Recently my husband and I celebrated our 15th wedding anniversary, and with each year that passes, we feel more and more like we are somehow defying the odds. It might be that we’ve stayed together because we love each other so much that we could never imagine being with another person, but it’s probably just pure stubbornness.
I remember our first wedding anniversary. We were so smug and well-rested and wrinkle-free. Life hadn’t really begun yet. We were 26 years old with two incomes and no kids and we managed to make it through every single dinner without someone ever crying because they hate their dinner. I wish I could go back and poke myself in the eyeball and yell, “Appreciate all that unplanned sex, your jerk!”
But alas, times have changed and so has our wedding anniversary. Here’s how:
1. Remembering the Date
Then: I really didn’t have anything else to remember besides taking my birth control pill and making it to work on time, so I’m sure my calendar showed the entire month of August clear except for a big, red heart on the magical date.
Now: This year our anniversary had the special distinction of being on the first day of school, and while the day still had a big, red heart on it, it was for an entirely different reason.
2. Special Plans
Then: We planned a couples spa retreat that year. It was the whole deal — candles, massages, soft music, hot tub.
Now: The only retreat that happened this year was us retreating away from the school parking lot as fast as we could.
Then: We seriously bought each other something made out of paper (I think I got a journal?) because that is the official gift for your first year and…barf.
Now: I just now had to Google what the gift is for a 15th wedding anniversary, and it’s crystal and that did not happen nor do I care.
Then: These things were done every day so no big deal.
Now: My husband knows that it’s a special day when these things both happen.
5. Fancy Dinner
Then: We went out to this restaurant where there were lots of different types of forks.
Now: We didn’t manage to get a babysitter on time this year, but we did go out to dinner, and yes, there were a lot of forks. For my kids. Who kept throwing them on the floor.
6. Things That Creak
Then: *cough cough*
Now: The only battery-operated situation that has happened in our bed these days has been a stuffed snowman blurting out, “Hi! I’m Olaf! Wanna be my friend?” at just the wrong moment.
Then: We dreamt of what our life would be like with children, a dog, a house of our own
Now: Now we pretty much dream of sleeping in and paying off our mortgage in nine hundred years.
After being together for such a long time, my husband and I have learned the art of true romance; I totally back him up when he’s hollering at the kids, and he always puts the toilet seat down in the middle of the night so I don’t fall in and die of a heart attack.
We also know that those special moments between us don’t need to cost a lot of money and take weeks to organize. They are usually moments that are just between us when we lock eyes across the room and know exactly what the other one is thinking. Like when he looked at me the other day and thought about our 4-year-old, “Did she just say, ‘This is bullshit?’” And I nodded. And then we both tried not to laugh.