Thursday, May 23, 2013

Past Deadline: Happy Futon Anniversary

Here is Past Deadline from the May 9/13 issue of The Perth Courier.

Happy Futon Anniversary
In early May, Groom-boy and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary.
Jeepers! That seems like a long time.
Such a milestone (even though it is not divisible by five) merits acknowledgment of some sort, yes? Well, I couldn’t help but notice the dramatic difference between anniversaries of the newlywed era versus, shall we say, the teen years.
It took Groom-boy and me a few years before we figured we were ready to have kids, so going out on the town, away for a weekend, off to a movie or just out for a quiet, romantic dinner was easily done. There was no need to arrange for babysitters and, even more importantly, there was actually energy to not only think of a creative way to mark an occasion, but to actually make it so.
That feels like a long day ago.
Here’s how our romantic 17th anniversary unfolded.
The day before, it dawned on me I should get a card. I didn’t see one I liked at the grocery store, and that’s almost the last time I thought of it.
On The Big Day, we opted for a (romantic) family outing to the big city. After all, we needed to look for a replacement futon mattress at Ikea. “Let’s make that our anniversary present,” we said excitedly. It was doubly thrilling because I hadn’t been to the new store yet.
Pretty exciting so far, eh?
We dragged the kids along because, well, they needed shorts. We stopped at a toy store, too, because 785 Nerf guns aren’t enough, especially when you can get one that has a water pack. (At least that means Boychild will spend some time outside.)
I was excited to find a replacement duvet cover at a good price during our excursion, meaning we have a lightweight one for summer that doesn’t have poorly repaired tears in it (I am such a seamstress).
We went to a mall, and while Groom-boy and the kids went to one store, I managed to sneak into a card shop and find something suitable for the occasion, which I later filled out in the car while waiting for Groom-boy. I know. Dripping with romance, yes?
The card had a light bulb on it. Groom-boy is all about light bulbs. If there was a job checking the town for burned-out back-lit signs, he would be your guy.
Anyway…next we were off to a family-friendly restaurant for our romantic 17th-anniversary dinner. It was yummy. Girlchild kept wanting to tell the waitress about the occasion. We kept telling her no one would care. It’s all about the birthdays at the family friendly restaurants, you know.
Since our anniversary we’ve been joking that we just celebrated our “futon mattress and duvet cover” year. I did some very cursory research and learned that on those gift lists that even bother to acknowledge anniversaries that aren’t in increments of five after the 15th year, “furniture” is the gift for 17, so we were sort of on track, I guess.
Our items are definitely suitable for 17 years of marriage, at least. After all, sleep deprivation continues to be a sporadic issue even as the kids get older. Groom-boy usually conks out on the lumpy futon in front of the TV as the night wears on, while I trudge off to bed and doze off with a book in my hand under the tattered duvet.
At least now Groom-boy won’t have springs poking him in the back and my toes won’t get tangled in the ripped duvet cover. (Not that either of us would actually notice….zzzz.)
Ah, married life. Clearly year 17, complete with an 11- and 7-year-old, is the height of romance.
(And that’s just fine.)

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