Manners Matter: Valentine’s Day Slip-up

Dear Mary Pat,

I screwed up and my wife is really mad at me. I spaced that it was Valentine’s Day and she is still upset. I normally try to plan a little getaway or something special for my wife. This year, I’ve been so wrapped up in a big project at work and I dropped the ball. She says that I am too consumed with my job, but our livelihood depends on it. We’ve been together for more than 24 years and I think she is more hurt than angry truth be told. I’m in a pretty big hole. Do you have any suggestions for how to dig myself out?


Dog House

Sister Bay, Wis.


Dear Dog House,

You could run to the jewelry store or the floral shop and start there, but before you do, I have a few questions for you and your wife to ponder:

  1. Is this the only Valentine’s Day that you’ve ever missed?
  2. Did the world end as a result?

I’m not trying to minimize your wife’s feelings and I’m also not trying to get you into more trouble, but I would like to point out that romance is a two-way street. Did your wife plan anything special for you? Traditionally, men are in charge of planning Valentine’s Day and grand proposals and that is wonderful. Traditionally, hearts and flowers mean more to women than they do to men and that’s fine too. After 24 years together, do you need to be keeping score on the Valentine’s Day report card?

What I’m trying to say is that one day doesn’t define your relationship. If you are there for one another the other 364 days of the year, then your wife will hopefully get over this oversight…even if Feb. 14 has always been your thing.

Good luck,

Mary Pat

P.S. If you still think that you need to do damage control, take the garbage out without being asked, do a couple loads of laundry and have dinner waiting for your wife one night and that should help considerably.