During the first few years of marriage, Nat and I exchanged gifts and went for dinner afterwards. Naturally, with time the gift-giving stopped and we decided to just do the “dinner” thing. Our anniversary is a couple months before Christmas and we both realized the expense was something we could do without at that particular time. We would put our money to better use towards the 14 plus people we had to buy presents for in December. Plus we both knew in our heart of hearts that we were each having difficulty coming up with any good ideas for an anniversary present. It just seemed practical at the time. There were, however, plenty of years that Nat always snuck out of the house and would order flowers for me. I began to realize after five years when Nat said he was going to wander around Home Depot for an hour or so, that he was also making a side trip to the florists. How could I deny him such an outage!!
The actual day of our 14th anniversary turned out to be a cold and damp one, so Nat and I decided to stay put and putter around the house instead of our usual dinner out. Besides, he was still semi-recovering from having a tooth pulled the day before and was a little leery of biting down on what he felt was still tender. After all what’s the use of spending $100.00 or so on a nice dinner if you can’t enjoy the same. So we exchanged our anniversary cards first thing in the morning and got on with our quiet day.
I ended up baking some cookies – thinking I’ll get started on my Christmas stock piling – while Nat went into Niagara Falls and filled up the old gas tank in the van while the prices were still at $0.99 a litre. These are strange times and God knows what’s going to happen from day-to-day at the gas pumps. He also took advantage of his time in town and did some “Tim The Tool Man” shopping. As it also happened I was in one of those “let’s do something different” moods and tried a new meatloaf recipe for supper. Not being a major meatloaf fan, this recipe was actually designed for the BBQ grill and included roasting potatos. Can’t resist a one-pot meal so I gave it a shot and revised one or two things so I could bake it in the oven. It actually turned out pretty good, except I under-estimated the time in the oven to crisp up the potatos, so I’ll make that adjustment next time around. At least I pulled out the old imagination and gave Nat something different for supper besides the same-old-same-old.
We’ve now decided to do our anniversary dinner on Friday night. After several days of discussions on which restaurant to go to, we’ve settled on our usual haunt which we frequented during the early years of our marriage. More and more it’s getting difficult to find a nice, quiet restaurant where you can get semi-dressed up, and not have to mortgage the farm to pay for your meal. The restaurant we’ve settled on has a fabulous view of Niagara Falls, a beautiful buffet meal, delectable desserts and an atmosphere that’s conducive to a peaceful evening. I’m sure, however, that we’ll still have to mortgage the farm to pay for this evening, as like every place else prices have risen in order to cover costs, etc. It’s either that or a quick meal at a local franchise that gets too boring, over-priced for what you get, more food than any normal adult could possibly eat and an atmosphere where you have to shout across the table just to be heard. Oh yes, and let’s not forget that good old background music that’s never from the era you remember!!!
We both realize that we’ve become a bit complacent in our marriage. We know each other’s habits, can finish each other’s sentences and at times read each other’s mind. We’re united in some decisions and divided in others. There are no surprises anymore. The routine is stable and comfortable. In fact, we’ve arrived at that place in life where surprises put a real kink in our routine, upset the apple cart and puts the two of us in disarray. It’s true, we don’t like to do but one good errand or appointment a day!! You may laugh, but someday everyone gets to that place!!! Complacency yes, but we both know where we stand.