Hi all! As of March 18, Hubby and I will have been married for three years. Some days it feels like forever, truly, but other days it seems like just yesterday that we tied the knot in the courthouse (come back for more on that on Thursday!). Like all marriages, it’s had its good days and its bad ones, but for better or worse he’s my best friend, and there’s no one else I’d rather annoy until the end of time. I’d love to make this a post about anniversary gift ideas, and that honestly was my intention, but I have a more meaningful idea to share, and that is: no anniversary gifts. What?! That’s blasphemy!! I know. Bear with me here.
Last night, in true procrastinator form, I started thinking about what to get Hubby for our anniversary.
The traditional anniversary gift for three years is something leather. I love the idea of traditional wedding gifts, but it can be hard to find something that will be meaningful and last forever. For example, two years is cotton, and all I could think of last year was sheets or a t-shirt or a bag of cotton balls. None of those are really great anniversary gifts. I did some prowling on Pinterest and found where some genius woman had done “cotton” as an acronym–something that started with a C, something that started with an O, something that started with an T, and so on. That’s what I did last year. I don’t remember everything, but it included a Deadpool comic book (C), a cheapy microwave omelet maker that’s actually really useful (O), and new underwear (N). It wasn’t enormously romantic, but he’s super hard to buy for so it worked.
This year, I struggled a little with a traditional gift again.
My first thought trying to brainstorm about leather was the leather suit from the first season of American Horror Story. Erm, no thank you. Anyway, it was rubber in the show, I guess, not leather. Either way, I’ll pass. I thought about getting him a new belt, but that would hardly last forever either, and, again, he’s super particular and hard to buy for so pretty much whatever I got he wouldn’t like. I have no idea what he looks for in a belt; he’s had the same one since we started dating almost six years ago. I started thinking about doing an acronym gift again, starting with L. “Hubby, do you like LifeSavers?” “No.” ….great. Do you know how many gifts start with “L”? Not many.
I got through a few other letters, but took a break for a minute. I thought to myself, “Ooh, I’ll ask him what he got me and just steal his idea!”
Me: Hubby, are you getting me anything for our anniversary? I just thought about a gift today!
Hubby: Oh crap, that’s tomorrow isn’t it!?
H: It’s the 14th isn’t it?
H: Yes it is! Isn’t it? When is it? [growing desperate] Help me!
M: You know what, I just don’t need a gift.
H: Is it the 18th? Yeah, it’s the 18th. Right? WHEN IS IT?!
So, stealing his idea was out because he had no idea–for gifts or even when it was for certain.
To be fair, he did figure it out after a minute. I was irked for a moment, but then I actually felt relieved. If he doesn’t get me anything, I don’t have to get him anything! This could be the first year that we didn’t have to obsess over the perfect anniversary gift. Sure, gifts can be nice, but there’s so much pressure to get something romantic and thoughtful and practical and everlasting and reasonably priced and going with a traditional theme. Our anniversary is roughly sandwiched between Valentine’s Day, Mother’s Day, and Father’s Day, so to think of that many romantic, thoughtful, practical, everlasting, reasonably priced gifts in the span of five months can be tricky for both of us.
I will be totally honest here. We didn’t get each other gifts for Valentine’s Day this year either.
We’re not liberal hippies that don’t observe Valentine’s or our anniversary at all because of a hatred of consumerism and some offense to feminism and just a general disdain for anything mainstream. Okay, sometimes [most times] we are liberal hippies and feminists and disdain the mainstream culture, but those reasons are not why we sometimes skip making a big to-do about our anniversary. It’s not something we consciously think about–we don’t go, “Oh, let’s not do anniversary gifts to really stick it to the man and be so unique and cool and rebellious!”
Our skipping of gifts usually comes down to a lack of either money or motivation.
Without fail, something comes up budget-wise. AJ gets sick and we have a bill from the doctor’s office, or the sewer has backed up in the basement again and we have to pay the plumber, or this year half of our shingles blew off in a wind storm between Valentine’s Day and our anniversary. We literally cannot have nice things. Or else, we’re just straight lazy and don’t think about it until last minute and just agree amongst ourselves that it would be easier to just do nothing–like this year’s anniversary. We simply do not have time to spend obsessing over the perfect gift, or the motivation to do so.
I’d love to say we celebrate our anniversary through the whole year instead, but even that doesn’t really happen, at least not in the technical sense of “celebrating”.
We love each other through the whole year, though, and isn’t that the important thing? There really are no grand romantic gestures here, but we still support each other. If Hubby has a really bad (or really good) day, I make him chicken roll-ups and corn casserole because that’s his favorite. If I have a really bad (or really good) day, Hubby listens and commiserates or celebrates with me. I buy him new socks when he needs them, and he buys me tampons when I run out. We spend Saturday nights at home watching Netflix and eating ice cream. We tell each other we love each other when we go to sleep. All year, we have an average, comfortable, lived-in marriage, and he’s my best friend.
And you know what? That’s okay. It’s more than okay, actually; it’s great.
It doesn’t make me angry or disappointed to not “celebrate” our anniversary in the traditional sense. I’m so truly, deeply happy with the marriage that we have, and I would much rather have a listening ear on good days and bad and get no anniversary gifts than get a new piece of jewelry or some trinket made of leather that he throws at me to stop me from complaining about gifts. Having to pay the doctor or the plumber or the roofer is life, and so is buying socks and tampons and eating ice cream and kissing each other good night. That’s what marriage is about. Our marriage, anyway. It’s about being a team through life, through the fun, exciting stuff and the mundane, everyday stuff. We don’t need to go berserk buying crazy gifts or making huge gestures all year to be reminded that we love each other. Our marriage is enough. We are enough.