What older people celebrate
On June 25, JG and I celebrated our 7th wedding anniversary. I had started my job 6 weeks before, and in the typical getting-to-know you conversation in the office, it came out that JG and I had been married for almost 7 years. My co-workers never really succeeded in hiding their surprise, but I suppose it makes sense when they all thought I was, oh, 23.
But still, I kind of agreed. Seven years! It just seemed so … long. Not in a bad way, but really? Seven years?
Our anniversary fell on a Monday, so we decided to go out for dinner to celebrate on the Saturday before. That’s how we roll lately — dinner out, exchange cards, no gifts. So we dressed up, went to our favorite Asian fusion restaurant, scanned the menu for any changes, and promptly ordered our usual dishes: 3 sushi rolls to start, and then scallops for me and Thai paella for JG. I also ordered a ginger martini, and JG got whatever seasonal beer he fancied then. It was all comforting and normal. On some level, I felt a little guilty that we were doing something so typical, as if it weren’t special enough for the occasion, but I shook it off. Who cares? This is what we wanted, so that’s what we did. During the drive home, I thought aloud how being married for 7 years made me feel older than turning 30 in the coming year.
“I just feel like a 7th wedding anniversary is what older people celebrate,” I said. “Anyone can turn 30.”
JG replied, “We’re only 3 years away from our 10th anniversary.”
Talk about what older people celebrate. Holy crap.
On Monday, our actual anniversary, we gave each other cards and went on our separate ways in the evening. JG had a volleyball game, and I visited a friend to hold her newborn baby and bring dinner in the form of chicken tacos. While my friend and I caught up, she realized that it was my anniversary because JG and I share the date with her parents. She apologized for not remembering, and didn’t I want to spend the evening with JG? I shrugged. We had dinner out already, and that was fine. Commemorating the actual date seemed less important the longer we were married. Was that a bad sign? It just seemed so cliche that our anniversary celebrations have lost their luster over the years, with the exception of our 5-year-anniversary cruise. At this rate, it wouldn’t be long before we’d nod at each other as we ate dinner at the coffee table while watching the next episode of whatever television series we had on DVD. Right?
And yet, I can’t bring myself to care that much. I love being married to JG, and I love how with every year, we are ever closer to being on the same team all the time. Sure, we have our moments when our relationship causes friction (read: JG has a lot more moments because I am really hard to live with), but we’ve reached a nice, even equilibrium most of the time, and I love that. So it doesn’t matter to me that I spent my official anniversary bringing tacos to my friends and holding a little redheaded newborn while JG played volleyball. Seven years after we tied the knot, I feel like that kind of ease and freedom is what we’ve been after this whole time.