June 26, 1994
Yes, MoB readers, love was in the air this weekend as Dave and I celebrated recognized briefly acknowledged 16 years of marital bliss. We kept the festivities to a minimum, joining friends for dinner the evening before and exchanging goofy cards in bed over the head of a child who happened to be sleeping in between us Saturday morning. But the rest of the day and night was without distinction.
I have observed that married couples tend to fall into four buckets when it comes to anniversary celebrations:
The Gift Givers – These husbands and wives exchange gifts each year, often putting a great deal of thought or money into such presents. You do not have to be wealthy to fall into this category. Some couples are very resourceful, putting together photo albums, writing poems, or buying inexpensive yet sentimental items. These couples make the rest of us look bad but they don’t seem to notice mind the glares when they show us their swag.
The Practicals – Rather than exchange gifts, these couples agree to put the money and effort they would have spent on each other and buy something for the house. Like new window treatments, or a shed, or power wash the deck. This approach works well as long as the couple actually follows through with the shared purchase. (This coming from a couple that still doesn’t have window treatments, a shed, or a power washed deck.)
The Intrepids – These couples are a combination of “gift givers” and “practicals”. They go away for their anniversary, rather than buy gifts. For those without an endless budget, this category is popular in increments of 10 years.
The Lame-Os – No gifts, photos, poems, shared purchases, trips or other demonstrable signs of love are exchanged, unless a pat on the butt and a wink counts. These couples are either extremely secure in the state of their union or on the verge of a divorce.
Dave and I resigned from the gift givers perhaps before we were even married. We generally move between practical and lame each year. I like to think that low expectations are the gift we give each other. I know that Dave is not going to run out and buy me something that I will have to match or improve upon in time for the big day. The same goes for his expectations of me. Consequently, there is no pressure and we can just see where the day takes us.
And while this year the day took us pretty much nowhere, I take comfort in the fact that we find ourselves on the same page. Lame can be pretty darn romantic – as long as you are lame together.