Dear Lola,

I forgot my wife’s birthday. There. I said it. After nearly ten years together, I forgot her birthday. As if that weren’t bad enough, it is worse because I actually went out with a friend after work and stayed out for hours. My friend had invited me to dinner last minute and when I called my wife to discuss what her plans were for the evening she told me she thought I would have planned something for us to do. She didn’t say anything about her birthday when I told her that I was going to meet up with my friend and I would see her later that night. When I got home that night I saw the balloons her coworkers had bought for her and immediately knew I messed up. My wife told me to shut up and went to bed. My wife listened to me apologize the next morning but I can tell that she is still very angry with me. What can I do to make this better?


Horrible Husband

Dear Horrible Husband,

It’s reassuring when I get a letter from someone who seems to comprehend just how gravely they have blundered with their spouse. Though if I’m being truthful, I am surprised that you were even able to write to me for help. A woman with less self-control would have already taken care of this matter using a few trash bags, a shovel, and her very best friend. You know, someone who would corroborate your wife’s alibi when questioned.

Have you been sleeping with one eye open? You should.

There is really only one solution I can think of which can possibly salvage this situation, but I should warn you that it will require massive effort on your part. You may end up being away from home for many months, though that will possibly aid you as well. Each morning your wife has her breakfast without seeing your mournfully contrite face will likely endear you a bit more to her. Distance does make the heart grow fonder, after all.

You need to buy your wife a unicorn.

Not a stuffed unicorn. Not a plastic toy unicorn. You need to buy her a live unicorn she can ride around the neighborhood. Its body should be white like the purest snow and should have a sparkling mane of rainbow colors. Her horn needs to be made out of gold. No skimping on the cheaper sterling silver one no matter how much you may be tempted. This should be the fanciest unicorn that ever walked the Earth. Only when your wife is riding her unicorn to work each day will she be able to hold her head up when people ask what her husband bought her for her birthday.

On the off chance that you cannot find a unicorn, a T-Rex will do.

Again, not a stuffed Tyrannosaurus Rex. Not a plastic toy version either. You need to find a living, breathing T-Rex. While difficult to locate, the mighty T-Rex have been known to hang out near donut shops that serve the variety with bacon on top. Now, I bet you’re wondering how you will befriend a dangerous predator who would eat you just as soon as look at you. It’s actually rather simple. Leave a trail of steak cubes for it to follow to your backyard.

I recommend keeping him well-fed to avoid any unfortunate incidents between you and the neighbors.

If you cannot be bothered to go on a yearslong journey to find the required pet, I do have one last solution. You need to plan something wonderful for your wife. If she loves to travel, book a long weekend. If she is a fan of shows, buy great tickets and treat her to a grand night on the town. If she finds books irresistible, take her to a niche bookstore and sit there for hours while she sniffs the goods. Put some thought into what your wife’s interests are and then plan something big around that idea.

Don’t forget to program her birthday into your phone so it alerts you next year. Or she’ll be forced to buy a shovel.


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