Now that Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Year’s are behind us, retailers are blanketing the shopping universe with cut-out hearts, plush toy bears, and inedible sugar treats emblazoned with “Be My Baby,” designed to get us opening our wallets again for Valentine’s Day. Every Baby Boomer hubby knows that this is the perfect time to buy his wife what she really wanted for Christmas, after he dropped the ball and presented her with new brake pads. (Yes it’s true, she needed them. But as a romantic gift, it ranks right up there with hemorrhoid cream because “she needed it”). Valentine’s Day is National Do-Over day. A second chance to get it right and smooth the romantic waters for another year, because, well, you’re just so dang thoughtful.
I love Valentine’s Day, in all its pink and red, heart-shaped glory. But I must confess that I find the lesser-known national commemorative days more fun.
January 1 Bloody Mary Day (An entire day dedicated to creating and taste-testing the perfect Bloody Mary. Go ahead and call in sick to work. And you may as well include tomorrow. You’ll need it).
January 13 Rubber Ducky Day (Because who doesn’t love rubber duckies?)
February 5 Shower with a Friend Day (Okay. The visual on this one is a tad disturbing. I can’t imagine any friends I’d want to get sudsy and slippery with. But apparently somebody’s doing it).
February 18 Drink Wine Day (Open that second bottle. No explanation necessary. You’re just being a good American).
April 14 Ex-Spouse Day (Because God knows we all want to celebrate our ex’s once a year. Or maybe simply the fact that they’re ex’s).
April 16 Wear Your Pajamas to Work Day (Oh, hell no. Not for introverts or those of us who sleep commando. Birthday suits are not for public viewing after a certain age. Like, say, four).
August 10 S’mores Day (Nailed it. S’mores deserve a day).
And my personal favorite, April 30 National Honesty Day.
I’m always entertained by couples who brag that they’re always “totally honest” with each other. They’ve usually been married less than a year. Total honesty is to marriage what a souped-up Mustang is to a new teenage driver…a crash just waiting to happen. While it can be acceptable, and even kind of cute, when your five-year-old announces loudly across the restaurant that “Mommy’s boobies are falling out of her dress,” or that “Auntie Bertha smells old” (and what child doesn’t like to crack up a room?), they will eventually learn the more lasting value of the Marital Lie.
“Do these jeans make me look fat?” “Does you really want to go with me to my family reunion in South Dakota?” “Do you think my sister is pretty?” “I’m trying a healthy new recipe. It’s mostly kale. What do you think?” “I’m turning 60 tomorrow. Do you think I look 60?” “My parents are fighting again. Would you mind if my mother comes to stay with us for a week or so?”
If little Johnny is paying attention at ye ol’ dinner table, he’ll quickly learn that the “totally honest” answer to any of these questions will get Daddy rocket-launched out of the big people’s bed to the couch faster than he can spit out “That’s not what I meant, sweetie.”
Hubs and I recently heard the Marital Lie, in its purest form, in what I now consider to be the dumbest movie ever made, where the dying wife, gasping her last tragic breath, tells her sobbing husband that she wants him to fall in love again and be happy without her.
I don’t think so.
I told Hubs, in no uncertain terms, that the woman was stupid and that it was a movie. Who writes this drivel?? The screenwriter should be ashamed of himself. If I go first, I told Hubs, he’s allowed a brief, socially acceptable period of mourning (I’m thinking two weeks oughta do it), then he’s to keel over dead from a broken heart and join me in the afterlife so we can be together forever, like he promised. He agreed, and solemnly swore never to replace me with that 35-year-old trampy teller at the bank, who’s made it clear that she’s available to console him during any misfortune that should befall him (including, but not limited to, the tragic and premature demise of his lovely wife). Deal.
In the meantime, go warm up the car. We’re going to Great-Aunt Mildred’s house for dinner. Yes, she still has twelve cats and that unfortunate neck goiter on her right side that she seems weirdly oblivious to. It’ll be fine. Just remember to open the windows around the litter boxes, and stand on her left when you’re talking to her so you won’t see the goiter. And besides, you’ve always said you liked her.