This is what I'm talking about:
Today is our 12th anniversary, which means that we should either be getting each other some swanky new silk undies or a tasteful monogrammed set of linen napkins. (For the impracticality of either gift, please see the 5 small children swinging from our rafters.)
Luckily, Phillip and I have never made a big deal about our anniversary, and sticking to a bizarre gift schedule like this is so not us.
What has historically been us, though, is the $5 gift.
When we got married we were 21 and 22 years old, completely broke and busy college students. By our first anniversary we were just as poor, just as busy, and had 1-month-old baby.
Spending a lot on each other was out of the question, and thus was born the $5 gift rule.
One Christmas when we'd been married for about 5 years, we spent the holidays with Phillip's family. On Christmas morning, we went around the room watching everyone open their gift, one by one.
Next to me, Phillip's sister opened a card from her husband and read it out loud. "Don't be upset that I spent so much. I did it because (a) I love you..." it began, and what followed was a moving love letter and a digital camera she'd been secretly wanting for a long time.
There were tears. There were hugs. It was epic.
Then all eyes turned to me and watched me unwrap... a new ice scraper.
The thing is, I was just as excited about my gift. I burst into laughter, thinking how this was exactly what I needed, and only Phillip could've known how I'd been complaining about my crappy ice scraper every day.
(He's also the only person who understands that I'd be delighted instead of offended by the gift of an ice scraper from my spouse. I've been told that this isn't the norm.)
So I thought the ice scraper was awesome, but there was more. Every day for the rest of that winter, Phillip got up early to scrape the snow and ice off my car in the blistering cold before he left in the morning.
To say that I love this man is an understatement.
What I liked about the $5 rule was that it forced us to pay attention to some small way we could improve the other's life, and then get creative about it because five bucks isn't much.
Twelve years later, we've gotten a little lax in our gift-giving policy. Sometimes we spend more than $5, sometimes we don't spend anything at all. Some years we go on a trip, just the two of us.
Sometimes we forget about our anniversary completely (we may or may not have been reminded one year by a phone call from my dad wishing us a happy anniversary.)
To be honest I sort of miss the $5 gift policy. But last year we did do pretty well — according to the chart, at least.
We needed a new stockpot for the stove, so went to the mall and bought one. A stainless STEEL pot, for our 11th anniversary. Ha!
That was a complete accident, though, and probably the first and last time that we'll be going according to the chart.
Unless we make a French silk pie tonight.
|photo courtesy of Baker's Square|
Which actually isn't a bad idea, and the ingredients would probably cost about $5. I don't think we've ever gone wrong with a $5 anniversary gift.