Today is my wife’s and my First Wedding Anniversary. We have been married for exactly one year. Some thought it wouldn’t last.
“Some” is my wife’s nickname. And, given my chronic inability to remember to take out the garbage, she seemed to feel that at some point she’d probably have to kill me, collect the insurance money and start over.
Fortunately for me, our 9-month old son, Ivan, stuck up for me.
Well, he spit up on me, drooled on me, peed on me, pooped on me, pulled my hair, and dug his fingernails into my face many, many times. All of this I took to be obvious displays of affection and his demonstrations that I was his favorite. So, it was in deference to that, and the fact that I’m useful when it comes to hauling the stroller up and down the stairs of our walk-up apartment, that my wife decided to keep me around and see this marriage thing through.
Ivan and I are much the better for it. Without her, we’d be “One and a Half Men.” Frankly, given that I’m relatively short, we might be called “Two Halves of a Man.” [And, in our case, I’m not sure two-halves would make a whole. They’d just make a grown-up, infantile, baby with anxiety problems, and a real baby, who doesn’t have teeth, can’t talk, can’t walk, can’t feed himself, and of course, has serious diaper-soiling issues.]
In any event, I digress. The point is that it is my wife’s and my 1st anniversary. As a result, I wanted to get her a special gift to show her how much I love and appreciate her. So, of course, I went to the ultimate resource and knowledge base for all things that need to be known – Google.
Here’s what I learned:
Each wedding anniversary year has a corresponding gift or type of gift that should be given. For example, on the 70th Wedding Anniversary, it is traditional to give a gift made of Platinum. Of course, one wonders who’s around after 70 years of marriage to exchange such a gift. Even if you got married at the age of 20, you’d be 90 for your 70th wedding anniversary. What kind of Platinum bauble would you want then? A Platinum walker?
But, I get ahead of myself. While anyone who can stay married for 70 years deserves something made out of Platinum (if only for not killing their spouse for that long) what gift is appropriate after just 1 year of marriage? One year is hardly any time at all compared to a person’s whole life.
Turns out the appropriate 1-year anniversary gift is paper.
At first, I was glad to learn this. Like any man, I’m not the best with gifts, and I was pleasantly surprised to think that I could satisfy my 1st anniversary obligations by going to the printer, extracting a clean sheet of paper, and handing it to my wife.
But, not so fast, I thought. That’s too easy. There has to be a catch.
Indeed, there is. Because what one must remember with 1st anniversary gifts is that the gift recipient is your spouse, the person to whom you’re married, not a friend you only see once every 5 or 10 years. If you screw this up, you will never hear the end of it and never live it down.
So a sheet of paper was out.
Then, I thought I’d get creative. Maybe tickets to something, like maybe a music concert. But, there were several problems with that. First, in this day and age, tickets often aren’t printed anymore. They’re delivered to you electronically via email or text or some other mode of smartphone transmission. Second, even if they are delivered, most times they’re not actually paper, but sort of that cardboard-y material, and, well, cardboard isn’t paper. Third — and this is a biggie – as I mentioned, my wife and I have a 9-month old son, which means that we no longer have a social life and certainly not a social life together. Oh, sure, I can go out at night to perform comedy, but she has to stay home with the baby. And, on those nights when she needs a break to maintain her sanity, I have to stay home and sling Ivan around in the apartment in the Bjorn while I rehearse my newest material.
So tickets were out.
And, then it came to me like a bolt of lightning from the sky. It was a moment of true inspiration. A flicker of true genius that I likely will never have again. The ultimate paper gift for a couple marking their 1st wedding anniversary, marking the end of the newlywed period, marking the time when you and your spouse are recognizing that you are in it for the long haul, come hell or high water, warts and all, the perfect gift for the person with whom you will be sharing the rest of your life, from whom you will keep no secrets, and who will observe and know every single thing about you, even your most distasteful traits and habits:
Because nothing says “I love you” more than sparing your spouse a trip to the drugstore or the Costco or the Walmart, stocking up on a big supply of toilet paper and then coming home and putting a beautiful, pristine and soft new roll on the toilet paper dispenser (with the paper oriented away from the wall and dispensing from the top, of course).
So, to my wife, on this day – our 1st anniversary – my gift to you is a giant package of some seriously soft, 3-ply, super-absorbent toilet paper.
Don’t cry baby. I know. I’m amazing. And, you’re very, very welcome.
Now, if you’ll just excuse me, I have to use the bathroom. I’m reading War and Peace, and I am definitely not letting all that great T.P. go to waste!