I’m as romantic as the next woman who’s mentally doing the ironing and regrouting the bathroom while whispering words of affection, but the whole anniversary thing is not a strong point.
I’m more of a minutiae of everyday life person so the big events are my other half’s arena.
If the fridge is devoid of milk, I’m on it, because there’s more chance of the dog grabbing her bag for life and nipping to Tesco for some semi-skimmed than anyone else in the family.
If details of a train timetable, ferry crossing, and several flight options for a future engagement are required they’re researched, cross-referenced and screenshot for easy access.
If the cat needs his meds prescription refilled, I’m there, because life is just one rock ‘n’ roll journey. But on the anniversary thing I’m losing love points. He’s there with the bouquet and the bubbles and I just look slightly confused.
It doesn’t help that we have two, the day we met and the day we got married. The first one’s important because the second one didn’t happen for nearly ten years.
On one such anniversary my now husband, then boyfriend took me out to celebrate this momentous collision of our worlds. The penny didn’t drop until the next day when he had to tell me what the dinner was about.
My best excuse is eloquently conveyed by Kelsea Ballerini’s
I Hate Love Songs, with the apt lyric, ‘we were drunk when we met so we don’t know our anniversary.’ But several Chardonnays and a man who’s a keeper, it was a great night.
When the wedding did happen the first anniversaries went by in a blizzard of pregnancies and babies. It was more Pampers and formula milk than the traditional gifts of paper, cotton and leather, and leather sounded like such fun.
We rattled through wax at 10 and emerald at 20 and with the help of several Post-Its, an old-school calendar and a phone alarm I’ve managed not to completely mangle my husband’s feelings by entirely forgetting every year.
The experts say a failure to mark an anniversary shows a lack of commitment, which is mortifying, and they suggest using a big date to reflect on a relationship, which is a recipe for several rows, a huff and a slammed door.
But we’ve made it this far, so something is going right.
We’re hurtling towards the 24th anniversary of our blissful union, which means the marriage has lasted as long as Barbra Streisand and James Brolin’s and Cindy Crawford and Rande Gerber’s.
But Ronan and Yvonne Keating didn’t make it, Uma Thurman and Ethan Hawke were never making it, and Dennis Rodman and Carmen Electra lasted all of nine days. Dennis was so drunk he couldn’t remember the wedding never mind their meeting. I’m beating someone at romance.
This year it’s all about opal or musical instruments. Who knew that 80th wedding anniversaries are oak and the 90th is stone, possibly representing what your heart has turned to after 90 years with the same person.
The table is booked for dinner, because I’m trying, and have even floated plans for next year and silver.
That’ll be traumatic because silver anniversaries are associated with silver haired people who have been together since the beginning of time, and I’m still 27 in my head.
At least the reality shock will come with a bouquet.