High score

Tuesday marked our 20th wedding anniversary. I took Kim to Chili’s for dinner. Yep, last of the red-hot lovers here. Can’t help wondering if she wants her baby back, baby back, baby back….

Hey, big spender....

Hey, big spender….

Honestly, though, she didn’t mind. It was one of her suggestions, in fact. We’re used to cheaping out on our anniversary, because it comes right after some expensive holidays. We went all out on the boys this year, and that was sort of our gift to each other. But however you look at it, we’re flat broke right now, so Chili’s it was.

And gifts are right out of the question. A few months ago, I looked up the “official” 20th wedding anniversary gift — the traditional one is china, the modern one is platinum. I find it hard to believe they couldn’t come up with something better than china, considering most couples get that for wedding gifts and never use it again over the next 20 years — except on special occasions or when they want to throw it at each other. And platinum is the other end of the spectrum; I thought that stuff costs more than gold, whatever it is.

Which left me with the option of making her something. I planned to; in fact, I planned it for a while. I did one thing for her a couple years ago, marking the 20th anniversary of our first date — it was a series of blog entries telling our love story. She said she enjoyed reading them, but sometimes marriage is about sparing each other’s feelings.

Regardless, I’d set a precedent, and now I had to come up with something to mark our wedding anniversary. I was going to create a slideshow of memories, a multimedia sensation sure to bring tears to her eyes. Planned to set it to music — George Harrison’s “What Is Life” (which, by the way, was a track on his multi-platinum “All Things Must Pass” album).

Because nothing says "romance" like a hippie with gnomes.

Because nothing says “romance” like a hippie with gnomes.

I even started checking on locations of her stored photos and images, thinking out what I was going to include, the clever “score”- and “twenty”-related captions I was going to provide, and the automated glitz I would add to each. And then I ran out of time.

I wanted to work on it over Christmas break, but had a project looming. I planned to take today off, but still had some work to do on that project. All things considered, I’m sure she’d rather have me staying employed than making slideshows, but I still felt bad.

There just isn’t enough time anymore, for anything, ever. There’s work, school, Scouts, kids, pets, finances, band rehearsals, applications, articles, blogs … the list goes on. And then it hit me — that is life. And it’s love. And it’s everything that’s made up the past score of my existence. It doesn’t have to be smooth or well-executed; it just has to be sincere.

So I put something together, tossing in some favorite photos and quotes from our life together, including a family shot that she hadn’t seen yet. I finished it after dinner, and showed it to her on my laptop with a dying screen. She said she liked it, but sometimes marriage is about sparing each other’s feelings.

As far as my worries about time, they’re gone now, because I got to thinking — we have all the time in the world. Good thing, too. I’m going to need it to come up with something for our 25th anniversary, because I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to afford the silver.

About Dan Bain

Dan is an award-winning humorist, features writer, emcee and entertainer from Raleigh, NC. His collection of humor essays, A Nay for Effort, has earned him fans from one end of his couch to the other. Why not join them and buy one? (You won't have to sit on his couch.) Dan will donate 10 percent of the book's proceeds to education. You can check it out at www.danbain.net; thanks!
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6 Responses to High score

  1. Tori Nelson says:

    Look at you! Baby back ribs and a piano! I love this post because my husband and I are the same way. We typically don’t do over-the-top gifts because he knows I’m so cheap I’ll spend the day stressing about how much he spent instead of looking at the gift in my lap. Case in point: we did small Christmas gifts for one another… so we could get a fancy (discount) couch. This is romance, people!

    • Dan Bain says:

      Tell it! We’re just as non-participatory about Valentine’s Day. I like to tell people we prefer to love each other the other 364 days of the year. 🙂

  2. Sometimes love means never having to say “I still have the receipt…” Your kids are a little young… your 25th is supposed to be when THEY take over. I trust you’re somewhat familiar with Harry Chapin Carpenter’s song, “Story of a Life.” That’s what you’ve got there. Congratulations – that’s huge, and more than many ever see. Happy 20 years, and here’s to 20 more.

  3. Orchid says:

    This is really a heart warming post..enjoyed reading!

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