Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy Anniversary!

  I'm a married woman. It's been exactly 6 years since my marital status has shown "married".  The man I stood by on the Palais de Justice, and made a vow to the eternal union 6 years ago, now he's sitting right in front of me in a cafe, sketching on his drawing pad while I'm writing this story.

   When we talk about the general anniversary, it's easy to assume for the extravagant event, such as fancy cruise trip, having ultra fancy dinner, or super special outing with your partner. In fact, I have done that. I thought celebrating our anniversary in an unusual base was the right thing to do. After all, it's our THE special day. And it's only once a year event, so why not?

   Having done special event on a special date didn't make me feel special, if I have to tell the truth. It often generated unnecessary stress and financial burden. It seemed to me we needed to show off somehow by doing something special.
   I often get the random questions like, "so, what are you guys planning for the anniversary?" Then, automatically I needed to render the idea something sounds cool. I guess I didn't need to, but I don't know why I felt pressure answering. In the end, it's just random questions. It must have come from pure curiosity, or something close. Then, why did I feel like explaining something cool?

   It happened last year. I answered frankly, "oh! We're going to have a cruise dinner for this year. We decided to do something special." I answered with smile. I really thought we deserved to celebrate with something very special.  
   However, the whole event went the opposite direction than the way I had expected to be. My husband didn't like dancing in the crowds, especially on the floating cruise on Lake Michigan. I knew it beforehand, and I should've known better. But I hoped he would make one special exception for that day, for ME. I teased him, I persuaded him, in the end I threatened him for not cooperating this event. At the end of the date, we had a big argument and I felt triple miserable.

   'This is worse than just regular day. For god's sake, it's freaking anniversary and I need to feel something special. What the hell is this? Do I deserve this kind f abandonment?'

   On the way home, I was extremely sulky, I didn't talk to him. I didn't feel like faking, I didn't want to force myself being a gentle, mellow wife. I needed to send him a message that I was ultimately pissed off. I remember we didn't communicate each other for few day afterwards. There was negative vibe flowing between us. I was mad, and so he was.

   Then few more days later, I realized this whole thing was as ridiculous as it can be. I felt really childish and immature. I realized I was mad just because I didn't get what I wanted. That kind of behavior was easily seen by my 3-year-old daughter then. There was no point of being mean, and grumpy to my faithful husband. I needed to reach out first.

   "Honey, I'm really sorry screwing up our anniversary. I really wanted to feel extra special that day, but seeing you being stubborn in your chair instead of dancing with me on the floor made me explode. I only blamed on you because I thought you didn't care what I wanted. But now I realize I didn't care what you didn't want to, either. Being angry at you on that day was the last thing I wanted, but I still ended up being angry at you. Sorry..." I apologized sincerely that night.
   " I'm sorry, too. I really didn't expect you would be mad like a bull. But you know I'd rather swimming in the freezing lake than dancing on the floor with bunch of people, don't you?" He talked to me seriously while sitting right next to me, holding my hands tightly.

   I realized instantly, and I promised myself to not to forget this next time- all I need in our anniversary is the man I married and the man I love so much, who is right sitting next to me and holding my hands tightly. That was all I needed.

   This year, we decided to do something simple. Of course, after learning hard lesson, we didn't want to screw it up twice. We chose simple restaurant for lunch, went to cafe for a dessert. We also included our daughter for the ice-cream treat, and we went out for the quality date at night. We didn't want to spread fliers that are said "we've been married for 6 years." Instead, we sat down in a small cafe, me writing this story on his iPad, him expressing the ideas of creepy creatures on his sketch book.

   Sharing same moments, meeting our eyes together from time to time, making jokes like old couple, sending text messages while the other is focused, and making our memories together -these are the most precious things to look back when we grow older, and talk about over and over again. We will grow old together and he's going to be always with me, and I will be with him for better or worse.


  1. we have given up making a big show of special events and it does make things easier! But I also have that weird feeling of trying to explain it to others in a way that doesn't make them feel sorry for us. But I don't want to go to a lot of work or spend money just so I can look cool to other people.

  2. You are so right, Sun Hee, not to give in to the societal pressure of doing something "special" on a socalled special day. We have felt it often ourselves, but after many years now we proudly announce that we are doing "nothing" on a special birthday or anniversary, when that's what we really want to do. And we grab those moments when the kids are in the school and we both have time to have lunch together, or go shopping together, just the two of us. Those are the truly special moments!