At the risk of trafficking in sexual stereotype, my guess is that men forget their anniversaries more than women.
Women have this knack for remembering these things. My wife, Jessica, can - and will - recite where we ate, who we were with, what she was wearing at every anniversary in our married lives.
Even if I think she might be recalling a detail incorrectly, I've learned long ago not to argue, not to even open my mouth. If I say something like, "Didn't you wear the blue dress that night?" I risk the opening of a new avenue, nay, a new subdivision of my behavior that goes far beyond inattentiveness or forgetfulness. "The blue dress? You're thinking of the Christmas party at Stan and Mildred's. That was years ago. You remember. You danced with Whatsername? Red hair? Strappy heels? Remember?"
Now I would be remembering.
So I've learned that when she talks about our anniversaries, I just nod, as if I remember, too. Faking remembering is almost always better than being jarred into actually remembering.
Personally, I'm not altogether certain exactly what the big deal is about anniversaries. But she probably doesn't fully realize just how deeply I feel about a new grill. She tries to understand, as I meas-ure the square footage of the cooking surface and calculate the impact of indirect heat on upper-tier meats. But the relationship between a man and his grill is, I think, something most women can only accept. And so it is with me and anniversaries.
Unfortunately, it's not just anniversaries, either. It's birthdays, too. Like you, I was told by some nerdball in junior high that the celebration of a birthday is itself an anniversary of your birthday, not actually your birth DAY. In terms of a birthday dovetailing nicely with the theme of this column, I'm appreciative. BUT I DON'T CARE. To me, the point isn't whether birthdays are anniversaries, too. The point is that women remember them both.