Sabra and I married on Valentine’s Day in the year 2000. Suggesting the date was a brilliant move on my part, even if I do say so myself. Not only is it easy to remember, it also saves buying a gift. These are two practical, utilitarian benefits that are buffed up by yet a third: it’s romantic.
At least I thought the date would be easy to remember. This year, I must confess, I almost overlooked our anniversary. Disaster was averted, however, as Sabra said something about needing to get a happy anniversary card for me the day before. I made a last minute save by getting her an extra nice bouquet of flowers from the florist nook at our grocery store.
This may surprise you, but I buy Sabra flowers often. I usually pick them out myself and am especially partial to Amaryllises, because besides being pretty they are poisonous to cats. We have two in our household, and neither feline pulls its own weight as far as I’m concerned so what’s the harm if I please my wife and kill a cat or two?
Tica, a young woman we know through volleyball, happened to be working that day, and I asked her to put together something really special for under $10. No, seriously, I said under $40. Tica bustled to work, pulling out different flowers, pairing them together with different sprays and asking me what I thought of the color combinations. I said I thought she should use her judgment while I shopped.
After picking out a card with Homer Simpson saying, “I love you more than beer,” and a few other items I made my way to the checkout counter, where I realized that once again I’d forgotten the reusable bags in the car. I’ve had the bags for more than a decade now and have managed to actually bring them into the store about a half dozen times.
It’s okay, though, as I enjoy saying “bagger’s choice” when asked if I want paper or plastic bags. Both have their environmental pitfalls; that’s why I have reusable bags... in the car. Swiping my debit card, I smugly punched in my PIN. There are some things I can still keep in memory. Actually, it’s not such a great feat as I use the same four-digit PIN for just about everything except banking. I know security experts advise strongly against using the same PIN twice, but pardon me, I can’t see the downside to someone hacking into my YouTube account.
After typing in my PIN, however, things went south. I needed the young cashier to prompt me to push the buttons for cash back and approving the amount. Then I almost walked out without the flowers. Luckily, Tica saw me leaving and she reminded me to take the lovely bouquet she made. I noted that it didn’t contain any Amaryllises, but looked pretty anyway.
Out in the parking lot, I drew a blank as to the location of my car and began the process of walking around while pushing the remote lock door button on my key chain, which makes the car beep. This strategy is only slightly helpful, as I’ve become deaf in one ear. I can hear the car horn when I’m close, but have difficulty picking the direction it’s coming from, as I can’t triangulate with one ear. So I wandered about until I could see the parking lights flashing.
While doing this I had an epiphany: I need to work up the angle that being forgetful is not my fault, in fact it’s a sign of the frailty of getting old. Then, not only can I forget things like our anniversary, but I’ll get sympathy in the process. Poor guy can’t remember his own anniversary. And as long as I’m feigning Alzheimer’s, I might as well pretend I have Turret’s Syndrome. Then I can walk about blurting out whatever I like and forgetting whatever I want without consequence.
The flowers were a big hit. Sabra loved them almost as much as the desiccated worms I got her for the chickens. “They’re absolutely beautiful,” she said, “the colors match perfectly.”
“I picked them out myself,” I told her.