."

Blame the dentist "I had a root canal treatment yesterday. Probably the nitrous oxide is still in my system because I forgot your birthday and I can't stop laughing."

Blame your wife "You are right. I forgot and you know what, I have no excuse. It is entirely my fault and I am sorry.
In fact, I am so sorry that I am going to make it up to you by forgiving you for forgetting our annivesary last month!"

Blame the scams "I bought you a gift on the Internet. I am surprised it still hasn't arrived. Maybe it was one of those bogus websites."

– As told to Hina Navin, a Dubai-based freelancer