"While any couple that reaches their 16th, 17th, 18th, or 19th wedding anniversary certainly has an occasion worth celebrating, there are no traditional gifts associated with those anniversary years...About.com"
I used to think my MIL was nuts (sorry mom, but wait, it gets better) especially, around holiday time, or whenever a member of the Thompson Clan reaches some sort of milestone, that typically requires some form of congratulatory gift-giving.
"Would you mind buying your father a card, for me."
"I didn't have time to run out and buy a gift."
Seriously? After 50-something years (I forget) not even a simple little card? How weird, right?
So, I thought.
"What's this for?"
My parents were over the other day (because, they went to Costco, again, and have been keeping us in breakfast cereal, laundry detergent and diet soda, for years, now) and handed me an envelope, along with a half-a-dozen sponges, because you can NEVER have enough sponges, right?
"It's this Tuesday."
I knew that, sort of.
"How many years is it, now?"
I really can't blame my poor husband, Garth [not his real name] for questioning my ability to remember.
"19, so there!"
Never mind the fact it helps to have been married on an even year and the start of a new decade (I am not stupid, much) makes the math SO MUCH easier!
"Yeah, but she didn't remember why I sent flowers, last month."
Right. Not at first. I mean, seriously...ladies in the house...wouldn't you be like, "Whoa?" when it's clearly not your birthday, anniversary and you're not pregnant [knocking on wood until knuckles bleed] but, this guy is...like...standing at your door with a big bunch of flowers?!?
"Someone loves you, very much!"
Yeah, I tipped the flower dude, but who's sending me flowers?
"19 years ago, love began in earnest..."
Okay, it was signed Garth [not his real name] but, we got married on August 25th (I remember, because we got pictures to prove it and everything) and, well, I was pretty sure I wasn't pregnant.
[Edited to add: Darn sure, since I have my period, right now, you're welcome, Mom!]
"OUR FIRST DATE!!!"
I'm sure I made my husband a little deaf, screaming into the phone, as if I were answering the bonus round of [enter your favorite game show, here] or, something.
"Did she mention, she nearly bit my head off, yesterday?"
When did I turn into everyone's whipping child? I think it was around our 15th anniversary, or something.
"Yes, but she admitted that she was wrong."
I love my mother. Really, I do. Yet, she insists on saying and doing stuff -- like, buying my kids food, clothes and investing in Hallmark greeting cards -- just to make me cry.
"Yeah, it was wr...wr...[deep breath]...totally not right of me."
Seriously, 16, 17, 18...it really doesn't matter...after a while, the years start to blend, anyway.
4 kids, 2 cats and 1 sock-eating doofus-dog later, my life has become this mosaic of undefinable moments of comfort, knowing that there are those times, when I feel lucky just to be able to get out of bed.
"Aaaand, I made him a peanut butter and jelly sandwich!"
Or, be able to make a simple peace offering, like a hot cup of coffee, or peanut butter and jelly sandwich, which, in turn, is met with equal (albeit, unspoken) gratitude.
"So, Happy Anniversary!"
It's the gift that keeps on giving.
As for tomorrow, I got nothin'!
Please, don't judge me (forgive me, mom) it's a comfort to me now, knowing that at least my MIL will understand.
"Yeah, at this point, it would be too expensive to replace her!"
Besides, Garth [not his real name] makes me feel like I know stuff -- like, how I make a pretty mean peanut butter and jelly sandwich!
If that's not love, I don't know what is...Happy [enter corresponding year, here] Anniversary to us!
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