My wife and I recently celebrated nine years of marital bliss. I often joke with her that after 10 years of marriage I should be paroled for good behavior. She says that if I keep cracking that joke, I won’t make it to the parole board. Kidding aside, nine years, two kids, and no therapy is a big accomplishment.
To mark the occasion, we had modest plans that included a quiet dinner in Brooklyn with no kids. Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law is our family’s motto. At the last minute, I had to attend a meeting at school with a bunch of other people who also didn’t want to be there, no food, and old coffee. Meanwhile, my wife was stuck home sharing dinner with two noisy kids who just learned the first verse to The Flintstones’ “Happy Anniversary” song.
I felt awful that my wife had to endure a couple hundred, out of key renditions of Happy Anniversary by her lonesome so we planned an intimate dinner for later in the week. Unfortunately, we had to cancel when my son became sick.
Knowing we may not get another opportunity for an intimate meal until leap year (or ever); we hurriedly checked our schedules to lock down any available block of time.
“How about a midnight snack next week? Are you free?” I asked my wife.
“Let me check my calendar. Wait, there’s an opening. I’m available for brunch in January.”
“Not sure. What about a late supper in February? Any weekend other than Super Bowl Sunday…”
The conversation went something like that until we settled on a mid-week lunch from 1:05 to 1:27 pm.
Despite the belated lunch, I did have a great card and her gifts ready on the actual anniversary day. (Thank goodness for the calendar on my iPhone.) However, Murphy’s Law reared its ugly head again. My great card disappeared in a sea of shopping bags.
My wife claims that she doesn’t need a card but I know better.
“I’m just going to read it once then throw it away.”
Meanwhile, she has a drawer full of cards and mementos dating back to when we first met and includes the first napkin that we both wiped our drooling mouths on. I’m exaggerating….it’s the second napkin. To avoid a guilt trip 25 years later (“remember the year you forgot my anniversary card, cheapo?”) I purchased another card.
The new card and the gifts were a big hit. However, it all went over too well. Her birthday is in a month and I now have the unenviable task of trying to top the anniversary gifts. I should have held onto at least one of the gifts for her birthday. Additionally, Christmas is a month after that. Maybe I should have held onto all the gifts and just given her the card or the traditional 9-year-anniversary gift, a willow.
“Here you go, honey—the seeds for your new willow tree. Happy Anniversary!”
Yes, I would have looked like a cheap, unromantic jerk but I’d be out of the doghouse and a hero by Christmas.
Copyright © 2009, Brad Manzo