Saturday 26 September 2015

Me vs Anniversary Gifts and Alcohol

I was getting drunk with my parents last weekend when we made a rather entertaining discovery regarding the gifts that tradition says we should get our partners on each wedding anniversary. Most are outdated or weird (Optical goods for the 48th or Conveyances for the 32nd), but one is so mind-bogglingly stupid that I felt it needed some attention. 

My stunning parents on their wedding day, 44 years ago
My parent’s 44th wedding anniversary is fast approaching, and in our inebriated state, we decided we should look up what the official gift for the year was supposed to be. I can’t account for how or why we decided to do this, suffice to say that it just happened. We were not sober.

We all knew the major ones:
The 1st anniversary is paper, or as I like to look at it: deciding not to get each other gifts because you’re still using cheques (or “paper”) to pay off the wedding debts. The 50th is gold; You’ve earned it, go spend some money. The 60th anniversary is the diamond anniversary, which I only know because the Queen of England recently celebrated her diamond anniversary of being a figurehead overlord for a country that I could drive across in a day but that still took over most of the world throughout the course of history.

And that’s about it.

The shell goes with the
prawn anniversary
My mother took out her phone and began drunk-dialing google to find out what tradition dictated was appropriate for our upcoming anniversaries. This was information that up until that point I hadn’t known I’d needed. And like an internet cat video, it didn’t disappoint.

She started with Husband and I, who are heading towards our 8th year of marriage.  Evidently 8 years of bliss can and should be commemorated by bronze or lace.  This is fine, except I heard prawns rather than bronze, so as far as I’m concerned, the 8th wedding anniversary will now forever be known as the seafood anniversary. Nothing says I love you like dead crustaceans.

The 44th anniversary gifting recommendation makes prawns look romantic.

Leading up to the 44th, one can look forward to such delights as “land” on the 41st(…this is very vague), improved real estate (….um, put a shed on the land?) for the 42nd, and travel for the 43rd.  These are good. I would not complain about a vacation house and a trip to Thailand after 40-odd years of marriage. These would be really nice gifts. Maybe by then I’ll be rich enough to actually afford them. Or maybe a picture of one of them.

And then the 44th year arrives, and with it the coveted bag of groceries.

Yes. That’s right. Tradition dictates that my parents, after 44 years of wedded bliss, should exchange bags full of food. This is how I imagine that exchange would go:

Here honey, I got you something.

*Hands my mother a Safeway bag full of condiments, pasta, and assorted veggies*

*My mother slowly accepts this bag as if touching it is going to cause her to contract a venereal disease*

You’ve really gone all out this year sweetie. I guess I’ll go start dinner.

*My father is never seen again*

Happily, my dad is smarter than this. And fair warning, if Husband showed up on our 44th anniversary and handed me a bag of kraft dinner and sauerkraut, there would be no 45th anniversary, and

no one would ever find the body.

Basically, I can’t think of much that is more insulting than gifting someone a bag of work, which is more or less what groceries are. Here babe, go put these away and make me some dinner.

My wedding flowers, because pictures
in posts are good
As far as I’m concerned, gifts aren’t even necessary, so please, just don’t. Really, if you value our marriage, never show up with food in a bag unless it has been cooked by someone else, and we’re going on a picnic.

In our intoxicated state, this was all hysterically funny. I mean, what an absolute failure of human brain function sat down and thought yes, a bag of groceries would be the perfect way to say I love you on this special occasion! Some poor person was obviously having a stroke when they came up with this. Or they had recently gone through a divorce and wanted everyone else to suffer.

And while we’re on the topic of all things wedding anniversary related, did you know there is a 100th year anniversary? For those of you who think you may ever actually achieve this mile stone, please make sure you keep to tradition and get your loved on a 10 karat diamond, as you are supposed to. They will probably be too old and feeble to actually wear a 10 karat diamond, as the weight of it will likely be too much to lift, but that’s not really the point.   

I feel like this is not only is this a lazy repeat of the 60th diamond anniversary, but who in the living fuck actually achieves this milestone? And more importantly, HOW OLD WERE YOU when you got married in the first place to make it to 100 years of marriage, let alone just to survive that long?
Husband and I almost 8 years ago

Well of course this required some research…and by that I mean the internet and 2 minutes of skimming a webpage or two.  According to Wikipedia, the longest marriage is just shy of 90 years, and the couple was married in 1925 (born in 1905 and 1912). It looks like they are still alive (again, believe what you want from the internet), but that would make them around 110 and 103 years old, so I’m not sure I trust this completely.

Anyway, in summary, try harder than a bag of groceries if you make it to your 44th wedding anniversary, or the chances of making it to your 100th decreases even more dramatically….unless of course your partner really, really likes sauerkraut.   

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