Lifestyle

My fellow men: It's time for a new card-giving tradition

I have always maintained that I could never ever forget my wedding anniversary.

We hear about men who have forgotten their anniversaries — but no way would this happen to me.

Well, after 20 or so years, I found that it really can happen. I have a man-brain, and we men are unfortunately capable of forgetting things like this. Thank goodness my wife notes such events on the calendar each year. Without written notice, I’d be one of the statistics.

Equally difficult to remember is that, um, wonderful day we’ve chosen to express our love.

Yes, I mean Valentine’s Day. If it weren’t for the fact that by the beginning of February the stores are filled with flowers, heart-shaped cards, boxes of candy and balloons, we men would have another day to worry about forgetting.

I don’t know about the rest of you guys, but I have the hardest time settling on “the right” card — for any occasion. Why are we expected to express a different sentiment than we did last year? Why isn’t last year’s poem good enough this year?

It’s not easy picking a card that adequately reflects our feelings. Fortunately, our wives and sweethearts are such good sports about it all, and will so graciously accept just about any effort we extend. They know the poetry is not ours. Yet they smile and make the leap of faith that just maybe, somehow, that card actually represents exactly how we feel.

Maybe we should start a new tradition, men. As a demonstration of our undying love, we’d dig out the card we used last year — and each year since our wedding. The more tattered and worn it becomes, the more poignant the sentiment. Doesn’t that seem more romantic?

OK, wrong question. Doesn’t that seem like our wives would find that romantic?

Sure, it would ruin the greeting card companies, but I have little sympathy there. The card companies know that we men are sentimentally challenged. That’s what makes us men and the card makers rich. $6.99 for a card that has a heart and 25 words on it? I’ve read books that cost less.

I’ve never found the card that gets my message across. It would go something like this:

Darling,

Please forgive me for everything.

It was all my fault.

I don’t deserve you.

Please accept the roses,

Dinner, and small gift

As a token of my affection.

And let us forget about

What I said or did the other night.

We all know Valentine’s Day is a conspiracy perpetrated by Hallmark, Whitman’s and the various jewelers. When I see a commercial about how a woman’s best friend is a large diamond, I curse those in the diamond business. Whatever happened to “size doesn’t matter?”

Starting in early January, I go through all our magazines and tear out the diamond ads. And forget about trickery. Cubic zirconium? Don’t even think it. A woman has a gland that allows her to know the difference.

This year, I’ve planned ahead. I’m all set for the big day. Got a dinner reservation, a card ($7.50, and it has an extra blank page), and a gift that will become more precious as the years go by: 10 shares of stock in the Hallmark Company.

Federal Way resident Dave McKenzie is an award-winning writer who can be reached at d.mckenzie@comcast.net.

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