Men Cliches #1: Forgetting Wife’s Birthday And Anniversary

16 months.

In our pop culture, we have been conditioned to accept and relate to the cliche that men are constantly on the verge of forgetting their own wife’s birthday, their wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and/or Mother’s Day. At best, men at least need to be reminded of these dates regarding the love of their life and the mother of their children.

The Wal-Mart commercial above features this exact concept. I apologize for the poor quality, but I am assuming Wal-Mart pulled the actual one from YouTube after realizing how it negatively stereotypes men.

I decided to take matters into my own hands in outing this familiar cliche about men. In the attempt to find out if there was any truth to husbands forgetting important dates in regards to their own wife, I asked Twitter and Facebook this question:

“Husbands, have you ever completely forgotten your wife’s birthday or your wedding anniversary? Wives, has your husband ever completely forgotten your birthday or wedding anniversary?”

Guess how many people agreed that this has happened to them?


Instead, I received only comments from wives bragging on their husbands never forgetting these dates and from husbands who said not only would they not forget, but that it’s impossible to forget amidst all the commercialization of these holidays and events.

Here’s the simple truth: Men don’t forget their own wife’s birthday, their wedding anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and/or Mother’s Day. That would be sort of impossible.

In fact, I’d say we not only don’t forget, but we can’t forget.

Consider how many thousands of sports stats most men keep stored in their brains. Consider history buffs; most of which seem to be males. Men are wired to remember important numbers and events; regardless of their individual math skills.

I talked to a guy at work about this recently. He responded with, “Yeah, that’s ridiculous. I’ll never forget my ex-wife’s birthday and our anniversary; and I’ve been remarried for a few years now.”

So sure, as a wife, I can see how it can be frustrating when your husband can instantly spit out who won the Super Bowl in 2006, yet forgets to pack the diaper bag before the trip the park.

But even if our short-term memories are crowded by random number-based facts like knowing what year the first Star Wars movie came out (1977) or that at 6′ 4″ Abraham Lincoln was the tallest U.S. President, those important dates regarding our wives and kids are taking up precious space too.

Do men have selective memories? Sure, but I guarantee we select to remember our own wife’s birthday. Not to mention our own, Wal-Mart.

If you have a “Man Cliche” you’d like for me to expose here on The Dadabase, let me know in a comment and I’ll consider writing about it in your honor!

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