For as Long as Ye Both Can Stand It

Bryan and I just celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. As veterans of divorce wars, we never take these milestones for granted. Sometime around our wedding date we enjoy a getaway, usually to the Gulf Coast. It’s my chance to see things you don’t find in Central Texas, and it’s Bryan’s chance to indulge his omnipresent craving for seafood. Since I don’t eat it, I never learned to cook it. His only chance to take the fishy edge off is an occasional dinner with our daughter, who learned to like seafood in spite of my genes.

Right after Christmas, Bryan starts asking what I want for our anniversary. Coming so soon after that gift-giving bacchanale, I seldom have any ideas left, and the situation is complicated by the fact our anniversary, Valentine’s Day, and my birthday fall uncomfortably close together. This year I decided to consult the experts. I checked the Hallmark website to find out what the official gift is for a 30th anniversary, like consulting Hoyle before shooting someone over a game of Texas Hold ‘Em gone bad.

First I learned we are dangerously close to the end of the list. After the 15th anniversary, the list no longer has individual years, rather they count by fives. I also discovered there are TWO lists, one traditional and one modern. For example, the traditional 30th anniversary gift is pearls; the modern gift is diamonds. That’s inflation for you.

I already have  enough jewelry, so I decided to make my own list, starting with the 30th anniversary just to cut to the chase. Based on my own personal experience and considering I had two knee surgeries in the past six weeks, I assigned Ace bandages as the traditional gift; for the modern gift, anesthetic. I got both earlier this month, and they fit perfectly.

So what will be appropriate five years from now, on our 35th anniversary? And if (not likely but possible) we’re still milling about on our 50th? Five years from now, I don’t see any drastic changes in our lives, except Bryan will be really old. For a traditional gift, maybe a monogrammed magnifying glass; from the modern list, an Acorn Chairlift that attaches to the car door.

On our 50th anniversary, Bryan will be pushing 90; I’ll be pulling 80. I’ll go out on a limb here and suggest we completely ignore the future technology and go traditional. I think Bryan and I should get matching tattoos, a little Shar Pei dog (a good choice at that age) inside a heart—with a pacemaker. I can hardly wait. Vive la amour!


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