Here’s how a recent exchange went while sitting around the dinner table at Mr. PoP’s parents’ house.
FIL (Mr. PoP’s dad): Can you guys pick me up from the airport in a few weeks? I’ll get in on your anniversary.
Mrs PoP: I’m sure that’s fine. What date is that again? I’ll put it in the calendar.
FIL: Your anniversary? You don’t know your anniversary?
Mrs. PoP: Nope.
Mr. PoP (laughing): I do! It’s the only date I remember that she doesn’t!
Our anniversary is right around the corner, and it’ll mark 4 trips around the sun of marital bliss for the two of us.
In case it wasn’t clear from the conversation above, we take a pretty laissez-faire approach to anniversaries. Apparently this year will include picking FIL up from the airport, but other than that it’ll probably just be a normal day. If we remember to wish each other “Happy Anniversary”, we will. But that’s about it.
I know it seems odd, but we are pretty happy with the status quo, but have some different reasons and motivations that helped us arrive at these non-celebrations.
Lots of guys out there would say that having a wife that can’t remember her anniversary is great because it saves you from having to buy expensive presents, or worry about forgetting the day itself. Those guys are absolutely right – it’s pretty damn great! Here is why…
1.) Simplicity – According to wikipedia there are about 36 formal and informal holidays to be celebrated (or not!) in the US. Do we really need to add a personal one in there? Why not just K.I.S.S…
2.) Non-Consumerism – Sadly, just like many of our other holidays, anniversaries can become just another excuse to buy more crap to fill up our McMansions.
3.) I love her every day – Shouldn’t we just be telling each other “I love you” every day anyhow? No need for a special occasion!
Just because I don’t like remembering our anniversary date doesn’t mean that I don’t celebrate and appreciate our marriage in my own weird ways.
What Mr. PoP might not realize is that once a year, I usually break my wedding dress out of the closet and wear it for the day. (This isn’t that weird, it’s a sundress since we eloped on a boat not a full-on ball gown!) That’s usually the day I do the most reflecting on our marriage. And I don’t care what day it falls on as long as it’s not rainy. Rain + white dress = bad combo.
That said, there are two big reasons that I like not remembering our specific anniversary date.
Reason #1: It’s Pretty Arbitrary
The 4th anniversary is typically traditionally the linen anniversary. Lame! I don’t need an excuse to buy new towels if we need them. (And I don’t want any more if we don’t need them!) If we really want to celebrate something, how about taking note of the fact that we recently passed 20 Kardashians! (That’s 20-times the length of Kim Kardashian’s 72-day marriage.)
Isn’t this counter to my “what’s measured is managed” approach to our finances? Absolutely! But I don’t want to manage our marriage. We’re not on a renewal schedule like those crazy proposed temporary marriage licenses in Mexico.
And then there’s…
Reason #2: Nurture Issues
Growing up, I had two primary example marriages that I was exposed to. In one, the couple made a big deal out of anniversaries and were generally miserable toward one another the other 364 days per year. In the other, anniversaries and birthdays were just days like any other, but not a day went by when they did not make their love to one another clear.
As an adult, I know there are shades of grey between these two black and white examples, but even so… With these examples ingrained into my memories, I’ve made it a point to intentionally disregard anniversaries in every romantic relationship I’ve ever been in and try and celebrate the relationship and the other person every day. It’s my way of choosing a relationship like the second marriage I was exposed to and actively rejecting the first.
Besides, Mr. PoP seems pretty cool with the status quo. So, if it’s not broken, why fix it?
How do anniversaries pass in your relationship(s)? Do you mark them with a huge event or mostly ignore them like us?