I woke up this morning and staggered towards the kettle in the dark, but I still saw it on the coffee table.
A red card, sitting a top something wrapped in silver paper. Another year had come around and I had done it again. Not made it through another year of life to celebrate another birthday, but completed another year of wifehood with the man who never forgets our anniversary, while I ashamed as I am to admit it, always do.
In my defence, we were living together for the best part of a decade before we got married, and I was certainly no Bridezilla. We had a modest ceremony at a registry office with our parents there and a small group of good friends. Afterwards we went to the park for some champagne and then later to dinner at a restaurant. We spent the night in a hotel but were so weirdly hyped up we checked out very early the next morning, which happened to be Good Friday.
It was a strange feeling, being husband and wife after just being us, and even though I had been reluctant to do it on practical grounds – what was the point? I was happy that we did. I had resisted pretty much all the trappings.
‘What do I want an engagement ring for, I could buy a laptop for that price!’ Sticks out as one of my more memorable protests, but buy rings we did and an outfit each (although I did not buy a wedding dress, that would have looked stupid) and I had a small bouquet of flowers to hold at the ceremony.
I remember my brother saying to me he had heard a priest remark on the occasion of a baptism, ‘Nothing has changed, but everything has changed.’ And that was a pretty good summing up of how we felt. Newly arrived back in Australia, fourth time for me, second for him. The world, now sunny after the cold and grey of a UK winter, seemed a much more optimistic place. We walked along the street on our way back home with our rings feeling new on our fingers.
And every year, my husband never fails to remember the date and mark it with a card and a gift. I used to joke that I married him on the 13th of the month because it would be bloody unlucky for him if he ever forgot our anniversary, but for some reason, possibly because it falls in between four family birthdays which occur in quick succession (mine included) it slips my mind every year. He even mentioned it last week and then it sort of evaporated out of my head.
Fortunately my husband has a good sense of humour so does not mind.
‘So how many years is it?’ My boss asked me today when I mentioned it.
‘Ten,’ I replied
‘You know what I am going to say next, don’t you?’ He replied.
‘Yes,’ I said
‘You get less time for murder!’ He continued.
‘I know,’ I said, ‘You are the third person to make that joke today. The first person was my husband – he wrote it in the card he got me for our anniversary.’
Fortunately, I too have a good sense of humour so do not mind.