Somehow, I still manage to forget each and every one.

In my defense, I should point out that I am forgetful. I can spend an hour trying to remember what I had for dinner two nights previously.

I'm also easily distracted. I may notice that it is, say, my mother's birthday. But if my mind wanders to something else, like the hum of the refrigerator, I will leave the mental path I was on and wander doe-dee-doe-doe down some other path. And then I'll find myself in some forest of thoughts, none of which include calling my mother, as that thought is sitting in the clearing outside the trees.

Oddly, I am better able to both focus and remember the day before the birthday than I am the day of the birthday. Which is why these days I just send flowers. The thing is taken care of, everybody thinks I'm thoughtful, and I don't have to remember on the actual day.

People say that anniversaries are a time to reflect. Maybe. But I think, at least for most men, they are a time to panic. We've all witnessed the sad sight of a guy at a 7-11 clutching a Whitman's Sampler in one hand and cellophane-wrapped flowers in the other. And we know. Here is a man who forgot it was his anniversary. Now the stores are closed. He's desperate. There's sweat on his forehead, worry in his eyes, and desperation in his rushed gait. He is not reflecting. He is panicking.

To paraphrase Lincoln, some of the men are like that all of the time. All of the men are like that some of the time. We should all give thanks that all of the men are not like that all of the time.

For our 10th anniversary a few years ago, I bought my wife a lawn. She had always wanted a green grassy lawn in the backyard where it was just a Martian-like dirtscape. I thought I'd surprise her.