My husband and I are celebrating our 10th anniversary this week. Since we were practically elderly when we got married (I was 31, he was 36), we have decided to treat this one and all of the other “0” and “5” ones as kind of a big deal, as the odds are probably not in our favor to make it to the golden one of 50.
Let’s face it, even if we do, one of us will probably be in the hospital with a broken hip and the other will be wondering who is this person I am sitting with in the hospital with a broken hip. And that’s if we are lucky.
So we are really trying to make this one special.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know. We should be grateful for every day we have with each other and we are — we love our goofy little household with its crazy cast of characters and inside jokes — but like everyone else, a lot of the magic gets lost in the grind of getting everyone ready for work and school every day. And it can be easy to forget what brought you together in the first place. So it’s nice to have a day where you are — for lack of a better word — “forced” to remember.
And a decade does warrant some extra reverence.
But this kind of reverence brings added pressure. You can’t just grab a card and some new socks, go out to eat and call it a day. Nope, you have to go big. Huge!
And if you can’t go with socks with photos of the kids and/or dog on them, what’s a wife to do? It has to be something meaningful! Something timeless! Something he could be buried with!
But what? Where to start?
Apparently, the traditional gift for the 10th anniversary is tin or aluminum. So did someone in the Middle Ages who came up with this just say, “Well, Geoffrey, I mean, it’s 10 so we all know the obvious choice here for this one is, well, tin.”
Damn you, Captain Obvious and Geoffrey! Finding a tin gift is more challenging than 10 years of marriage!
My immediate thought was, “Well, hell, I’ll just grab a 12-pack of Miller High Life and we’ll be all set! Maybe even take two out of the box so each aluminum can of the ‘champagne of beers’ represents a year of wedded bliss! Happy Ten-iversary, baby! Yeehaw!”
Yeah, for some reason this doesn’t seem very “meaningful” or “timeless.” It just seems like Saturday night.
What else is made of aluminum or tin?
The song “Love Shack” keeps coming to mind. As the B-52s screamed at the end of it, “Your what? Tin roof. Rusted!” Although for the longest time I thought it said, “Ken’s Food Russett!” Which makes no sense.
But a tin roof would be a strange gift and it would be challenging to bury with a person. And obviously they rust, at least according to an Athens rock band, so is that really the symbolism we want to go with? A rusted, old marriage? I think not.
Some of the other tin/aluminum suggestions online included a “personalized tea tin” with his favorite tea (Geez, what are we, 90? I’ll save that for the 50th, when we’re nursing our broken hips and/or dementia in the hospital!), a metal “road sign” with our names and wedding date printed on it (What the hell are we supposed to do with that? Slap it on a post in our front yard?) or a sundial made out of tin (I mean, does anyone really want a sundial? For any occasion? And ever since seeing that ‘80s movie “Witchboard” (starring Tawny Kitaen (of course)), where some poor girl falls out of a window and lands on a sundial, killing her — well, I just can’t take sundials. I can’t think of that or Tawny every time I look at our cheesy “Tin Year Anniversary” sundial that is “perfect for the happy couple’s garden.” I just can’t.
Oh, the pressure. This is hard!
Maybe I can think of great moments from our relationship that have involved tin or aluminum and do something with that.
On one of our very first dates we went on a bike ride — bike frames are made out of aluminum, right? Frank had planned out this whole great day for us. He had heard from somewhere about this organized “ride” and thought it would be nice to cruise through the city together on our bikes with a group of people.
Unfortunately, it turned out to be some sort of rogue, militant bicycle group, who purposefully tried to block entire roadways, which of course, made people really angry. When motorists started honking and calling the “leaders” of this pack names, one member pulled out a hunting knife and brandished it at them.
We turned off on the next street, so as not to be run over or shot or, I guess, stabbed to death. That was a really special moment for us. Maybe I can get him a big knife! No! Dang it! Those are made of steel and that’s the 11th anniversary. Maybe next year, honey!
There was also the time when I was pregnant with our first child that Frank brought home a tin can of sardines and attempted to eat them. In front of me. I was super sensitive to smell, of course, as you are when you are pregnant, and few “edible” things smell worse than sardines. Even when you aren’t pregnant. What is wrong with you people who eat those aromatically challenged Satans of the sea?!? I think our marriage almost ended that day.
But somehow we endured.
There was also the time I made a batch of tuna fish salad from an aluminum can of the “chicken of the sea” and the entire family got a severe bout of food poisoning. It was next level — a cramping, vomiting, dry-heaving-for-days kind of food poisoning. You know what they say, the family who barfs together, stays together. I actually do think there is some truth in this.
But somehow we survived. Though none of us has ingested any canned tuna since.
These really aren’t the best memories and what am I supposed to do, engrave a can of Starkist for him?
I don’t know. Sigh x 10.
I’m sure I’ll come up with something, but even if it’s something horrible like a personalized tin of his favorite tea (which he doesn’t drink), I hope he knows there is no other person’s sardines I would rather smell or with whom I would rather experience severe botulism or be murdered by a gang of crazed cyclists … or spend the rest of my days with, however many that may be.
Happy 10th Anniversary, Frank!