My husband and I celebrated our 30th anniversary yesterday.
For us, anniversaries are not celebrated the same way birthdays are. There was no cake (we are on diets). No balloons (nobody wants their cheek muscles to explode on their anniversary). We don’t give gifts (what would my husband do with another pair of socks?). Gifts are something we give each other all year long. These are gifts that are not necessarily tangible.
Birthdays are celebrated because it’s been another year that we have lived. For some, especially my nine-year old, this is an unexpected surprise. So we have a big celebration to show how happy we are to have been on the earth one more year. For my nine-year old, birthdays are an event that makes it possible to actually get the things he’s been asking for the rest of the year.
Wedding anniversaries are a little different. It should come as no surprise to a couple who have promised to love, honor, and cherish each other for the rest of their lives, that they have been together another year.
However, as two people who have been together thirty years, we can tell you it might come as a surprise that you still like each other.
I said “I do.” I did. And I still do. But that doesn’t mean that there haven’t been days I wanted to use a frying pan the way Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck used to. That I never did is a testament to my enduring love for my man and the tiny bit of sanity I have retained for all these years.
At times, having me as his wife couldn’t have been a picnic for my husband either.
Imagine a person who has dreams of using frying pans in creative ways serving your dinner. Would you eat it? As a testament to his enduring love for me and his total lack of sanity, he did eat it – every single meal. I will add here that my cooking is less than palatable even when I’m not mad at him. This shows that he has true grit. He may have gotten it from the bottom of the many pots of long grain rice I’ve burned.
So, here we are, thirty years after uttering those infamous words – I do.
We went out for breakfast together before the kids got up. Then we bought two Kwanzan cherry trees and planted them in our backyard. Those trees will mark the day.
My daughter made us a sugar-free pumpkin pie. My nine-year old gave us an unwrapped coffee can which held a bar of soap from our last hotel stay. It’s always the thought that counts.
The rest of the day was spent playing games with the kids, and working on a jigsaw puzzle. Both activities will reduce even the most stable person to visible jitters and hand-wringing. They require an amount of self-control that my nine-year old has not yet attained. His future wife will need a good, sturdy frying pan.
We cooked steaks on the grill. My husband manned the grill and I made corn on the cob and cut the bread. No long grain rice. My husband would not be eating grit on our anniversary.
After the kids went to bed, my husband and I watched an old black and white comedy that was made before we were born. Comedy was much better then.
Anniversaries are not like winning a race, where you get to the end of the year and throw up your hands in victory. They are more like the beginning of another long-anticipated journey. Like flying off in a hot air balloon together and not knowing where it will take you.
Planting those cherry trees was just our way of saying, “I will fly with you anywhere.”
After 30 years, we still “do”.