How do straight people remember anniversaries?

Whether your holiday of choice is Christmas, Kwanzaa, Hanukah, or just lounging around in your pajamas and eating pumpkin pie, congratulations! You made it, and I hope it was wonderful for you and yours.

Now, let’s talk about me. In addition to all of the festivals listed above, December 20 is the anniversary of the day Amy and I met in 1997. Since, we have not yet had the opportunity to legally marry in Tennessee, this is the day we choose to celebrate our relationship, or at least the day we try to celebrate our relationship. It doesn’t always happen, for a couple of reasons. One, December 20 gets lost in the holiday shuffle, and two, I’m not very good at remembering the actual date.

Don’t get me wrong. I remember every detail about the day itself. It was December, but this is Nashville so it was 60 degrees, and I wore shorts. A mutual acquaintance, an ex-nun, thought Amy and I should meet and arranged for a small group to go bowling at the Melrose Lanes. For the record, bowling is the perfect activity for a thinly disguised blind date. About the time you run out of witty things to say, it's your turn, and you can pretend to be focusing on the game while trying to think of more witty things to say. And the Melrose Lanes, like most bowling alleys, are kind of seedy and dark, which can be kind of sexy. Which is hard to find at noon on Saturday.

So, I totally remember the details of the day, but I can never remember the actual date. That got me to thinking, how do straight couples do it? Then it hit me. They’ve got cheat sheets all over their darn houses.

Think about it. If you’re over at a straight couple’s house and need a light, chances are good they are going to hand you a match book with their names and wedding date embossed on the cover. Tricky, right? They’ve got those things scattered all over the place, tucked away in drawers, sitting on the mantle, the grill, everywhere. (Sadly, for many straight couples there is that post-divorce moment where one spouse throws out the matches, but I digress.)

And if that’s not enough to jog their nuptial memory, there is usually at least one framed picture of their wedding invitation, complete with date, on at least one wall. Think your anniversary is coming up? Just casually stroll over to the framed invitation of the event in the foyer and check. You’re a romantic hero and your spouse in none the wiser.

So until Amy and I can legally marry in Tennessee, I’m using the straight couple cheat sheets. I’m going to get a ton of matchbooks with “Amy & Barb, December 20, 1997” printed up and scatter them all over the house. And if you come over and see a picture of the Melrose Bowling Lanes with that date on it hanging in our foyer, you’ll know why.

Neligan performs with the Queer Queens of Comedy Monday, Jan. 23 at Zanie's in Nashville.

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