One of my readers e-mailed me recently, to ask a question concerning my availability on September 30th. I replied, "Are you insane? That's Love Card Day! Of course I'm not available, you dope!"
Heck of a way to talk to one's mother (especially since she reads this stuff and still actually admits to folks that I'm her son) but I don't plan anything for Love Card Day. Well, except for the obligatory exchange of love cards, of course.
Why are you looking at me like that? You don't mean to tell me you've never 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 were 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. More details are available here.)
Anyway, as we progressed through the courtship stage (as it's known to ornitholigists) we found out an 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 against that happening - two people meeting and finding out their fathers were born on the exact same day - but I suspect it's rather high. Higher still if you limit it to people who end up marrying each other. On top of that, our fathers were both raised in the same Boston neighborhood, Forest Hills, just a few blocks from each other. Anyway, they were both born on September 30th, 1931.
(As MY WIFE and I got to know each other better, we found out that our paths had crossed many times before we met. It was spooky finding out how many times we might have gotten to know each other before we actually did. However, we both feel that we didn't actually meet at those times 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 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 turn it into a day of celebration. I agreed. In honor of our fathers, we remade their shared birthday into Love Card Day.
Now, none of the stuff we do on Love Card Day sounds like a great 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 both shop for the card independent of the other person. The only qualifier is that it must be a "Love" card - one that expresses that sentiment. It doesn't have to be humorous, but usually will end up being so.
(On the 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.
(This year, in addition to dinner and the exchange of cards, we're attending a lecture on life in London during the time of Dickens. I know, it's a bit much. However, this is the twentieth anniversary of Love Card Day, so I think we're entitled to be wild and crazy!)
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, make a note: I am never available on September 30th. It's Love Card Day, you dope!
Soon, with more better stuff.