anniversary

17 years…

In two weeks, it will be our 17th wedding anniversary. I haven’t bought Bill a gift yet. Truth be told, after 17 years, it gets hard to decide what to buy for one’s love… I had the same problem a few years ago, as evidenced in my Facebook memories. I posted that I couldn’t decide what to get Bill for our eleventh year, and my former shrink and current friend suggested steel. He’d looked it up on Hallmark.com, which helpfully offers tips on gift buying for beleaguered spouses who can’t think of the perfect present at anniversary time.

Steel for the 11th anniversary? Perfect. “Handcuffs it is, then!” I cheerfully posted. But I’ve already given Bill handcuffs. In fact, they were the very first gift I ever bought for him. I did it on a dare.

We were dating, and had confessed to being a trifle kinky. Somehow, in the course of talking about kink, he told me his preferences for handcuffs. He said he wanted black ones, because they don’t reflect light and are easier to conceal. When I learned that he had survived September 11th, 2001 in the Pentagon, I decided it was appropriate to give him a congratulatory gift. I went on eBay and made my very first purchase… a pair of black, professional grade Smith & Wesson cuffs. I even remember the name of the vendor– Patty Wagon Express.

Bill has a pair of these. I think he determined I was the woman for him when I sent him this as a “gag” gift.

I sent them with my compliments to Bill, who said that he was very… ahem… excited to receive them, even though I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve even tried them on. It’s the thought that counts, right? Is it any wonder we were engaged a few months later?

So anyway, last night I went looking for a gift for our 17th year. A number of sources indicated that for the 17th year, it’s appropriate to give your partner furniture. We are in dire need of a new couch for our TV room. We threw out the shitty futon we bought when we moved into our last house because it was a cheap piece of crap and uncomfortable to sit upon, even though it had been one of Zane’s favorite places to lounge.

I was excited at the prospect of buying furniture. Hell, I could even make it kinky! There are stores out there in Internetland that specialize in sexy stuff. We live in Germany, where there are sex stores aplenty, even at the airport! There are lots of craftsmen around, too. I bet I could find a sexy Barcalounger that would spice things up at our house as the long, dark, winter approaches. Bill could force me to watch movies like The Matrix and The Big Lebowski (which I’ve seen three times now and still don’t enjoy) while I mainline wine through a bong.

But I was still curious to find out what Hallmark had to say about our upcoming anniversary, so I went looking… and Hallmark suggests wine and spirits! Like we don’t already have enough of that shit in our house! I don’t think I’m going to buy him any wine or spirits. I probably won’t buy him a kinky recliner, either. I’d never be able to get it up the stairs.

As it is, we’re planning to spend our anniversary night at a beautiful five star hotel in Frankfurt. I’ll find us a nice restaurant where we can toast seventeen good years together.

Then, the next day, we’re flying to Wroclaw, Poland, where Bill has to work all week, and I’ll be fucking around, looking for things to do and people to see. We have been to Wroclaw before, but we only spent a few hours there. It was in 2008, when we spent our sixth anniversary in Bolaslaweic, Poland with stops in Dresden and Prague. We spent the first weekend at our first luxury hotel in Dresden… absolutely a fabulous city. Then we spent five nights at the Blue Beetroot, a boutique hotel that was once an old barn. The British owners are of Polish descent and moved from London to make their hotel the hottest pottery stop in the district. We had a surprisingly good time in 2008, and eleven years later, they’ve added even more to it. Then on our anniversary weekend, we spent a couple of nights in Prague— also a fabulous town I’d love to see again. Of course, we had the benefit of our trusty Toyota when we visited Poland the first time. This time, we’re forced to fly due to company policy.

We’re more like Jack and Chrissy.

Maybe that’s enough. God knows, we have enough crap in our house. There’s no telling when the next move will be. It could be next year. It could be five years from now. Maybe it’s better to just collect memories than stuff to lug around. I still like the idea of a sadomasochistic Barcalounger, though. Sometimes even boring housewives like a dash of spice after seventeen years.

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