On how to get yourself into hot water without really trying

Published 8:46 pm Thursday, February 15, 2007

Yep, I’ve done it again

I made the best plans and prepared nearly everything in advance. Then I sat down on my laurels.

As I write this, it is shortly before noon on Valentine’s Day and I already know I’m in hot water.

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I didn’t plan it to be this way. No, I made some really good plans. Okay, okay, since I had to order the present through the mail I should have started about a week earlier. I did buy the card on Monday so I would be sure to have it ready Wednesday morning before Genie woke up.

Then something happened. I’m not sure what. I can’t blame it on “old-timer’s disease.” This has happened before, even back when we were young and fairly newly married.

I forgot to sign the card and put it out where she would find it when she woke up this morning. That is my habit, when I can remember it, on birthdays, Valentine’s Day and other such momentous occasions, but something happened last night and this morning and I forgot.

I leave for the office before Genie even awakens, which is why generally such cards are out there to catch her eye when she wakes up on the morning of the momentous day.

Genie knows the present is coming in the mail. I have already apologized for that. I thought I could find what I wanted locally or in Slidell or Hattiesburg. Maybe I hit the wrong shops, but I ended up having to go mail order late last week. The company says it won’t be here before sometime next week.

My lady wife accepted that with a smile. She knows me. This isn’t the first time for that either.

This thing that happens to me on such occasions as this, I think it is just a matter of being male. Have you ever noticed how women remember every birthday, every anniversary, every important date in the lives of someone they love?

Have you also noticed how we men tend to forget all those same things? We can remember exactly where we caught — or lost — that monster bass, took that eight-point or better deer — or missed it, the score of any game in which we are keenly interested, and when we are younger, the vital statistics of every girl that catches our eye. Maybe I shouldn’t have written that last phrase.

Normally, when a birthday or anniversary or some other such thing — such as Valentine’s Day — is coming up, I ask my daughter and my daughter-in-law and every woman I think will cooperate to help me remember that I have to do this and do that. I didn’t even remember to do that this year.

To show you how desperate men can be to have help remembering dates, my father married my mother on the Fourth of July. He once told me that was the only way he could be certain of remembering the anniversary. He had too much experience watching my grandfather catch heck when he forgot an anniversary.

I followed in his footsteps, sort of. I connived to have the wedding close enough to my birthday that I couldn’t forget, at least not very often. Genie wouldn’t have anything to do with a Fourth of July wedding. Mom and Dad married during World War II when he was in the Army Air Corps. I think that situation helped him with his conniving.

Valentine’s Day, though. That really isn’t an easy one to forget, what with all the ads on television and the way all the stores deck themselves out. Still, I managed to forget it.

Oh, woe is me.

The card is now signed and on her desk where she can’t miss it when she gets home, but it is several hours late.

My only saving grace is after 35 years of marriage, Genie now knows me well enough to know what happened. That doesn’t mean I’m not going to catch some grief for it, though. That goes with the territory of being male when the (sort of) aggrieved party is female.

Maybe next year I will remember to have someone remind me. Maybe I better start working on recruiting memory keepers for our anniversary, which is just a few months off.

Maybe my memory for such things will improve, but I doubt it. After all, I am merely a male.