This is entirely a work of satirical fiction. All characters, utterances, grievances, references to imminent events, and proximity to family are entirely fictitious, unless of course you agree with me. In that case, we will call it merely satire.
So you are starting to feel good about yourself and rightfully so. It’s 10:45 on a Thursday night and in addition to cleaning up the kitchen, having paid all the monthly bills and trudging your way through 45 minutes of weights in your basement, you have completed a day in which you worked six hours, bought flowers, chocolates, jewelry, took your wife out to a dinner and a short ballet recital, and restocked her supply of size 8 taupe shoes with four inch heels. That is in addition to handcrafting a “Happy 3 year anniversary of the day we went on our second date card”.
To savor the satisfaction, you grab one of the remaining four chocolates, catch your breath and uber reward yourself by allowing 10 minutes of ESPN inhalation. at 10:47, however, you get blindsided by a revelation. Oh no, there is something I have to do this weekendI. Is it a birthday party? nah, we went to three last weekend. Golf with Ray? Nah, you used up that mulligan. Oh shit, Sunday is International XX Chromosome Day!!
Oh shit, Sunday is International XX Chromosome Day!!
Are you kidding me? What kind of sadistic feminist would make XX Day just three days after the third anniversary of my second date? Or for that matter, what kind of sadist would require relatively new husbands and fathers to commemorate so many days when lets face it, you are still working blood, sweat and tears to change a diaper before the next poop and memorize the lyrics to itsy bitsy spider. Come on, I need a personal assistant for these events.
And then for one second, there is a momentary wave of relief, kind of like what happens when you take your first sip of a cold beer after having turned in your third quarter 10th grade English grades.
Maybe my wife doesn’t know its XX chromosome day. Maybe she is so busy doing motherly things that she simply doesn’t have the time. Maybe all of her friends will forget too. Okay, I won’t cancel that golf game just yet.
And then an Eddie Murphy sized laugh detonates in your brain. Who are you fooling?
If you are one of the billions of men with wives, parents, siblings, offspring, and a bit of discretionary income, I’m sure you can relate.
As we age, “special days” lose their novelty, but multiply in frequency. And no down payments, dowry-sized gifts or IOU’s will suffice. You have to bring your A game at least 10 times a year. Lets look at the numbers:
Not including the major league acts of penance, there are at least a baseball lineup’s worth of events, New Years, Valentines, your souse and their parents birthdays, anniversary day, engagement day, and if you are in a mixed marriage, Christmas and Chanukah, not to mention Easter, Passover and All Saints Day. This does not even include your siblings and their children’s birthdays, much less your grandparents if they can still remember the date on which they were born.
I realize these events can be reciprocally demanding. At least in theory. But it overlooks three key factors. (1) Women like “events” and the logistics including shopping that go along with it (2) Men are not really good at these things other than making reservations, buying gift cards and tickets for big sporting events. (3) Failure to meet expectations is not mutually binding.
Then there is the strategic challenge. If you overdo it during the courtship phase, what can you do for an encore? Under-do things and you run a much less future failure risk but you also, well lets just say its a “dog eat dog world out there”.
The dilemma requires at least some munching on the four remaining pieces of chocolate.
I propose a solution. It plays into a man’s strengths even if it might not win over a large chunk of Hillary Clinton’s constituency. This takes into account that men are usually quite skilled when they get to focus on the big picture, or more specifically, one thing. Let birthdays, Mother and Father’s Day and religious holidays remain as they are particularly if they lead to ski trips or safaris in Tanzania. But for those over 35, lets designate one day, ideally either July 3 or 5 so we are likely to have the day off and some good food on the brain. We can call it IILD (International I Love You Day). The day and all its pomp and ceremony come with a 12 month residual.
Here’s the upside. The possibilities for cards and tokens of affection are endless. You could literally buy any card they sell, or use one that has been sitting in your car for a year. Plus the stores would have to get rid of some of the ultra corny celebration specific ones. You can buy a car, a house, an island, dog, shoe rack with shoes included. Bigger is better. But much like paying your homeowners insurance premium, you are then good till the next year.
And wait, the infomercial isn’t finished. The non-perishable ways of expressing your love are endless too..
I’m fan of this consolidation, so much so that I’ll even send all the chocolate I have left over from the last decade and a few shares of FB stock to the guy who lobbies Congress to make it happen. Shit I’ll even vote for Trump because he will certainly make it “great”.
And I have a funny feeling that people close to us, lets say our wives, might by bullish on it too.
After all, there will be fewer required trips to Sports Authority.
Well that’s it for my “theoretical” rant. I have a golf game at 2. Oh crap, wait, I know there is something else I have planned for today. I think it involves lunch and a few tokens of appreciation.
It’s coming to the frontal lobe. Oh yes, I remember now. It’s the Kentucky Derby.
Oh wait that was yesterday.
I’ll check the iPhone I just bought for my…….grandmother.
Happy Mother’s Day!!!