This week, the hubs and I will celebrate our anniversary.
Our 13th anniversary, to be exact. Our marriage is officially a moody teenager.
You know how each anniversary has a meaning that goes with it? Like the 1st is paper and the 25th is silver? I looked up the 13th, half expecting to discover it’s the broken mirror or spilled salt anniversary. It’s not. It’s lace.
I first thought they were items that became increasingly harder to break as you go along (the 60th is diamond), but that’s not the intention. They’re supposed to be gifts. So on your 11th, you should give your spouse something made of steel to signify the strength and permanence your marriage has after eleven years.
After the 11th, the gifts become fancy, because the couple has endured the supposedly difficult first decade and can now enjoy the finer things (like silk, lace, and pearls). I guess something made of lace would be nice, but the hubs and I had a different idea.
Back in August we decided to take a cruise to celebrate our anniversary this year. We haven’t taken a trip that was just the two of us since before our oldest son was born nearly eleven years ago. So we’re due a getaway.
Of course, that requires someone to watch our kids for a week, so I called my mom.
Me: Joe and I want to take a week-long anniversary cruise in March. Can you watch the boys?
Mom: In March? Your anniversary is in December.
Me: … I know that. We’re hoping for spring break.
Mom: This is your thirteenth, right? That’s not a big one.
Me: Big one?
Mom: You know, ten, twenty…
Me: *blinks rapidly*
Me: I don’t think the cruise line will mind that our anniversary isn’t a round number.
This conversation went in circles for a little bit before she accepted the fact that the hubs and I could take a trip on our number 13 anniversary. And 13 being unlucky wasn’t a factor. She’s not superstitious, and when I was in high school I took a trip with my orchestra that involved sailing through the Bermuda Triangle on Friday the 13th. I lived to tell the tale, so I’m good.
My mom’s OCD aside, there’s another reason we decided to take the trip. Around the time my grandma passed away last May, my grandpa offered some advice: spend your money on experiences, not things. That’s what he and Grandma did. Camping trips. Long drives in their fifth wheel through Canada to get to Alaska. New Zealand. Europe.
The day I write this would have been their diamond anniversary, so I think he was on to something.
Experiences. Building memories. Living.
So we’re taking the advice of my elder and doing exactly that. The hubs and I are forsaking all other gifts to each other (Christmas, actual anniversary day gifts) to make our cruise even more memorable, with more exciting shore excursions and a fancier cabin.
And after nearly thirty-six years of being alive on this planet, I’m finally getting a passport.
So instead of this anniversary being unlucky, I’d say it’s the one where we’ll turn a corner, deliberately carving out time and resources to simply experience life together.
I can’t wait to start building new memories.