We’re really not very good with dates and anniversaries, the Sage and I. It took us years to remember our wedding anniversary – we knew we had a choice of two dates but, on looking it up, found we’d always plumped for the wrong one. Now, we don’t even particularly celebrate it – after all, every day is a celebration in this house already, particularly of our marriage, hem hem. A bunch of flowers, a bottle of champagne, is as far as it goes – though the forthcoming one in May will be the 35th, which is a pretty good number. We know our children’s birthdays, although I always have taken the precaution of mentioning my own forthcoming one, because it’s far better to remind than to be miffed or disappointed. We don’t know when was our first date, nor even the date of our engagement, though I could work it out because I know it was a Friday night in the first half of February 1973, about three weeks after that first date. I know it was the first half of February because I received a wonderful Valentine’s Day card from him a few days later – it was an original Victorian one and he’d written in it, thus destroying its monetary value…even then, I knew the significance of that.
I am good at pinpointing events approximately, because of associations with events. I am often believed to have a wonderful memory, because of this, but I don’t have at all – it’s the whole chain that I need, to remember any one link in it. Similarly, the Sage will astonish people because, twenty or more years after previously speaking to someone, he’ll say “oh yes, I remember you, do you still live at number 20 in the High Street?” He also remembers phone numbers, which I rarely do. That is, I know a whole bunch of phone numbers, but not necessarily to whom they belong.
This morning, Al and Dilly were going out to the car when Pugsley made a break for it. He waddled hastily round to our door and the Sage scooped him up as he was about to make himself at home and march straight in. He (Pugsley) bellowed, but they were invited round to visit a friend (Jean, who used to work for Al) and didn’t have time to call on us too. “It’s Squiffany’s birthday soon, isn’t it?” remarked the Sage after they’d left. “20th April?” I applauded the accuracy of the day, but he was a month out. It’ll be in March. He tried again. “Pugsley was a year old at the end of October, though, wasn’t he?” “End of September, darling, good try.”
I have to work out how old he is by remembering the year he was born and counting up, but he doesn’t know that, so don’t tell him, will you? I don’t know if he realises how old I am, but he can’t possibly complain because, of course, I only improve with age. Hem hem.