When my husband and I first met more than ten years ago, we made a big deal of anniversaries, and not just the important ones either.
On the anniversary of when we first messaged each other on Match.com we’d go for a weekend away. About a month later when it came to the anniversary of when we first met in person we’d get tickets to a show and revisit the bar we first had a drink in. We celebrated our first kiss, our engagement, our wedding day and, of course, birthdays as well as Mother’s Day and Father’s Day. Flowers were often sent, romantic meals were cooked and thoughtful gifts were bought.
Fast-forward ten years and with a three-year-old and a baby on the way things are very different. Outside of birthdays and parents’ days, the only anniversary we do anything for now is our wedding anniversary - but gone are the lavish hotels and the city breaks.
They are just distant memories now. In fact the last one just involved getting a takeaway and having a night in where we purposefully chose a film to watch and fall asleep in front of as opposed to falling asleep in front of reruns of The Big Bang theory or old episodes of The Chase.
All other anniversaries have just fallen by the wayside as the pressures of working full-time, running a household, having fun with our little boy and doing all those boring jobs like the weekly food shop and the washing just get in the way.
This week, Facebook Memories reminded me that it was seven years ago that we got engaged.
It showed me the status we’d posted to celebrate - my ecstatic face and Rob’s head in his hands. I mentioned it to him in passing and out of nowhere he produced a beautiful shiny giftbag. Inside it was a big box wrapped up beautifully with a card that read “to my beautiful wife, saw this and thought of you”. It was too large a box to be jewellery and too heavy to be clothes.
My money was on shoes. I adore shoes and now that I’m pregnant I am on the constant look out for comfy but pretty flats. It was so unexpected that Rob had remembered let alone bought me a present! I felt a bit giddy but as I began to undo the bow and rip the paper, but the more I unwrapped, the more confused I got because it turned out he hadn’t bought me a funky pair of converse. He’d bought me a dog blanket. And we don’t have a dog!
This blanket had gel inside it and the theory was that you pop it in the dog’s basket or on the floor and when they sit on it, it helps to cool them down in the hot weather. I think my bemused face said it all. “But you keep saying how this pregnancy is making you feel really hot,” he said. When I pointed out it was meant for a dog he replied with “yeah but a large dog”.
It wasn’t the diamond engagement ring he’d bought seven years ago but it was sort of thoughtful and ultimately that’s what true romance is, isn’t it? Thinking of what that special person in your life wants and needs and doing what you can to make them happy and make them feel cared about?
I had to admit I was a sweaty mess and the small dog blanket wouldn’t have covered a buttock let along a pregnant belly - the large dog blanket was actually a pretty good present. The first night I used it, I was actually shocked at how amazing it was. Cold enough to feel refreshing and comfortable but not cold enough to make you feel like you needed to stick another layer on. Not only did I have to admit it was a very useful gift, but I also had to ask him where he bought it from as I wanted to buy some more. I’ve now got a small one in my pillow, two large ones on the bed and another large one on my seat in the car. Who said romance was dead?