On September 18th, my wife and I celebrated 16 years of marriage together. And I’m using a very loose definition of the word “celebrate.”
I wanted to do something special, but something always seemed to come up. The week or so leading up to it was tough, as we were doing a lot of prep for an upcoming consignment sale, which ate up a lot of our free time. Furthermore, I can take the kids out with me to shop while my wife is at work, but they’re at an age where they are not the most discreet. When she gets home at the end of the day, they tend to announce things like “Daddy bought you a necklace, but it’s a surprise.”
I was determined, though, to end the week on a high note. On the day of our anniversary, both girls were in school. This gave me two and a half hours to get it together and do something special without the kids in tow. The perfect opportunity.
Or so I thought.
The night before, my wife asked me to drop something off at someone’s house. I found out, though, that this person lived down an unpaved road off of another unpaved road, so I couldn’t go more than about 12 miles an hour to keep from blowing a tire. It took a little longer than I thought it would, but afterwards, I still had two hours before I had to pick up the girls. No problem!
But then there was the tooth.
The night before, I noticed that one of my molars was a little sensitive to cold. The next morning, it became clear that it was not going away; in fact, if anything, it was getting worse. When I could no longer ignore it, I called my dentist, who told me to come to the office immediately if I wanted to be seen that day. So my wife had to pick the girls up at school during her lunch hour. Fortunately, my tooth only needed a filling, and it was good as new. My window, unfortunately, had closed.
I made the most of it, though. The girls and I did go and pick some things up for a nice meal that night, and they also insisted that we get Mommy some flowers, too. So, after bathing the kids and getting them to bed, my wife and I enjoyed home-made chili with a bottle of craft beer. Not the most romantic, but still very nice.
On the surface, you could say that it wasn’t anything special, as if it were any other day of the week. But while the romantic gestures are nice, marriage isn’t always about fancy dinners or expensive gifts. It’s mostly about having each others’ backs. I do things for my wife that she can’t do because she has to work. She comes through for me when I find myself in a bit of a jam, even if it impacts her work day. So, no, we didn’t do anything for our anniversary this year. But we do things for each other every day.
My wife, however, would probably say that I need to plan ahead a little better next year.