I don’t know who exactly came up with the idea for Sweetest Day, but I suspect it was a collusion between gift card companies and the florists. What it has become, though, is a trap for the unsuspecting, unaware guys who don’t realize that the day is supposed to have some kind of significance for the Woman-Who-Rules-All.
Last Saturday, which just so happens to have been the aforementioned “trap,” found me accompanying my version of the Woman-Who-Rules-All in an expedition to a nearby village that consists of a consortium of gift shops, antique stores, quaint little tea shop/restaurants, art galleries, and the always dangerous jewelry stores. This particular little village exists, I am certain, as a place designed by the devils of commerce, as a hugely successful giant vacuum that sucks the dollars from a man’s wallet and the sanity from his brain.
I was coerced, although admittedly with little resistance, into spending the day in that particular ring of hell because it was a beautiful autumn day, unseasonably warm and sunshiny, a good day for a walk outside, and the UW Badgers were playing a nonconference game against a patsy (the Badgers won 44-3. Go Badgers!) and I didn’t mind missing the game. So I found myself shuffling in and out of those shops, which were packed to the rafters with cutesy doodads and ugly gimcracks, trailing after The Woman like a stray puppy, eager to please, but not knowing how. My grumbling was becoming ever more whiney with each shop that she found irresistible and I found inescapable. She was losing patience with me in inverse proportion to my losing my sanity.
And then a spark of awareness flashed, the source of which I am uncertain, rescuing the day from the clutches of the misspent. Sweetest Day! It was Sweetest Day! A chance to score some much needed points in the marriage game! And wouldn’t you know it, just as that awareness dawned, we found ourselves looking at a display of silver necklaces in a jewelry shop that appeared miraculously around us. The imp on my shoulder fairly cackled with glee, urging me to whip out my wallet in a show of chivalrous extravagance. And so I did.
So now, though my wallet is lighter by several zeroes, my points total on the marriage tote board is inching closer to positive numbers. Still, it seems that the consortium of gift card purveyors and florists are a few artificial incentive days short of making me balance the red and black numbers on that tote board. I have every confidence that they will find new and exciting ways of separating me and other unsuspecting guys from our money in the interest of marital harmony. We already have birthdays and anniversaries to remember and Mothers Day and Sweetest Day crowding our calendars. That leaves at least 361 more days to play with. But when we get to “No, That Dress Doesn’t Make You Look Fat Day,” I’m cashing in my chips and heading for the afterlife.