Michael James – you are up to something, and I’m so on to you!! Ten years ago right now I was going through one of the most stressful experiences of my life. Planning a wedding with the big day looming only a couple weeks away? Stressful enough. Planning a wedding while realizing that your soon-to-be spouse is very seriously ill? Beyond stressful. Anyway, I’m not going to focus on the rough part of our wedding prep and wedding day, as I’ve already thrown enough pity parties about that.
I married Mike for many, many reasons, but there’s one reason that is ever so selfish on my part, and I’m REAPING the rewards. He takes good care of me – nay, he spoils me. This comes in especially handy as my “Love Language” (according to author Gary Chapman) is GIFTS. I like ‘em. I like ‘em a lot.
When Mike proposed, on my twentieth birthday, he incorporated many of our friends in his intricate plan. In the afternoon, friends began showing up to my dorm room with long stem red roses. Some had notes tied around their stem, some did not. I knew that a proposal would be coming at some point (as I’d helped pick out the engagement ring), but I didn’t expect it so soon. And the notes strung me along for a bit as they primarily had to do with my birthday: “Wishing you a happy birthday!” “I hope you’re having a happy birthday!” and so on. I’d been an R.A. in the dorm that year and it had been, shall we say, a most trying experience. So, I figured, towards the end of a rough year, Mike just wanted me to feel the love. And boy, did I! As it turned out, the first letter of each note was spelling out “Will you marry me?” Well, I’d unfortunately thrown the first note away with a snotty Kleenex (as I had a cold), so when I read down, all I saw was “ill you mar...” I didn’t get it until my roommate Liane arrived with the “Y” (“You are more precious than fine jewelry. Happy Birthday!”) That’s when I finally got it. She had the biggest grin on her face and tears in her eyes. (And of the two of us, I was – and am – the cryer, not her). At last, Mike entered with another dozen roses and the “ME” – “Marry me and we can spend Eternity together!!! I love you! Happy Birthday!”
Yes, the man is smooth.
Now, as we near our tenth wedding anniversary, he’s doing it again. I’d always thought that for our Tenth, we’d do a big “wedding do-over,” a renewal of vows and party to make up (somewhat) for the stress of our wedding, spending our wedding night in the ER and shortly thereafter finding out that Mike had Cancer (for the 2nd time) and going through Chemo, etc. Well, unfortunately/fortunately, we can’t afford to do that this year (but because of one of the best reasons EVER – adopting Kayliana took up quite a chunk ‘o funds – so money is too tight for a big hoop-la). Plus, in the months nearing our anniversary, I’ve begun to feel strangely about having a “Wedding Do-Over.” While, yes, our married life didn’t start out ideally; we never got to experience the ‘joy’ of being newlyweds; we’ve kind of made up for it in the years since! We have three healthy beautiful children, a home, and lots of love and all we could ask for, so a “Wedding Do-Over” just felt ridiculously self-involved and narcisissitic. (Then again, I do write a Blog that is entirely about ME so it’s not beyond the realm of reason that I tend towards these egocentric-ways, BUT dragging Mike into it just didn’t seem right).
Alas, I’ve accepted that there will be no Wedding Do-Over (at least not any time soon,) and we can’t afford a romantic get-away or second honeymoon or what-have-you, but the thing that I still REALLY clung to was the desire (since ten years ago) for an anniversary band to wear under my engagement ring/wedding ring. Basically, I just want the bling that I earned throughout the last ten years! And as often goes, I did get my way on that one. We found an affordable but very pretty band that has eleven bling-orific (wee little) diamonds (I figure I get an extra one for that first rough year…plus, that’s just how it came). View the before and after photos. (I don’t know why they didn’t rotate for me. And I won’t ACTUALLY get to wear the band until August 11th – the big day).
I thought we were good with the ring, but no, there’s more. As I said at the beginning, Mikey is up to something. On Saturday, he handed me a bottle of my favorite (under $10) Pinot Noir (not that I’ve ever had an over $10 Pinot Noir). There was a note attached to it: “Your favorite wine to share or not.” On Sunday, I found a note stuck to my Kindle “Relax and enjoy a book today,” and Mike had bought a new book for me. At this point, I realized that maybe I should actually keep track of these notes. I’ve been glueing them on to a piece of paper (as I eventually did with the proposal ones). Mike did mock me a bit, “Oh, you’re pretty confidant are you?” I’m pretty sure he’s spelling out “Happy Anniversary” backwards. On Monday morning I found a wrapped fancy bar of dark chocolate with note saying “Antioxidents in chocolate form.” Today’s note read: “Something of your own choosing” with the explination that I get to do a little clothes shopping. However, the numbers don’t add up if the gifts continue until the big day…Maybe he’s spelling out “Happy TENTH Anniversary” or maybe he’ll just throw in random letters to really confuse me. Whatever! He can confuse me all he wants if it means little notes and gifts for the next couple of weeks! (But he really is creating a monster as I now EXPECT a ‘lil somethin’ somethin’ everyday from now on…for like…ever).