Tuesday, September 13, 2005
One of my readers e-mailed me recently, to ask a question concerning my availability on September 30th. I replied, "Are you insane, you dope? That's Love Card Day! Of course I'm not available!"
Heck of a way to talk to one's Mom (especially since she actually reads this stuff and still admits to folks that I'm her son) but I don't plan anything for Love Card Day. Except, of course, for the obligatory exchange of love cards.
Why are you looking at me that way? Haven't you ever heard of Love Card Day? What planet are you from? Earth? Where's that? And, while we're at it, who stole my underwear?
[even blanker stare, if that's possible]
OK, enough "funny" introductory material. Here's the scoop on Love Card Day.
MY WIFE and I met, had a couple of dates, fell in love, and decided to get married.
(That's the abridged version. You'll be able to flesh out the details as I post other interminably long and pointless scribblings to this page.)
Anyway, as we progressed through the courtship stage (as it's known to ornitholigists) we found out a very interesting fact concerning our fathers. Her father and my father were both born on the same day. In the same year.
I don't know what the odds are on that happening - two people meeting and finding out their fathers were born on the exact same day - but I suspect it's rather high. And higher still if you limit it to people who marry each other. On top of that, our fathers were both raised in the same Boston neighborhood, just a couple of blocks from each other. Anyway, they were both born on September 30th, 1931.
(As an aside, as MY WIFE and I got to know each other better, we found out that our paths had crossed many times before we knew each other. It was spooky finding out how many times we might have met before we actually did. However, we both feel that we didn't actually meet, before the time when we did, because we wouldn't have liked each other then. We both grew to be people we could stand and then we met. For instance, I used to do lots and lots of drugs, while MY WIFE has never done an illegal drug in her life. I was a long-haired metal-playing freak, while she was a strait-laced church-going choir member. When we met, I was balding and pretty much sober. MY WIFE was... well, pretty much as she had been. OK, I had become someone MY WIFE could stand. However, I digress.)
So, the thing is, we celebrated both of our fathers' birthdays on the same day, which was September 30th.
I'll cut to the chase. In 1994, my father died. In 1995, MY WIFE's father died. This made September 30th a somewhat sad day on the calendar. However, instead of dwelling on the deaths, MY WIFE had the idea that it would be nice to make it a day of celebration. I agreed and, in honor of our fathers, we remade it into Love Card Day.
Now, none of the stuff we do on Love Card Day sounds like a way of memorializing someone. However, if you knew our fathers, you'd know that they both liked a good joke and they both really liked to eat. Those were probably their most outstanding traits. So, here's what we do, in honor of our fathers, on Love Card Day.
First, we each buy a greeting card for the other person. This is the "Love Card". We designate a particular brand of greeting card, and we both shop for that brand, independent of the other person. The only qualifier, other than the brand, is that it must be a "Love" card - one that expresses that sentiment, and it doesn't have to be humorous, but usually will end up being so. On the initial Love Card Day, it was a Hallmark Shoebox card because we had coupons for free ones.
(On that first Love Card Day, when we exchanged cards, we found that we had both bought the same card. We had shopped at different times, in different stores, but out of the couple hundred or so choices available, we got the same card for each other. We have failed to replicate this extraordinary coincidence since then, but we took it as a sign that we were on the right track when it happened.)
Next, since our fathers both loved to eat, we have dinner.
That's about it. It may not sound like anything earth-shattering, but it turns what could be a very melancholy day into a day that we, instead, look forward to sharing with each other. Nothing wrong with that. It's our own personal holiday.
So, dear reader, make a note: I am never available on September 30th. It's Love Card Day, you dope!