Today is John’s and my third anniversary. I kicked off the celebrations of marital bliss by firing him from our blog. He never actually wrote anything, so perhaps “fired” is a bit harsh, but I did erase him from our header, which sounds even more ominous. Sorry, love. Still, I should give him credit for being a wonderful proofreader and gentle critic when this blog veers too sharply into snarktown.
Anyway, I looked up the third anniversary gift, and traditionally it’s leather. According to About.com, the leather symbolizes a couple’s awareness of “the durability of their relationship.” It’s not that I don’t want my relationship to be durable, but I can’t really think of a less romantic way to describe a marriage. Ok, so I can think of less romantic leather-based ways to describe a marriage: dead, dried out, made of cows. But still.
As opposed to durable, leather as an anniversary gift sounds downright kinky in my opinion, as in:
“What anniversary are you all celebrating?”
“Our third anniversary. You know, leather and fetish and bondage?”
“How lovely! Do enjoy!”
But for whatever reason, there are now two categories of gifts you can give to celebrate your anniversary—the traditional and the modern. The modern gift for the third anniversary is crystal or glass, which seems an odd choice. First of all, it’s fragile, and breaks into tiny, sharp, injurious fragments. Plus, the logic seems a bit flawed. Sure, glass & crystal were developed after leather, but a more modern gift might be nanochips. Or even Astronaut Ice Cream.
Anyway, one glass/crystal gift suggested by the interweb is a Love Is Magic Anniversary Personalized Beveled Glass Picture Frame. To be honest, I actually do think that love is pretty darn magical. But I can’t think of a more heinous way to trivialize that sentiment than to mass produce a picture frame inscribed with a tacky poem. I can’t even bear to copy and paste the poem here. If you want to read it, you’re just going to have to click through to the website.
John and I have thought of creating our own list of anniversary gifts, much like our friends Morgan and Patrick did for us (last year was Little Trees Air Fresheners, this year is fair trade coffee—we’re waiting, you two). For our second anniversary, I wanted to get tattoos. The tatTWOnniversary, I called it. But we never managed to get them, in part because we couldn’t figure out where to put them that would be discreet but not prone to stretching or sagging. I think we were also slightly afraid that it would look tacky. Before you hop on the band wagon and agree that tattoos are trashy, let me inform you that I already have one. It looks like this:
But I’m somewhat less motivated to get the tattoos now that we can’t make a fun, new word out of three, tattoo, and anniversary.
In the end I’m opposed to a standardized system of gift-giving that tells me how I’m supposed to celebrate my relationship. (But I’m quite happy with an individual system—keep ’em coming, MoPa.) We’ll decide how to celebrate our marriage, thank you very much. Other couples, of course, should do the same, and if that means following guidelines for gift-giving or even buying engraved picture frames, well that’s ok, too (even if I personally find it cringe-worthy). Love and happy marriages are good things. Celebrate ’em however you want.
For me, last year that meant getting a Hebrew Study Bible from my (incredibly thoughtful) Catholic-raised husband, and a raw vegan meal at Pure Food and Wine that led to intestinal distress. Hot.
This year, we drank a bottle of cava that we’d saved from our wedding reception, and we’ve got a much better dinner date planned at Daniel.
And like I’d tell you if there was going to be leather involved. Awkward.