SL Letter of the Day: Holy Day of Romantic Obligation
by Dan Savage
on Mon, Apr 9, 2012 at 6:10 PM
My boyfriend and I are both 21 years old we've been going together for about 2 years now. We dont have a set date to celebrate our anniversary, so a couple months ago I bought the issue up and we settled on a date—April 6th—to celebrate our second anniversary. It is now April 9th and I heard absolutely nothing about our so called anniversary that just passed. Yeah, we both have hectic schedules with work and school. We are lucky to see each other once every couple of weeks. But that it's so hard to acknowledge a date that we both agreed on to celebrate "us" is simply confusing me. Should I just cut my losses and leave this relationship? Or is it possible that he just forgot? HELP!!!
She's Heartbroken In Toronto
My response after the jump...
I may not be the ideal advisor for you on this, SHIT, as I'm constitutionally incapable of remembering birthdays or anniversaries.
Fun fact: I met my husband at my favorite bar's 5th anniversary party. The poster for that party—complete with the date of the party spelled out in HUGE red letters—is hanging on the wall of our bedroom. Framed. On my side of the bed. That poster is literally one of the first things I see when I get out of bed... and I couldn't for the life of me tell you the date of my anniversary. Honestly. It's sometime in February... I think.
My personal experience with special dates leaves me inclined to believe that your stressed-out, overworked boyfriend simply forgot. Now you know him better than I do, SHIT, and if you think this guy would set a date and pretend to forget it just to cause you pain—if you think he's capable of being that malicious and sadistic—then you ought to DTMFA. But if you don't think he did this on purpose, if he's a nice guy who has generally treated you well over the last two years, then he's earned the benefit of the doubt: he forgot.
Frankly, SHIT, your letter makes it sounds less like you set "a date... to celebrate us'" and more like you conducted "a test... to see if he's paying attention." It also sounds like you set the date for the test—a date you set two months out—and then didn't bring it up again. If you wanted to celebrate your relationship, if you wanted to make sure your second anniversary was observed somehow, why didn't you remind him that April 6th was approaching and that it was important to you to celebrate?
And, excuse me, but you picked the date—or you convened the meeting where the date was selected—but you don't mention getting him a gift or a card, making dinner reservations yourself, sending flowers to his place of work, etc. Is it a straight thing to expect the person with the penis to do all of the work on a holy day of romantic obligation? Or just an anachronistic one? Either way, SHIT, an old-fashioned girl who believes that gifting/delighting/surprising on birthdays/anniversaries/V-Day is the man's job should remember that hinting/reminding/nagging in the run-up is the old-fashioned woman's job.