Dick Wolfsie: Putting two and two together isn’t easy

Valentine’s Day stresses me out.

I never know what to buy for my wife. The worst part is the search for the perfect card. I hid in the holiday aisle of the Hallmark store, waiting for a guy my age to poke fun at a particular punchline. If there was another one of these cards in the rack, I’d pick it up and buy it, assuming it didn’t contain any crude, juvenile two-way, or risque jokes. Throughout our marriage, this has been my annual method of making the perfect selection. One thing is certain: the cards that Mary Ellen received when we were together were a little bolder than in recent years.

Here is a statistic that is about for the day ahead for lovers. The average person spends 20,000 minutes in their lifetime kissing. Again, this is an average: your smooch may vary depending on whether you attend many Greek and Jewish weddings or have more than six grandchildren. Of course, this is pre-COVID data, so the numbers have likely gone down.

How did the American Dental Association come up with this number? It took a bit of math, but it seems like if your kissing career spans 75 years, you need to kiss yourself about 47.4 seconds a day to achieve that goal. I’m a happily married man, but to reach that number would have to count my relationships with each of our three dogs as well as the seven iron I used to make two holes in one.

Even though we both have a competitive spirit, Mary Ellen and I can’t keep up with the Joneses, who happen to be the neighboring newlyweds down the street. The Fettermans next door have been married for 40 years like us, so their numbers may represent a more realistic goal for us.

But how do I increase my output so that my obituary reads, “Exceeded the standard fuck time of 3,500 minutes”? Even my toughest detractors would have to admit that when it comes to lips, I managed to put two and two together.

When I walked into the house after returning from a pickleball game last Wednesday, my wife received the usual kiss. Now, if you multiply my average weekly number of YMCA visits by my expected remaining life, the total osculation could be increased by 20%. Osculation, by the way, is the scientific name for kissing. Do not use this word when dating. This could negatively impact your lifetime kissing total.

Mary Ellen quickly realized that I wasn’t enjoying the act as much as I was trying to increase my total time so we could top the Fettermans’ totals.

“What was all that?” Mary Ellen asked.

“What do you mean?”

“Your kiss. You lingered a lot longer than usual. It’s not even the weekend yet.

For my wife and I to ever exceed the national average, it will take her full cooperation. Last night I told Mary Ellen how beautiful she was and how awesome dinner was. Maybe now we can break that 20,000 mark… as long as kisses count.

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