I've been thinking about our previous anniversary
Remember our first anniversary? We road-tripped to San Diego, got a gorgeous hotel room right on the beach, had a relaxing dinner al fresco, and then topped off the evening with a bit of champagne. Romance was definitely in the air... until I ran to the bathroom and started puking my guts out. It must have been food poisoning, because for the next 8 hours, I writhed in misery on the cold bathroom floor. I remember you helplessly calling out from the bedroom, asking if there was anything you could do. We drove home the next day, me queasily clutching a plastic bag, just in case.
Undeterred, we tried again for year two, this time staying the weekend in-town at a swanky hotel. It started off unassuming enough -- a little bit of pool-lounging, a little bit of shopping -- until our, um, sparkling personalities decided to explode at exactly the same moment. You remember that fight, don't you? I mean, how could you forget The Great War of 2006? To this day, I can't think of it without cringing in uncomfortable embarrassment. (But, as with most of the fights we've had, I couldn't tell you now what were fighting about. All I know is that if we can survive that, well, then we can survive anything.)
Surely, I thought, SURELY our next anniversary would prove redemptive. The third times a charm, or some such cliched nonsense, right? Wrong. That year, we traveled to the Midwest to stand with your family under the soaring trees of a grand old cemetery. The specialness of "our" day was completely, and rightly, eclipsed by the mourning of your grandfather, who passed away that week after a short battle with cancer.
By the fourth year, I think we wised up (or maybe we were just fed up). Either way, we kept it simple that night, with dinner at a favorite restaurant. A few weeks later we spent the weekend up north in the mountains. Do you remember, after our picnic by the lake, how we got lost and drove for 17 miles on a bumpy dirt road filled with cattle and deer - me clutching my heavily pregnant belly, you wincing as our small sedan got battered and bruised by the unexpected off-roading? Why we didn't turn back, I'll never know.
And now, here we are, just days away from marking the fifth year of our marriage, and the Bad Anniversary Fairy has come for her yearly visit. The news was swift and surprising, and cemented the fact that this has been the most trying, most complicated year of our life together. A rough pregnancy and birth. A baby in the hospital. Your worsening, debilitating back pain. The overwhelming stress and exhaustion of new parenthood.
Now, a job loss.
In the dark, we talked about our anniversary. How should we celebrate it, in light of the situation and without spending money that we should be saving? I told you I felt like throwing in the towel. "Forget it," I said cantankerously. "What's the point? All of our anniversaries get ruined, anyway."
You said, "Who knows? Maybe it will be the best one ever."
You said, "I have hope."
(Husband, where would I be without you? Drowning in my own melancholia, that's where.)
So this year, inspired by you, I propose a joint anniversary gift. A little something inexpensive that we can carry in our pockets every day:
Hope that you'll find another, even better job. Hope that your back pain will respond to the new therapies you're trying. Hope that our darling son will finally start sleeping through the night so that you and I can function like normal human beings again.
Hope that even without spending a lot of money, this anniversary will blow all of the others out of the water. (Because, let's face it, it doesn't have much in the way of competition.)
Hope that this year is going to be the best one ever.
What do you say?
Love + kisses, your devoted wife