WOSTER: When buying cards for your wife, it’s the thought that countsA television commercial that seems to play a lot shows a couple getting ready for bed when the wife asks the husband if he would remarry if she were gone.
By: Terry Woster, The Daily Republic
A television commercial that seems to play a lot shows a couple getting ready for bed when the wife asks the husband if he would remarry if she were gone.
The punch line comes after the wife asks if her golf clubs would be used by the new woman. The husband says no, and adds, “She’s left-handed.” My wife always laughs at the commercial for some reason. She seems to think husbands — or at least one she knows — aren’t all that gifted in the area of relationships.
Well, yesterday was our 44th wedding anniversary, so I ought to be able to stop there and say, “I rest my case.” I can’t do that today, not after the incident with the greeting card.
It lacked the cluelessness shown by the husband in the golf-club episode, but I’m afraid I did little to increase my standing as an attentive and sensitive guy.
It all happened because I simply can’t stand to pick a greeting card in a store. I have an aversion to going online and sending those things that pop open and play a sprightly polka while pigs and blackbirds dance around the computer screen, rockets blaze into the sky and daffodils rain down like ticker tape at a Manhattan parade. I also don’t like homemade cards. I don’t mind receiving that kind, but when I make them, the pigs and blackbirds and daffodils all come out looking like blobs of clay left in the sun too long.
I find that some of the greeting cards come pretty close to saying what I wouldn’t mind saying, and they do it in a nicely packaged way with sophisticated graphics and a handy envelope. The only thing better would be an address and a stamp, but my dad told me long ago that life doesn’t give a person everything he thinks he needs.
I can nearly always find a greeting card that won’t embarrass me when my wife opens it. I just don’t like spending all that time picking up cards, reading their messages and sliding them back into the racks while all about me, others are doing the same thing and reaching back and forth across me to get to one display or another.
Because of that, I rarely spend a lot of time in a store. I hate Valentine’s Day card-buying the most, but the other mushy stuff doesn’t rank far behind.
This year, I thought I had done something pretty amazing. A few days before Mother’s Day, I was in a store and saw that the greeting-card aisle was empty. I hurried over, scanned the racks until I found the “For My Wife” stuff and started looking. It took four or five tries, but I scored a pretty decent card. I picked up the accompanying envelope, turned the card face down against the envelope and looked around. Still no one else in the aisle.
“What a great opportunity to pick out a card for our anniversary,” I thought to myself. I sometimes let occasions sneak up on me and find myself buying cards at the last minute. Not this time. I started looking through the cards, found one that had some incredibly personal words, words that expressed sentiments I might have expressed myself if I expressed myself that way. I grabbed the card, slid it face-down against the envelope and headed for the self-checkout.
At home, I took the Mother’s Day card from the sack and signed it. I dropped the sack with the other card into my bed-stand drawer and forgot it until Wednesday of this week. I arrived home late in the evening from a long work day, and as I watched a few late sports highlights, I remembered the anniversary two days away. I went to the drawer, took out the sack, opened it and found myself looking at a birthday card.
It crossed my mind that I just might cross out birthday and pencil in anniversary. After 44 years, Nancy is used to my great ideas and the way they too often turn out. But she can’t say I didn’t try this time.