A hometown newspaper with a local office, local owners & lots of local news

Harry's Gang: I'm still married, right?

My wife forgot our wedding anniversary last week. I am not sure I can forgive her.

Shocked? So was I. Not a card; no flowers, candy, fancy dinner or beer. Nothing.

Well, she didn’t completely forget; she did wish me a happy anniversary that morning as she started packing for our 5-day family camping trip. She organizes it every year, and this year she invited all my brothers and sisters and their families too. I guess she was too busy with all that to do anything special for me on our anniversary.

I am surprised at her callousness. After all, I’ve been a pretty good husband. Wasn’t I there for the birth of every one of our children? I slept on the chair in her room, which is not the most comfortable way to sleep; in fact, it was downright uncomfortable. Did she even realize how uncomfortable I was? But I didn’t complain; it was just one night. I suppose she was uncomfortable, too. And didn’t I help picking out names for all of them? Good thing, too, since I didn’t care for the names she proposed. Thank goodness she agreed with my suggestions.

Did she forget how attentive I am on her special days? Doesn’t she remember how I treated her to a cake from Super One for her birthday 11 years ago? I was at a United Way event all day, and didn’t get home until 8 p.m. But despite my exhaustion, I made a quick stop at the store and bought her a cake. At the time, all I wanted to do was get home and go to sleep. But I stayed up long enough to help her put the babies to bed and eat some cake with her. It was vanilla cake, my favorite kind. I know she prefers chocolate, but she was happy. Who doesn’t like to be remembered on her birthday?

Over the years, I’ve offered to help with the dishes and laundry, many times. Sometimes, I even meant it! Just kidding. I’m pretty sure I know how to operate the washing machine, so I could do a load now and again, if she wanted. I already do most of the dishes, but she rarely says “thank you.” Well, actually, she thanks me pretty frequently for that, so I shouldn’t complain. Maybe I should start thanking her for doing my laundry? That would be a good New Year’s resolution for next year.

I remember our first Christmas together as a family. She wanted jewelry, but I thought she would appreciate the seat covers I got for her Subaru more. She loved them so much, I think, that she kept them in the box until she finally sold the car.

I’m also sure she appreciates how I stand over her every month as she pays the bills, commenting on how she could be a little more frugal with her shopping choices. It’s not everyone who has a personal shopper. Well, I guess I don’t qualify as a “personal shopper,” but I’m sure she finds my comments helpful. Who wouldn’t?

That’s why I am so surprised she forgot. After 14 years, you’d think she’d be grateful, right? I know I would be. I’d surprise her with something big, like a new lawnmower or a pickup truck. Who doesn’t need a truck?

But instead, she wants me to get the dents fixed on her minivan. Not too glamorous, but I suppose I can do that for her. She does use it a lot, to get the kids to all their sporting events and things, even when one kid’s practice is in Wrenshall while the other is in Hermantown. It’s a chore, but I think she appreciates getting out of the house once in a while. If I worked a demanding, full-time job that frequently keeps me working late into the evening like she does, I know I would appreciate my spouse letting me out of the house for a while. Besides, that makes it easier for her to pick up groceries while she’s waiting for them to finish practice. Sounds like a sweet deal to me.

And don’t I keep her entertained and laughing? I know she loves my stories of the old days, because whenever I start telling one, she finishes it for me before I can even get into the details. That’s true love.

But I guess I still love her, despite all her faults. I hope she feels the same about me. Happy anniversary, Tara!

Pete Radosevich is the publisher of the Pine Knot News community newspaper and an attorney in Esko who hosts the cable access talk show Harry’s Gang on CAT-7. His opinions are his own. Contact him at [email protected].