Last week, I was enjoying a takeout meal and a glass of wine with my friend, Marcia, at our monthly StayIn Wine & Dine when she suddenly asked how long I’d been married. (She didn’t add “this time” which is why she is my friend.)
I paused for a silent brain debate — was it 13 years? 14? 15?
Gently coaxing, she asked, “OK then, when is your anniversary?”
“Uh, the 30th? 28th? No, wait, I remember — the 29th!”
She glanced at her phone and then at me, “Today is the 29th.”
“What?! Oh, my gosh! I’ve got to go buy a card and some kind of gift!” I jumped up, gulped down my wine, grabbed my things and sprinted out the door.
In a small town at 8 p.m. shopping options are always slim — a grocery store, dollar store, drug store or liquor store. The only other option was a 30-minute drive to the nearest city to find a department store. We hadn’t been married long enough for me to make that kind of sacrifice, especially on a weeknight when I’m normally in my pajamas and wrapped in a furry blanket by 9 p.m.
I masked up, chose the more-expensive dollar store (nothing but the best), grabbed a gift sack, tissue, a package of briefs, some outdoor solar lights, a few energy drinks and a large bag of peanut M & Ms that said, “I’m Not Sick of You Yet.” The rack labeled Anniverary Cards was completely bare, so I made do with a Thinking of You card that said “Let’s Keep in Touch.”
It would have to do. The important thing was that after 15 — no, wait, 13 years — I had finally remembered.
It’s really not my fault. We flew to Vegas to get married, our plane was late on arrival and there was a three hour time difference, so by the time we actually made it to the chapel and got married, it was nearly midnight on our Indiana watches. The entire wedding event transpired over 72 hours at the end of the month, so the exact day was somewhere between the 28th and the 1st.
I walked in the front door, plopped the beautifully bagged underwear and M&Ms on my husband’s lap as he was sitting in the recliner and said, “Happy Anniversary!”
“What?” he frowned quizzically.
“You thought I’d forget, didn’t you? Well, I didn’t,” I said smugly.
He looked at me for several long seconds and said, “Our anniversary is May 29th.”
“I know,” I said, beaming.
“Today is April 29th.”
Marriage has no guarantees. If that’s what you’re looking for, go live with a car battery.—Erma Bombeck