Archived Story

Ever think there are too many celebrations?

Published 10:05am Friday, February 14, 2014

Column: Things I Tell My Wife, by Matthew Knutson

“Let’s not celebrate four times this week,” I told my wife with hesitancy. For us, it’s a week filled with milestones, and I’m just not the celebratory kind of person. It all starts today with Valentine’s Day.

I’ve never been a big fan of Valentine’s Day. I do love chocolate (and my wife), but I hate spending money on overpriced cards and flowers that are an expectation. Spontaneously surprising Sera with flowers? Perfect. Buying them because you don’t want to be the only husband that doesn’t do it? Not so much. Even if you want to be the guy who does something super romantic for his significant other on Valentine’s Day, there should still be flowers involved. It’s an unfortunate requirement for most.

One of my favorite movies, “500 Days of Summer,” has a scene toward the end that I think perfectly describes how I feel about Valentine’s Day and greeting cards. Tom, the main character, works as a writer at a greeting card company and has become fed up his job.

“People should be able to say how they feel, how they really feel, not ya know, some words that some stranger put in their mouth,” Tom said. I don’t want to pay $4 for a card that will never adequately phrase how much I love my wife.

Valentine’s Day also awkwardly falls on the eve of my wife’s graduate school classes that occur in the Twin Cities, meaning she’ll likely be leaving for Minnesota while I’m still at work. Perhaps we’ll settle for a simple lunch date today.

Following Valentine’s Day is our sixth-month wedding anniversary on Monday. Is it an accomplishment? I guess. We’re well past the Kim Kardashian wedding milestone, so I guess that means we’re off to a good start. Hopefully we’ll celebrate this with cake and call it good. Sera would prefer to celebrate in a more grandiose way, but I’m the one with the full-time job that keeps us grounded in our finances. As far as I’m concerned, we already celebrated when she surprised me with the new cookie-dough Oreos earlier this week.

Eventually these monthly anniversary’s will become unimportant. I don’t know of any couples that celebrate their 13 years and six months anniversary, so I’ll cling to the hope that the importance of this event will fade away in the coming years.

Think we’re done celebrating? Of course not. It’s my all-important 25th birthday on Tuesday. Birthdays are a big deal for my wife, and it’s something she insists on recognizing. “Birthdays should always, always be celebrated. That is my policy,” she has written in her About Me section of her blog. It seriously says that! Last year she threw me a wonderful surprise party, so we’ll see what happens this year. I’m honestly just fine with coming home from work and relaxing. Does that count as celebrating?

Finally we reach Wednesday, which would mark three years since we started dating. I told Sera that we won’t need to acknowledge this one anymore since we’re married, so I expect I’ll receive a Facebook message smiley face sometime during the day with no explanation accompanying it. I can handle that.

Why in the world is so much celebratory behavior required within a one week span of time? On one hand, I am terrible with recalling important dates and years, so having so much occur at one time every year gives me a firm grasp on my memory. Just while writing this I had to confirm with Sera that I was in fact turning 25 this year. On the other hand, maybe it’d be nice to celebrate some of these events throughout the year like a normal couple. I kind of feel like being those unfortunate guys born on Christmas. He inevitably receives less presents, but maybe he’s also from a Jewish family, so he doesn’t quite care to celebrate Christmas anyway. Plus, it was just Hanukkah, so maybe he’s all celebrated-out.

Will we celebrate four times this week? Probably. I suggested condensing it to one day of celebration last year when we only had three of the four dates, and yet we still celebrated each day. The festivities seem inevitable for us, and hopefully you’ll have a reason to celebrate today and the rest of this week too. If you don’t, I lend you one of mine.


Matthew Knutson is a marketing specialist at Waldorf College in Forest City, Iowa. Find him online at