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I can't remember the first time we met - I was too drunk.

Byline: MIKE LOCKLEY

IT'S a clich, but I'm in the dog house for forgetting our anniversary.

Not our wedding anniversary, I hasten to add. It's our 'first-timewe-met' anniversary.

I feel this is understandable. I was drunk at that particular party: so drunk that the hostess complained I was distracting fellow guests from the Tupperware items she was flogging. My wife still gushes about the night our eyes met over a Tupperware bread bin. "I think it was fate," she says. "I wasn't going to go but a friend persuaded me at the last minute. You only decided to go after hearing there was free wine.

"I mean, it was a chance in a million that of all the places we could have been and all the people at that party, you... "... chose your coat to be violently ill over?" I interrupted.

Julie has recounted the tale of that chance encounter to hundreds of disinterested people, the story getting ever more sugary.

"As he was talking," she babbled, "I thought: 'This man can fill a void in my life'."

"She meant her wardrobe," I muttered, adding a much-needed dollop of realism.

This infatuation with dates is a very feminine thing. Pencilled in my wife's diary is the day our son first walked (a life skill he has squandered by sitting on his backside in front of a computer for three years); the day he talked (redundant since he discovered grunting) and our pets' birthdays.

There's also more obscure stuff, like the anniversary of her parents' deaths. I, however, cannot remember where I put the car keys this morning. How, then, am I supposed to remember my mother's, son's and sister's birthdays? I do remember my late grandfather's, but that's only because he died on his 90th birthday.

We were only three-quarters the way through giving him the bumps when he slipped this mortal coil, which was a terrible shock.

In hindsight, we should've removed the intravenous drip first.

But some dates are important... there's a quiche in the fridge that has to be eaten by June 6.
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Publication:Sunday Mercury (Birmingham, England)
Date:May 29, 2011
Words:346
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