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Slices of Life By Jill Pertler-Recycling birthdays

October 25, 2018
Reinbeck Courier
I forgot to give my husband his birthday card this year. I didn’t forget his birthday. That would be unforgivable. I just forgot the card. Actually, I didn’t forget, I had it in the drawer at home, but we weren’t at home on his birthday. So to my credit, I got him a card; I just didn’t give it to him on the right day. A couple weeks later, I stumbled upon it in the drawer. It was a nice card and I’d chosen it carefully. I’d read through at least half a dozen before finding the perfect one. Some cards can be so schmaltzy and sticky sweet. This one was genuine. I could have written the words myself. I wish I had, but that would have taken quite a bit more effort than finding one on the rack. His birthday may have been weeks ago, but there is no time like the present. Plus there’s no need to waste a perfectly good card. I figured if I didn’t use it this year, I’d forget about it by next year and then I’d go out a buy a new one and we’d have two cards in the drawer and that would be a waste. I put the card on the kitchen table, sans envelope. It had the words “Happy birthday to my husband” on the cover in big letters. It sat there for a day, unnoticed. I was afraid one of the kids might spill root beer on it so finally, I pointed it out to him. “Here’s the birthday card I had for you,” I said, handing it to him. And then I had my eureka moment. The card was perfect. It really was. And it was still brand new. Not even written on. Even the envelope was pristine. Why use it this year only? Why not have it do double (or triple) duty? “Read it now and then I’ll give it to you again next year,” I said, knowing it would be like new to both of us 12 months from now. He smiled. “Good idea,” he said. I was surprised and in awe of his intellect and practicality. Crazy, right? It’s amazing how two people can think alike (even in a warped way) after lots of years of marriage. We’re crazy like that. It’s a gift. “You can do the same for my birthday,” I said. “We can give each other the same card year after year.” I was surprised and disappointed in myself that we hadn’t thought of this sooner. “We’ll save money,” he said. I laughed. “A couple of dollars.” I’ve always been good at math. “Plus it saves us time each year,” he said. Again, practicality and intellect - from my perspective two of his top four favorite features. I forgot my husband’s birthday card this year, but I think all in all, things are turning out quite nicely. He had a regular birthday and then he got a revisit a couple of weeks later. It’s like two birthdays in one with a reusable card that will never expire. And he agreed to it; practically came up with the idea himself. After all these years he continues to amaze me - in a good way. Jill Pertler is an award-winning syndicated columnist, published playwright, author and member of the National Society of Newspaper Columnists. Don’t miss a slice; follow the Slices of Life page on Facebook.

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