Sunday, November 27, 2016

Ten Plus Four

Earlier this month Nathan and I celebrated our 4th wedding anniversary and fourteenth year together. (We got married on our ten year anniversary because we like round numbers.) 

It was a strange time for celebrations. The election had just imploded and we both had to work. Still, we wanted to do something to commemorate our relationship, so we went out to lunch and ate a vat of chips and salsa. Later, we drank wine and watched the final installment of The Hunger Games, which seemed appropriate considering the state of the world. Nathan also wrote me a very sweet message on Facebook, which was lovely, especially since he doesn't like being the center of attention or showing emotions in public, while I love both those things. Sometimes true romance requires sacrifice. 

I'm not a very good gift-giver, though I am getting better, and we've always been hit or miss with anniversary gifts. For inspiration I like to check out those lists of traditional gifts, and we've gotten some good ideas from them - the first wedding anniversary was paper, which was easy (books!) and the second was cotton (clothes!). We skipped the third, which was leather, but I had high hopes for this year. As it turns out the traditional gift for the fourth anniversary is fruit or flowers. Neither of these particularly interested us - I buy myself flowers every week, and we eat a lot of fruit already.

We turned instead to the list of modern gift ideas, where we discovered that the fourth anniversary is a great time to buy electrical appliances. This interested us very much. When we moved into our current home we inherited a dryer that was pretty much the worst. It took two hours to dry a load and made a horrible screeching sound the whole time so that you had to lock yourself in the bedroom while it was running. We decided to treat ourselves to a new-to-us dryer as a joint anniversary gift, and it's pretty much the best thing ever. So quiet, so soothing, so effective. I'm not sure why electrical appliances were relegated to year four (maybe that's when any electrical appliances you received as wedding gifts start to fall apart?) but I'm glad it happened when it did.

Also, I've just realized I wrote a lot of paragraphs about gifts and none about, you know, marriage. And so, to bring it all together, a metaphor: marriage is like a dryer. You don't always appreciate it until it begins to fall apart and the loud, screeching sounds drive you crazy. While there are alternatives, dryers are pretty great, all things considered. It's worth it to fix and mend, to improve and and maintain, in order to keep them running smoothly. Because when your dryer works, it's quiet and steady and certain and warm, and it makes life easier and far more enjoyable. I'm very luck that I get to share my dryer, and my marriage, with Nathan.