May 14th, 2011 was our 28th wedding anniversary. It was also the day that my wife blew me away with the most amazing romantic gesture I have ever received. It had everything an anniversary gesture needs. It was full of thought and planning, it honored the reality of our journey and connection, and it made me feel understood and appreciated. Frankly, it was perfect.
What did she do? She bought me chips.
I’m not sure if any guys out there can relate, but chocolates generally are not my thing, the only jewelry I wear is my wedding band (not even a watch), clothes & ties are just practical necessities rather than gifts, and flowers… well… just no.
But chips? Chips are me. They are my weakness. I am “savory” to the core. So not only did she get me something I like, she was also inadvertently telling me “You know what? I know you are a little soft around the middle these days, but I’m OK with that. I love you just the way you are.” She was also saying “I don’t care what the rest of the world might think. This gift is about you.” I doubt she was even aware of how the unspoken messages in her gift spoke to me.
I am also all about variety and trying new things. She honored that aspect of me when she didn’t buy me 28 bags of my favorite chip. Rather, she got me 28 bags, each a different flavor. Brilliant. The time and effort it took to actually find 28 different types of chips did not go unnoticed.
However, the ultimate romantic crescendo of the gesture came in the presentation. I’m not sure how she managed to keep this large collection of chips hidden from me, but she did. The first time I saw them, they were carefully arranged on the bed. On each bag was a handwritten, folded note labeled 1 to 28. “Each bag and flavor represents a different year of our marriage.”
And sure enough, opening each note I discovered a one line description of how she remembered each year we had been together – a realistic representation of the bumps and bliss of our life together – carefully matched to a flavor, texture and style of chip.
Here, without commentary, are the things she wrote:
- New. Plain & simple.
- A little rough but nice.
- An adventure with sweet & salty bits.
- An adventure with 3.
- New & exciting.
- A good vintage.
- Sign of the times?
- Getting hot?
- Great rocks.
- Hmmm? Not so favourable.
- Skinny on the love.
- A bit too volatile?
- You’re hot and your cold. Bah!
- OK sucks!
- Different. Improving.
- Getting better.
- Not bad. Not great.
- A little crunchy.
- Different but healthy?
- Evolution on a good thing.
- The times they are a changing.
- Healthy and good.
- Romancing the stone.
- Very nice.
- ? The best ? Or almost the best.
Holy edible metaphor Batman! Reading each note, we took time to explore the meaning behind her words and reminisced about the good times and the monster years that we had conquered together to get to this point in our marriage.