On Tuesday, my husband and I will celebrate 38 years of marriage. How the heck did that happen? I distinctly remember saying to older couples, “Wow! You’ve been married longer than I am old!” I’m fifty-nine now, so I hardly ever get to use that phrase any more, but occasionally, I see someone celebrate their 50th anniversary and even less often, a 60th anniversary makes the news. It makes my head hurt to think about it, but it is conceivable we will celebrate those dates.
Anniversaries are designed to commemorate and celebrate. While looking for an appropriate gift for this auspicious occasion, I came across this chart that lists suggested gifts, both traditional and modern.
In the first fifteen years of marriage, there are choices designated for every year. After that, traditional gifts are suggested only every five years. Who created this idea and why do we follow it?
I’m sure the traditional gifts evolved from old customs that had relevance to the strength and endurance of marriage, but how did these suggestions for modern gifts evolve? What sense does it make that traditional gift for a 6th anniversary is candy, but if you want to give a modern gift, the suggested selection is iron? Iron? If my husband had given me iron for our 6th anniversary, we would not likely be celebrating our 38th! Still, I was intrigued enough by the suggestion to veer off on a side trip to see what, besides horseshoes, might be given as a gift of iron.
My first search yielded a hideous appliance (undoubtedly created by a man) to flatten the wrinkles from clothes. I confess I do own an iron. I actually use it, too, nearly every day. Most cotton clothes require ironing and I love natural fabrics as opposed to the chemically dependent synthetics. Nonetheless, that probably is not what the gift list has in mind for a 6th anniversary. Red Envelope had some suggestions for 6th anniversary gifts but after tooling around there for a few minutes, I realized I was off track again and late by 32 years, so back to the chart.
The chart suggested “beryl” for a memorable 38th anniversary gift. A search for that led me to lots of information about a tropical storm that came near the states in May of this year. I also hit a page listing a weapon. I was pretty sure that wasn’t any better than an iron. Undeterred, I went back to the chart. A good bit of time has passed now, while I’m reading and researching for an appropriate anniversary gift.
I’m feeling a little panicky as I click the word, “beryl” on the chart, when voila’! A new page opens listing appropriate jewelry. (Who knew beryl could be white, pink, blue, red or yellow?) I’m feeling the excitement of the hunt momentarily until I recall neither of us wears jewelry. On our 25th anniversary, I bought us a pair of matching silver wedding bands. We put them on, had a party with a few friends, took some pictures of our hands wearing rings, then took them off, (the rings, not the hands!) put the rings back in the box and I don’t know where they might be now.
This obviously isn’t working very well for me! I’m abandoning the idea of traditional or modern gifts. I’m giving my husband a new GPS for his birthday. I know he needs one, it’s practical, and he’ll use it. That’s perfect! I enter my first search for GPS and I get explanations of the global positioning system I spend a little time reading about that, remember I’m supposed to be looking for an anniversary gift and enter a new search. That gets me a Nextag page with a thousand items to compare.
Maybe I should just skip this year and start researching for our 39th anniversary. If I start today, I may find a gift by July 10, 2013.