Well, I guess it was bound to happen. There I was, reading an e-mail from a friend about how he and his wife, a few days before, had been sitting curled up on the sofa watching “Knocked Up,” when they suddenly realized it was their wedding anniversary. Not only had they forgotten their wedding anniversary, they realized that exactly a year before — on their wedding anniversary — they’d been watching “Knocked Up.”
I have no idea what that means, but I chuckled at the thought of my friends forgetting their wedding anniversary, and mused for a moment about my own wedding anniversary, which was also coming up. Sometime really soon. Wow, yeah. It was on June first, and wasn’t June first right around the corner? It was at the end of the week, or something, it…oh shit. NO! Oh no. June first was the date of my forgetful friends’ forgotten wedding anniversary. It was last Sunday. And it was now Wednesday. How could it just sneak up like that? Damn! How could my husband and I forget the anniversary of our wedding?
Is it because ours happened twenty-two years ago and we’re becoming old and forgetful? Is it because we are just too busy? Is it because the years are going by faster and faster and it’s like we’re running after some kind of crazy, runaway train that we can never, ever catch? Is it that we chafe against those “Hallmark Holidays,” and hate the mostly media-driven expectations that have grown around those occasions? Am I the only woman on the planet who is creeped out by those “Diamonds are Forever” ads that want him to tell me he loves me all over again, but to do it this time with a diamond from the DeBeers corporation, mined by some subsistence laborer? The answer is pretty much a resounding “Yes” to all of the above.
All right, but still, we are celebratory people, and often look for the tiniest bit of an excuse to have a party. So after dashing an e-mail off to my husband (“er, guess what we forgot?!”) and getting the slightly abashed “Oops!” in return, we decided we’d hit the ocean-view lobster restaurant the following Friday. And so we did. We toasted ourselves and our twenty-two years with sentiments such as, “It hasn’t been so bad!” and “Coulda been a lot worse!” And he let me eat the entire plate of raw oysters, so it really must be true love.
Now we’ve got Father’s Day coming up. And I’m going to be out of town. Big deal, right? I mean, we secretly hate those “Hallmark Holidays,” and we rebel against the media-driven buying frenzy that surrounds these occasions, right?
Well, true, but still, I will send a little e-mail reminder to my boys to make sure they let their dad sleep in on Sunday. And maybe I’ll give them a nudge so they’ll remember to give their dad his favorite Father’s Day present. No burnt toast or smiley-faced homemade pancakes in our house. Their dad doesn’t want breakfast in bed; he wants to be serenaded in bed. Preferably with a bang-up vocal interpretation of one of his favorite British Invasion tunes. Past performances have included Bus Stop and Look Through Any Window (The Hollies) and many are performed with guitar and cello accompaniment. And bad mime. (But only when I join in.)
But this year I’ll just have to be there in spirit, and give him a toast over the phone. “Happy Father’s Day!” I’ll say. “You could have been a lot worse!”