When I was about to get married my father sat me down and gave me two pieces of advice that if I would listen would make my marriage a little better and perhaps keep me out of my wife’s dog house. His first pearl of wisdom was, “Never go to bed angry; even if you have to stay up all night fighting.” At first I wondered whether or not my dad knew what he was talking about but after 28 years of marriage I think he was probably right on this one. As I have gotten older it has been harder to stay up late so I have to now make sure the fights end earlier so I can get to bed.
My father’s second word of advice to me was, “Never forget your anniversary”. There is nothing that will bring the wrath of a woman quite as fast as a husband forgetting an anniversary. My dad tells stories of seeing the dent in his father’s head where grandma whacked him with a frying pan the year he forgot their anniversary. I am allergic to cast iron especially when it is applied to my head so I was going to make sure that I always followed this second tip.
I can only assume that my future mother-in-law sat my wife down and had a similar conversation explaining the rules of a happy marriage. These would of course include never getting between a husband and the remote control especially during October baseball and never suggesting that the children’s dental hygiene was a higher priority than baseball season tickets.
Given these tips for marital bliss, it should come as no surprise that I have circled September 27 on my calendar with a big Sedona Red marker. Within this circle in my handwriting are two important words, “my anniversary”.
I remember September 27 like it was yesterday. I had trouble sleeping the night before. I kept going over the events of the day in my mind trying to grasp the importance of what I was about to do. There was no doubt that I was making the right decision. It was about the only thing in my life that I was really sure of.
This relationship had been one of love at first sight and with each passing day my love grew stronger. Sleep was the last thing I was thinking about as I laid there in bed. I kept glancing at the clock trying to will it to go faster so that the activities of the day could finally begin.
Finally morning arrived and I quickly showered. As I got out of the shower I looked down at the clothes I had laid out. I wanted to look my best for this day. I was surprised at how nervous I was. Even though I was doing the right thing and I had absolutely no reason to question my decision I still wondered whether I would be able to go through with it.
What if I panicked when I walked down the path? What if my partner didn’t show up? What if I got there too late and missed the ceremony? All of these questions rolled over and over in my mind causing my stomach to roll like a grounder down the first base line.
Things all worked out though and none of my fears were realized. Looking back now it seemed kind of silly to worry about this stuff. After all, it worked out perfectly and I am now left with the perfect memories of that joyous event.
Today I again woke up early with sleep the last thing I was thinking about. I got up and quickly showered and dressed in my best outfit. I ran downstairs as quietly as I could so I would not wake my wife. I wanted to get everything ready.
When she got up and came downstairs I handed her a card and kissed her as I said, “Happy Anniversary dear!” She looked quite puzzled and stared at me. After what seemed like an eternal silence she said, “we were married in June”.
Well duh, I knew that. This anniversary is much bigger than that. Looking at her though you would have thought she had no idea what day this was. Finally I started to get a little frustrated. “Today marks the 12th anniversary of when I threw out the First Pitch at the Diamondbacks game” I said.
She still just stood there staring at me. At that particular moment I completely understood my grandmother’s actions with the cast iron frying pan. How in the world could my own wife forget this anniversary? I was flabbergasted. I mean I wasn’t expecting a giant Sedona Red cake with a Rallyback jumping out of it but I was at least hoping for a personalized Los D-Backs jersey that I have been hinting about for the last month.
Clearly this was going to be one of those days where I was going to be going to be up really, really late so that I didn’t go to bed angry. And to think, everyone in my family thought it was going to be me who forgot our anniversary. I guess I proved them wrong huh?