Saturday, July 2, 2016

Anniversaries: Pro or Con?

My own position is more con than pro.  We married because we love each other.  The normal thing is to keep loving one another until at least one of us is dead.  This makes sense to me.

Celebrating your first anniversary is probably a good idea; it's an opportunity to review how well you are settling down together and make any necessary adjustments.  "Yes, honey, I won't leave my wet towel on the bathroom floor anymore."

Okay, reassessment is most often a good thing.  However doggishly adhering to a celebration! every year could quickly get tedious.  Going out to dinner - albeit a themed dinner - "Oh, aren't we HAPPPY! - is rather meaningless as  most of us already go out several times a month.  And are happy.  No one ever had to drag me into a restaurant kicking and screaming I can assure you.

So, why wedding anniversaries and are they just another Hallmark marketing tool?  Apparently not as Hallmark didn't exist during the Holy Roman Empire (962 - 1806.)  Husbands gave wives a silver wreath after 25 years and a golden wreath after 50 which would be quite an achievement for those days when "old age" was, what?  Forty?

Other sources point out that an anniversary should be a one day banishment of daily routine.  Just remember to feed your kids and pets before you take off. 

I will concede that staying hitched for 50 years is a formidable thing.  So do the leaders of the Commonwealth, Australia, Canada, the United States and the Pope.  With sufficient warning to the particular leader, you will be sent a congratulatory note or card.

Commercialism did creep into anniversary gifts fairly speedy and by 1937 (I think) a list of "suitable" gems per each celebration was provided by the national jewelry syndicate (or similar.)  Florists got into it, too.    Currently Richie owes me a pearl and a bouquet of lilies.  I already have a strand of faux pearls and he routinely buys day lilies at the Farmers Market.  He's covered. 

What do you get for an 85th wedding present? Quick math - if you married at 20, 85 years later you would be 105 and quite possibly vision impaired so in the United States you get a moonstone (which the truly aged might confuse with a very large pearl) or in the UK a bottle of wine which would probably kill you as at 105, the presumption is that you're already so full of pills that you rattle (if, in fact, you're still able to walk.)

And yet, to my utter astonishment that are quite a few couples who have been married for 65, 70, 80+ years!  I was stunned when Esther, a very dear friend, sadly departed, remarked one day that it was her and Don's 62 anniversary!  I blurted, "But that's two years younger than I am right this minute!"

At the moment, lists a Karem and Katari Chand, of Bradford, Eng. as the leaders with 90 (90) years of wedded bliss.  They married in 1925.  Carrying the USA banner are Herbert and Zelmyra Fisher, NC., who celebrated their 86th anniversary.  They were married in 1924.

Richie and I celebrate 33 years today.  We were 43 and 42 when we married (and I'm the older; I cougar-ed  him) so it is more than likely by the time our 50th rolls around our ashes (in the same container) will be reposing in St. Patrick's Cemetery, Huntington, NY.  No loss.  At 93 and 92, how would our dentures have managed a steak anyhow?   Assuming we could see and recognize one.  But ... I bet I'd still want champagne! 

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