Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Happy Love Card Day!

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.

[blank stare]

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 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 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 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 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 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. 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 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!


Melinda said...

That is the coolest thing I've ever heard of! I hope you and YOUR WIFE enjoy your special day.

Happy Love Card Day!!

Chris Stone said...

What a great idea. Enjoy your Love Card day!

Anonymous said...

My God!!!! You two were really destined to meet and be together, forget coicidence...it was FATE.

Brilliant story, perfectly told, as usual.

Unknown said...

weird coincidences, but a great way to remembers your fathers...

Rooster said...

I'm taking a break from drawing (yesterday's post) to read today's post. Very nice sentiment.

I like the dinner part - we have dinner almost every day - one of my favorite thing to do. :)

Cath said...

"And, while we're at it, who stole my underwear?"

I'm just coming round from a sudden faint...
TG it's not Saturday. :0/

Anonymous said...

Well... if you assume an even distribution of birthdays across the year, the chance of any two people having the same birthday is 1/133225. So that's over 5 times as likely as one of them being struck by lightning. (Unless he was also born on a leap-day, which makes the problem too complicated, so let's assume that leap-days don't exist.)

But since birthdays are not evenly distributed across the year, if I remember my first-year statistics correctly (which I probably don't), the probability of any two people having the same birthday is actually higher than that.


David Sullivan said...

Happy LCD cuz!!

SandraRee said...

I know I gained a couple of lbs just gazing at your words. So very sweet you two are with each other. You'll be the couple still holding hands when you're in your nineties. :)

Unknown said...

Right on :) Enjoy your day of cards and dinner, happy Love Card Day to both of you!

Janet said...

I think that's VERY sweet. Enjoy your evening out!

Buck said...

What a great, grand, and glorious way to celebrate your fathers. The facts that both your fathers were born on the same day, in the same year, and in the same neighborhood is just mind-boggling. Karma, indeed.

Jeni said...

That's a really neat, very cool idea you and your lovely wife have set into a tradition. Great way to keep the good feeling juices flowing, ya know. Enjoy your own special day sharing your cards and here's hoping you have a great dinner to polish it all off too!

Chuck said...

It was probably the Underpants Gnomes that got your underwear. Step 3...Profit!

(South Park reference in case you're thinking I'm insane.)

lime said...

have i mentioned how much it makes me smile when you share some simple yet wonderful way you and your wife make each other's lives beautiful in good times and in bad? well, in case i have neglected that let me say it now. thank you for sharing this and happy love card day to you both.

Angie Ledbetter said...

Happy LC Day to y'all! Here's a coincidence for you: my husband and his mother have the same birthday (Jan. 29), while his father and I shared the same one (Sept. 12). Wonder what the odds of that are? ;)

Hilary said...

First Festivus and now this! Very sweet tradition, and I'm totally relieved that you didn't end up saying that it turned out your two Dads were one and the same man.

Belated Happy LCD to you both. :)

Anonymous said...

I think that Love Card Day is one of the nicest things I have ever heard of a family doing to commemorate loved ones.

When Twinks was little-bitty, she used to take her helium-filled balloons, hug them tight, and then (after I clipped the strings off as short as I could so no birds could get tangled) she would kiss the balloon, and let it go "to Grandpa". We always watched until the little tiny speck disappeared from the sky - then she knew that Grandpa had "gotten" her balloon. It's something we still do to this day. It sounds silly, but it's amazingly comforting, even for adults.

It's funny when you realize that you had been thisclose to meeting so many times - The Wrench and I found that we had crossed paths many times in the years prior to our meeting. When the time was right, we found each other, and 22 years later, we can't imagine our lives any other way.

Thanks for sharing your tradition. It really is every bit as special as you and YOUR WIFE. :)

Suldog said...

Thanks for the good wishes, my friends! We had a lovely dinner and exchanged fun cards. Then smooches, which is the best part.

Couple of quick specific comments:

Tim - Thanks for the statistical analysis. More interesting problem coming up, as you'll see.

Angie - THAT is one odd set of circumstances! Tim - Got time to crunch this one?

Thim - I think it's wonderful, and it explains a whole bunch about why The Twinkie is such an awesome kid. Keep at it. I'm sure Grandpa has enjoyed every single one of those messages, and he's probably the envy of many of his peers!

Anonymous said...

its great to meet people who are original thinkers and so inspire original thought(s) in others..thanks, thats a great post!!

Saz said...

sorry this isnt moannie its FFF.. i was editing for her and forgot to log out..