Each anniversary nicely corresponds to a suggested gift. For the 14th Anniversary, the anniversary I'm privileged to share with Mike today, the list suggests ivory. Or, if you prefer to follow the modern version of the list, gold. There will be neither gold nor ivory given or received today. I'm more than fine with that, and instead prefer to share a nice meal with my family. I'm good with no gifts at all . . . unless they update the list to declare this year the iPad anniversary. Then, by all means, gift away!
No, I prefer to think of each year more in terms of themes than gifts.
There is the first year, which is the Honeymoon Year. Still basking in the blissfulness of being newlyweds, everything is new and wonderful and perfect.
Then there is the New Parent Year, the first anniversary after having a baby. There is simply no energy to celebrate. Every ounce of romanticism and adventure has been sucked out of you by the tiny being you created together.
More than likely, this is soon followed by the Annoyed Year. You've been married long enough for all those things you found endearing in the beginning to turn into major pet peeves. After a year of getting on each other's nerves, you simply celebrate the fact that you haven't killed each other yet. The gifts for that year? A simple peck on the cheek and an agreed-upon cease-fire for the day.
You've got your Milestone Years, of course. The 5 and 10 year anniversaries, where you are able to reflect on what an accomplishment that is in this day and age. Maybe you treat yourselves to an extra fancy dinner out, or you go on a nice trip. Those are some warm and fuzzy anniversaries for sure.
This year? I don't know about Mike, but for me this is the Ah-Hah Year. I figured out that perhaps I cause a few of the marital problems we encounter. Maybe, unlike I previously believed, I'm not the perfect partner. Maybe, gasp, I'm not the easiest person to live with! I wish I was kidding, but I kind of functioned under this mind-set for the last 13 years. Let's all take a moment to pat Mike on the back for letting me live in this fantasy world for so long.
I'm not sure what caused me to have this monumental shift in my perspective, but it has to mean nothing but good things for the years ahead. Well, for Mike anyhow. It's going to suck to start losing arguments because I'm flat-out wrong, and quite frankly, difficult at times.
Thank goodness this partnership, started 14 years ago today, is a life-long contract. It appears I am a slow-learner. And so this not-so-perfect wife wishes her not-so-perfect husband a very happy anniversary. Somehow, that seems just about perfect.