Tuesday, Dec. 21, 2004
Dear Diary:

Today is the spousal unit and my 210th wedding anniversary.

Well, it would be 210 years if we were cats. The quibblers among my three loyal readers will point out that the spousal unit and I are not cats. The quibblers will point out that being human and all, this is only our 30th anniversary which sounds much less impressive than 210 years.

Quibble, quibble, quibble. Nobody like a quibbler, you know.

Like any couple who has been married more than 10 minutes, the spousal unit and I have had many, many moments when we've looked at each other and wondered how we could ever have been so stupid as to choose that person as our life partner.

I would love to be able to say that it has been smoove sailing, nothing but sunshine, lollipops and rainbows all the way. Not that we haven't had sunshine, lollipops and rainbows along the way, but there's been anger, tears, and marriage counselling, too.

Apparently that whole happily ever after business takes a fair bit of effort, and some of it even has to come from me. You can well imagine my bitterness.

The porch addition to the house has run more money than we planned (as construction is wont to do) so I told him that there was no need to do an anniversary gift. I have wanted a screened porch to sleep in during the summers almost as long as we've lived in this place. The prospect of doing that next summer fills me with unreasonable amounts of glee and is present enough.

We agreed that in lieu of an anniversary gift we'd throw another $50 to the Red Cross for Darfur and if there was extra loot in the kitty after Christmas then a nice meal out would be fun. We don't normally mark our anniversary on the actual day anyhow because it falls during that final dash towards Christmas—we've found it's more fun to celebrate during that post-Christmas letdown period in January.

I drifted down for breakfast this morning an ethereal vision of loveliness, sexy negligee, hair artfully mussed. Um, er, ah, well, maybe not exactly like that. I don't "drift" so much as I, uh, "clomp". My sleepwear wasn't actually a negligee so much as it was a stretched out, sloppy turquoise tee shirt that is about six sizes too large for me. The hair? Artfully mussed only in my dreams. The reality was closer to terrifying bedhead.

So yes, there I was, a clomping, bed-headed 50 something woman wearing a shapeless stretched out turquoise tee shirt which, in a pinch, could be used as a tent for a family of four. Who says long marriages have to lack romance? Huh? HUH?

And on the kitchen counter I saw this:

But we weren't supposed to buy gifts.

A present. A lovely, mission style stained glass lamp I had admired months ago in the studio of a local stained glass artist. You have to see this thing to get its whole beauty—it's not just about colour (which is far richer than this picture conveys). All the glass in it has a variety of textures. It's tactile as well as visual.

I was stunned that he'd remembered that I liked it, delighted to have it. And then I was chagrined because I hadn't bought him anything because, after all, we'd had this agreement.

As delighted and touched by the gift as I was, I was also very ticked off because it made me feel like a thoughtless cheapskate since I hadn't bought him anything. Arrrrrggggghhhhh.

Yep, I came this close to beginning the 31st year of my marriage by fighting with my spousal unit because he gave me a gift I had wanted for months.

Instead, I just thanked him profusely. I'll talk to him later about the rest of it. Oh yes, there will be a Talk About Feelings. You can imagine how much fun that will be for him because, after all, men love talking about feelings almost as much as women do.

Which reminds me of one of my favourite jokes about marriage:

What do you call a man who wants to marry another man?

A coward.


Mileage on the Marnometer: 982.07 miles.
Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.25 per cent thereTen percent there rubber duck.Ten percent there rubber duck.
Oh man. This is going to be hard
Goal for 2004: 1,000 miles - 1609 kilometers

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