Forgotten anniversaries bring gifts of their own

<p>A few days back, I forgot our anniversary — our 39th. I remembered the first 38, so I’m still feeling good about my record. I want to explain how this happened.</p><p>Our anniversary was Friday, June 14, but we had planned to go to the Italian Fest downtown the next day and also spend a few hours at the Talbot Street Art Fair.</p><p>I kept thinking of Saturday as the big celebration, so the actual date totally slipped my mind on Friday. I left the house that morning with no thought of the special day. When I returned home, I found a very sweet anniversary card Mary Ellen had left on my desk, but she was left cardless and flowerless and I was obviously brainless. I think you can understand how I made this error.</p><p>Right now, the men are saying, “Well, Dick, that sounds like a perfectly good explanation to me.”</p><p>And the women are saying. “Jeez, Dick, what an insensitive jerk you are.”</p><p>I’m not very good with dates. My son and wife have the same birthday, so that makes it easier. And we were married in 1980 so that makes knowing how many years we have been man and wife easy to figure out in my head. I was born in 1947, and it’s really depressing when people ask how old I am and I have to do the math with my calculator.</p><p>Back to our anniversary: the next day’s weather was terrible, but Mary Ellen still wanted to go downtown. She seemed to be in a good mood, but I wasn’t born yesterday (although if I had been, it might be easier to remember my own age.) I sensed I was still in the dog house.</p><p>After we parked, Mary Ellen requested a certain eatery. (It was a place I didn’t particularly like, but I was in no position to assert my personal preference).</p><p>Then we walked the art fair in a downpour, and we had only one umbrella. “It’s okay, Mary Ellen, you use it. I enjoy walking in the rain. It’s very romantic. (It’s actually not romantic at all, and I hate getting wet, but remember, I did space out old number 39.)</p><p>On the way home, Mary Ellen asked if we could stop at this little antique store to shop. “Of course,” I said. “I love antique shopping.” (I hate it, but I was trying to crawl out of the dog house.)</p><p>When we got home, she asked, “Dick, can you clean the cat’s litter box?”</p><p>“Wait a second, I never do that. Angel is your cat.”</p><p>“No, she’s our cat. Just like we are now celebrating our…</p><p>“I know, I know. Where’s the scooper?”</p><p>Saturday finally ended, after I had pretty much yielded to every one of Mary Ellen’s whims and desires. Oh, and to further make up for my memory lapse, I also promised that for our 40th next year we would travel to Barcelona, a place she has always wanted to visit.</p><p>Just before we fell asleep, Mary Ellen leaned over to kiss me goodnight and whispered in my ear, “My birthday is next month. Please let it slip your mind.”</p>