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If Men Produced Themes for Wedding Anniversaries

Dear Jon wants to take anniversaries back from Gift Stores.

by Dear Jon
February 22, 2005

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Actual Letter to Dear Jon
Dear Jon,
Now that I have been married for nearly four years, I am starting to worry about whether all my wedding anniversaries have themes. I know that 25 years is the “silver” anniversary, and 50 is “gold,” and 75 is “diamond,” but what about 5 years? 10 years? Should I be concerned that a 7 year anniversary is supposed to have a theme? Does the “fourth anniversary” have a theme? Please help!
Sincerely, The Groom
Dear Groom,
Have you noticed that when couples have been married 75 years, the bride is usually 91 or 92? When folks married 75 years ago, they married because, at the age of 16, they were grown-ups. They had their eighth grade educations, and many even had high school diplomas by the time they were 16 or 17. In those days, “Kindergarten” did not exist, Dr. Spock had not published, and psychologists had not postulated theories on why extending “adolescence” into the mid-30’s was a good idea. No one assumed that some one had to have a college degree before they were qualified to work.
Now we have folks waiting until they are in their 30’s to finish college and “figure out what I am going to do with my life.” What was there to figure out in 1930? Get a job already. That was back when it was not politically insensitive to call somebody a “lazy bum” who was, in fact, lazy and a bum. Of course, in 1930 the nation was about to be convulsed by record unemployment levels as the consequence of a deep economic depression. Many people who were not lazy bums lost jobs.
The “Depression” is why these grumpy old folks who wonder what the world is coming to, can’t understand why their 30-somethings grandchildren feel, 1) entitled to an easy living, and 2)lost about what to do with their life. If you are lost, here is a clue: A hungry man grateful for a job does not suffer from an existential crisis. Do you get it yet?

Dear Jon:
I thought the fellow asked about themes for wedding anniversaries. Were you going to get around to answering that question?
Sincerely, Curious about anniversaries.
Dear Curious:
Yeah, yeah. I don’t have time to look up the anniversary themes. Besides, Miss Manners is dead and Martha Stewart is waiting for her parole. I think it is time that GUYS, and I mean real men, not Hallmark Gift Store® marketing consultants, come up with anniversary themes that really reflect the growth and stages of the marriage.
Year One: The Wedding Video Anniversary. This does not require a lot of effort. Your anniversary will likely be on a Sunday, giving you a day or a whole week-end to enjoy memories. After a simple supper (you don’t want to be uncomfortably full), you will watch ten minutes of your wedding video, and then you will both be eager to hit the sack.
Year Two: The Honeymoon Anniversary. Now you are worried about bringing back the spark that had burned in your first year. Try bringing a jar of honey into the bedroom and make it up as you go along.
Year Four: The Circled Date Anniversary. Now that the anniversary is in the middle of the work week, you have circled the date on all your calendars because you forgot the anniversary in year three, and she spent the next two weeks with her mother. She came back when she learned she was pregnant by an early fluke. Dessert features date bars.
Year Five: The “Dishwasher Safe” Anniversary.
Year Six: The “I Lost the Tupperware® in the lunchroom at work Anniversary.”
Year Seven: The “Itch” Anniversary. Appropriate gifts include powders, sprays, and topical ointments for itch relief, to be applied liberally over your heart when you are tempted to go and flirt with the college accounting intern standing at the copy machine.
Year Eight: The Spit-up Bib Anniversary. You feel like you don’t have time for sex, but the kids just keep on being born.
Year Nine: The Mortgage Papers Anniversary.
Year Ten: The Family Trip Anniversary.
Year Eleven: Another Family Trip.
Year Twelve: Hooray. Disney World. Again.
Year Thirteen: At least this year the kids will be old enough for the rides.
Year Fourteen: The Pink Slip Anniversary. Please, no gifts. Money and groceries would be great.
Year Fifteen: This should be a landmark. It might be pewter or something like that.
Year Sixteen: The “We Should Have Started the College Savings Plan By Now” Anniversary.
Year Seventeen: The Bigger House so every kid can have their own room, television, computer, game system, and cell phone Anniversary.
Year Eighteen: The Learning Permit Anniversary.
Year Nineteen: The “I Can’t Believe It’s Not Butter!”®  Anniversary.
Year Twenty: The Gosh Has it been 20 Years Already Anniversary (is it a landmark like Brass or something?)
Year Twenty-one: The “How sweet, our teenagers have remembered our Anniversary.”
Year Twenty-two: The Twisted Fender Anniversary, again, thank you teenagers.
Year Twenty-three: The College Student Laundry Binge Anniversary.
Year Twenty-four: The Marriage Building Book of Great Ideas “Green M&M’s® Trail” Anniversary.
Year Twenty-five: Silver. Be sure everyone knows ahead of time to give you a nice party that maybe two out of your three kids will decide to show up for, meaning, of course, the two that come home from college. You’re seventeen year-old might, you know, have stuff going on, whatever.
Year Twenty-six: The “You’re Not Good Enough for My Baby” Anniversary. Your daughter brought a boy-friend home for Thanksgiving; she thought the holiday was a disaster, you and your spouse thought it was very successful indeed.
Year Twenty-seven: The “Isn’t About Time You Found Somebody?” Anniversary.
Year Twenty-eight: The “It would be great to be grandparents” Anniversary.
Year Twenty-nine: The “Great, our College Graduate Has Moved Back Home” Anniversary.
Year Thirty: The “It’s Macaroni and Cheese for dinner, and don’t you have some place you need to be this evening, Miss College Graduate?” Anniversary
Year Thirty-One: The Empty Nest Finally Anniversary.
Year Thirty-Two: The “But MY Parents Are Too YOUNG to Die” Anniversary.
Year Thirty-three: The Most Beautiful Grandchild Ever Born Anniversary.
Year Thirty-Four: The “What Do You Mean You’re Spending Christmas With HIS Parents” Anniversary.
Year Thirty-Five: The Gravy Anniversary. You’ve survived the end of the honeymoon, child-birthing and rearing, the empty nest, and baby-sitting for the prettiest tykes who have ever begged you for another cookie. After this, every year you spend with your loved one should be the “It’s All Gravy Anniversary.” Otherwise, I will have to start developing geriatric themes, and I really don’t have the appetite.

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