Just what I always wanted

Sue and I have an anniversary coming up. I’m really not big on anniversaries. People make such a big deal out of them. “Ohhh, what are you going to get her this anniversary?” They make it sound as if I buy the wrong thing, my marriage is pretty much over; as if buying an expensive bottle of wine and some flowers once a year is the solution to all problems.

“Whaddaya mean, all I do is sit front of the TV and drink beer every night? Whaddaya want? Another bottle of wine? You haven’t even finished the first one!”

I wonder how many divorces have been caused by husbands and wives fighting over forgotten anniversaries, or some present that wasn’t quite up-to-snuff?

Being married is supposed to be fun – not a chore, not a job. Why do we have to get all tied up in knots once a year having to worry about buying some stupid present? “I am your present. Deal with it,” is a thought that must have occurred to many married people. Of course, you can’t say that kind of thing and expect to be celebrating too many anniversaries. You have to be tactful. That’s something you should say after you your spouse give a real gift.



But they don’t make buying a real anniversary gift easy. Walk through the “gift” department of any department store and they have the most ridiculous things for sale, things that serve no purpose other than that they can be gift wrapped and given to someone as a present. After that, they are pretty much expensive garbage.

Silver platters. Have you ever used a silver platter in your life? For anything? Ever? It’s the wrong shape for pizza and you can’t put it in the microwave. Crystal punch bowls. We’ve been married for 34 years. Still waiting to have punch. Kitchen gadgets.

“Honey, why is that chocolate fondue fountain still in the box? How come you never take three hours out of your life to get that going and another three hours to clean it? Don’t you like it?”

Then there’s that ridiculous list of traditional gifts for certain anniversaries. It is hopelessly outdated. Giving leather for the third anniversary? Who came up with that? Lash LaRue? To bring things up to this century, I’m suggesting a few simple changes that would make it much easier for modern husbands and wives when their next anniversary rolls around.

TRADITIONAL GIFT TO MODERN GIFT

1st Paper Money

2nd Cotton iPod

3rd Leather Tivo

4th Silk Espresso Machine

5th Wood Laptop

6th Iron Plasma TV

7th Copper 401k/IRA

8th Appliances Maid Service

9th Pottery Au Pair

10th Tin Automobile

11th Steel Surrogate Mother

12th Linen Botox Injections

13th Lace Cruise

14th Ivory Safari

15th Crystal Kitchen Renovation

20th China Trip to China

25th Silver Beach Condo

50th Gold Hip Replacement

Jim Mullen is the author of “It Takes a Village Idiot: Complicating the Simple Life” and “Baby’s First Tattoo.” You can reach him at jim_mullen@myway.com

Copyright 2006, Newspaper Enterprise Assn.

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