This past summer my husband and I celebrated 21 years of marriage, and Jean and her husband celebrated 14 years together.
Paige here: My husband and I have been together about 27 years, and I’ll start this off by saying, there have been years along the way where someone in our family has called that morning to wish us a happy anniversary, and we’ve both looked slightly baffled. We would smile sheepishly at each other because we had both forgotten.
This year, he actually looked at the calendar a week in advance- which isn’t marked for our anniversary – and said, “Wow, our 21st anniversary is next week.” It’s moments like this when I realize I’ve won some unspoken husband lottery. Don’t get me wrong, I know I married a great guy, but his comment kinda shocked me because we are truly ships who pass in the night most of the time. He works on the West coast and is gone at least half of each month. Besides, reread the paragraph above. We just don’t remember these things some of the time.
I smiled at his comment, and made a mental note to remember myself. Please note, we rarely ever get each other presents, but rather choose a nice place to go to eat. Sans cherubic children.
If you’ve been married any length of time, you understand that marriage requires work. If you understand that, then you understand us. If you’re saying to yourself right now, “I have no idea what they mean,” then congratulations that you’re still in some blissful honeymoon phase after 10-20 years of marriage. We will pay you for lessons on how to make that our reality. I say this as I go into the day before and the day of our 21st anniversary.
The day before our anniversary, I left to pick up one of our daughter’s friends from the airport – she was flying in from the Southern Hemisphere to come to school for the year; she was due to arrive at 10:30 pm, we were to stay the night at an airport hotel, and would be collecting my daughter the next morning who was coming in from a training camp in another part of the Southern Hemisphere. We would then head home and head up to school the next day. Simple (somewhat). Easy (mostly). I’d be home in plenty of time to go out for a dinner with my husband the day of our anniversary.
Until the friend’s flight was delayed an hour. That hour turned into 4 hours. 8 hours. Then an overnight stay at the airport. I spent the better part of the night on the phone with the friend who’d made it into the States, but was stuck in the Midwest, and the friend’s mother in the Southern Hemisphere, trying to get this poor exhausted girl on an early morning flight to me. No such luck.
My daughter arrived on schedule the morning of our anniversary, only this fact was not registering with me since I’d only gotten about 3 hours of sleep and was surviving on caffeine. I was just happy one flight landed on time. By now, I knew the friend wasn’t getting in until 5 pm that same day. After collecting my daughter & her bags, I sent her home with some friends who were on the same flight – we live 2 hours from the airport, and if I had driven her home, I would have had to turn right back around to come get her friend.
Executive decision made to alleviate my parental duties to another parent.
It’s now 11:30 am, and what’s a gal to do all by her lonesome in the big city? Spa and shop, of course.
Another mom made us all look like a total schmucks by booking her daughter a spa day after the long flight our daughter’s had been on from the Southern Hemisphere. Despite making all other moms look like losers, she invited me to kill time with her while her daughter was being pampered. We got to have lunch together, and I got a lovely pedicure. Time killed until 3 pm. My phone rings. Another delay. Charming. It’s ok, I’ll now shop. In store… after store… after store.
With each passing hour, more delays came in, and I spent more money. I’d been eyeing Tory Burch‘s gorgeous new shoe, the Gigi, and lo’ there was a store near me. Guess which beauties are now in my shoe collection? And the picture does not do this shoe justice. The royal navy color is soooo gorgeous and rich, and these are shoes that have classic screaming from every seam. Besides, I needed a new pair of navy shoes, and with everything that had gone wrong in the last 24 hours, I felt I deserved a treat. Even in a sleep deprived aggravated state, I am still a fashionista.
Next, I found a Rigby & Peller lingerie store, and decided since I hadn’t had a bra fitting in about 5 years – and my bras showed it – I was getting another fitting. Besides, I had nothing but time to kill. Four bras and as many hundreds of dollars spent (a great bra is like a great fitting pair of jeans – worth every single penny), I got a Facebook message that her flight was due to arrive at 8pm, almost 24 hours later than scheduled.
At 8:30 her flight landed in one terminal, we stood in the baggage line to learn that her bags arrived in another terminal, and we still had a 2 hour drive home.
I walked in our home at 10:50 pm, and my husband was sitting on the couch in the living room checking his work phone. I walked right by a huge bag on the counter and we started chatting about how crazy the last 36 hours had been. Only after I went into the kitchen again did I see the bag, and ask, “What’s that for?” It actually didn’t occur to me that the bag was for me. He smiled and said, “Happy Anniversary.” I looked at him and said flatly, “Why did you get me anything? I didn’t get you anything. We never get anything for each other.” Couth escapes me sometimes.
I open it, and it’s a new piece to add to my Le Cruset collection – and I really am excited! Right before Thanksgiving 3 of my old pots broke…Yes, they broke. As I went to lift them out of the cabinet or off the stove, the handle literally broke off the pot – they were that old.
And, as Jean pointed out, I can cook in my new shoes that match my new pan. #amazinglycoordinated
I thank my husband profusely, and grab the lingerie bag with a bright idea. I smile and say, “Actually, I did get you something…” He just smiled widely, and we headed upstairs.
It’s now close to midnight after we’ve gotten the girls settled and in bed, and we’re getting ready for bed. My routine takes a bit longer, and by the time I crawl into bed with some of my new lingerie, he’s snoring contentedly.
And you thought I was going to tell you something juicy? My pretty bras were going to have to wait for another time.
And then there is Jean. She was in hell in her native home state of Kentucky trying to repair pieces of her house for sale. Every time one problem was fixed, another one arose. It was like Murphy himself were doing the work. On the actual day of her anniversary, she called her husband and told him, “Happy Anniversary, honey. I bought you a new front window and a dishwasher.” Silence on the other end.
Her house finally sold, and a few weeks later, she headed home to New England, after being gone most of the summer fixing up the house for sale. She sends me this text:
What’s your best, or worst, anniversary story? Tell us in the comments below!