Thursday, July 26, 2012

My Anniversary Gift Guide

I've been married for twenty years.  Get a load of that.  I told my husband six months ago that twenty years is the year of the dishwasher.  Then I looked it up.  What the hell?  There really is a year of the dishwasher - year four.  That's the modern version.  The traditional version only has a bunch of junk, then gemstones.  The first year is paper.  'Oh yeah, thanks sweetie, for all this recycled newsprint we can use in the outhouse.  Lovely.'  And this poor woman of yesteryear had to wait six years to even get candy. 

These days, because of divorce and inflation, they amp it up.  It's a little like the way the all kids on a Little League team have to get trophies at the end of a season.  Whereas I was supposed to get china from the traditional list this year, china comes in the second year for the modern woman.  According to the modern list, I'm up for platinum at this point.  Platinum?  What the hell do I want with platinum, maybe to coat some missiles or offer up a dose of chemo?  Don't think so. 

I don't want more stuff, well, except for a new dishwasher.  I have too much stuff as it is.  My house is absolutely full of stuff. 

My grandma died two years ago and my family still rents a storage unit for us all to go through when I come to visit next time.  Here's what I already own from my grandmother's estate: a china cabinet, loads of china, a tin of my dad's toys, love letters in a trunk, a teddy bear, five quilts, marbles, Avon figurines, a pitcher shaped like a strawberry, a porcelain head of an elephant, a box of old pictures of people, many of whom I don't know, a rocking chair that isn't safe to sit in, a donkey bank, a piggy bank, doilies, Ball jars, a butter churn with broken paddles, a railroad lantern, a hog hook, a hog scraper, a hog prod, a TNT box (I like that one), a coronet, a single tree horse yoke, quilt blocks, and some fabric scraps.  I really think I have enough stuff to remember my grandmother by.  When I tried to gently say that, my brother said, "I don't care who it goes to as long as it stays in the family."  In other words, he doesn't want it either.  There are only three of us for God's sake.  We can't keep everything she had in her house no matter how much we loved her. I haven't been too eager to go through that storage shed with him.  The last time we went through stuff, it cost me $385 to ship packages to myself.  That really makes my brother mad, that I don't want to keep it all. 

No, I don't need more stuff.  I'm much more interested in experiences.

So Mike and I have decided to take Jack on a canoe trip next week.  I'm a little nervous.  We haven't been on a canoe trip in eight years.  What I'm worried about is that Jack will bring the bad attitude he's developed lately and ruin it.  He's not even a teenager.  He's not allowed to have that kind of attitude yet.  But he does. 

Today, we hiked for an hour and he managed to get mad at me because he was tired and I wouldn't help him put his shoes back on.  I thought shoes was something the kids learned when they were four or five, laces and all.  Apparently not.  And how is it my fault that he got his butt wet in the process? 

Still, it's a canoe trip.  We'll be on the water, breathing in the lake air.  We'll be sleeping outside on an island.  That might be worth some whining.  That just might feel like the appropriate gift for my twentieth anniversary. 

Now, why isn't that on the modern anniversary gift guide?

Thank you for listening, jules

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