Thursday, September 06, 2007

Anniversary Ideas

Today is my wedding anniversary. They seem to roll around more and more often. My marriage is now old enough to drink. After 21 years, the need to come up with a unique and appropriate anniversary present each year is becoming increasingly difficult. This year I have punted entirely.

Last year I put together a slide show video of my wedding, but I can only get away with that once. My problem is exacerbated by the the fact that my wife has exquisite but precise taste. Anniversary gifts fall in a narrow range of appropriate categories.


One of my mantras is "They are ALL diamond anniversaries."

Over the years I have managed to obtain the various pieces of jewelry that she likes, which tends towards diamonds, sapphires, and the occasional pearl. She has rings and earrings in each of these gemstones that cover her from daily use to fancy events. The level that it takes to "wow" has generally gone up as well. For the fifteenth anniversary, I gave her a very nice diamond band, but then a year later her mother gave her a hand-me-down ring that outsparkles my gift significantly.

While in China this summer, we spent some time in the open markets haggling. We got several nice pearl items at fantastic prices and even found a beautiful jade pendant. Nothing in my price range is going to top those.

Clothes and Purses

My rate of success in picking appropriate clothes or accessories is spotty at best. I still bask in the glow of the one time I selected the perfect Talbot's sweater. Since then my clothing choices have mostly been fabric gift certificates. I get stuff from stores she likes and she is welcome to exchange them at her leisure.

Purses are even worse. Her standards for a good purse are just inscrutable to me. The perfect purse is some indefinable combination of roominess, compactness, quantity and location of pockets and ease of organization. Not surprisingly, it seems only Coach meets her exacting standards lately. When in New York recently our path to dinner inadvertently led us past the Madison Avenue Coach store. It seems that she had seen a purse on the web site that was only available in their Manhattan store. Sure enough, it was in stock and met her current criteria perfectly. I tried to make the "Hope you enjoy your early present" joke several times to responses that range from a derisive snort to an icy stare.

Flowers, Chocolates, Balloons and Trinkets.

Like most men I have a reputation for never sending flowers often enough, so that becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy. Before we were married, she had a gay coworker whose partner was a florist. The manager had to tell him to have his partner cease and desist with the deliveries because it was creating too much ill-will among the women with less thoughtful significant others.

As a teacher, she gets tons of chocolate at every gift-giving occasion. The sweets tend to linger around the house until discovered by my ever-hungry teenage son, or worse, snatched by my delicate-stomached dog. The gifts he then leaves behind are even much less wanted.

Sports Cars

In our dating phase, we would frequently drive up and down Peachtree Street in Atlanta which has the highest per capita ownership of Mercedes I know of. I used to jokingly tell her that I would get her a 450SL for our 25th anniversary. With that only four years away on the horizon, my rash joke doesn't seem so funny. At least I never specified a model year.

BlatantCommentWhoring™:It's too late for this year, my goose is already cooked, but what should I have gone with?


Jeff and Charli Lee said...

Happy anniversary!

I find I can always get away with a nice "surprise" night out to dinner and a play. It has to be a total surprise though so she doesn't know where we're going. Bonus points for a nice hotel stay.

Impetua said...

Happy Anniversary! Tomorrow is my 40th birthday... so you two crazy kids got married when I was just out of high school and utterly without direction or shame.

Is she the day-at-the-spa with a girlfriend type? Even better if it comes with a gift certificate to some fancy clothing place nearby to the spa, so she and the friend can go look at clothes once they are all relaxed and fabulous looking.

Or, since your marriage is now of legal drinking age, you could just send the boy out to a friend's overnight and stay at home with the missus getting plastered. :)

Stella Dean said...

Happy Anniversary to you both!

I wouldn't want any of those things. Except, I do want an anniversary band. Still waiting.

I would prefer that my man take me away for a weekend alone. That is because we have younger children. Can I tell you it has been years since I've been able to pee without interruption? It has. YEARS. So a weekend (hell, a night) away is good for me.

As for you two, perhaps a book signed by her fav author?

yellojkt said...

All great ideas. We ended up having dinner at Pazo in Baltimore which is a very nice place. Just having a nice meal together was very pleasant. I'm sure I will get hit up for something eventually.

Anonymous said...

I have it pretty easy. GF has been known to take me to stores and point out what she expects to see in her hands the following week.

But it's not like I'm whipped, oh no. For instance, on the last gift-giving occasion where she did this, I defiantly bought the identical item NEXT to the one she'd pointed out. Beat that with a stick.

Mooselet said...

I know I'm late, but Happy Anniversary!