I forgot my anniversary this year, and I don’t feel guilty about it. In fact, I did it with my husband’s blessing. In our marriage it is mandatory. I forget it this year, and he forgets it the next.
Chad and I spent about 15 years celebrating our anniversary the old-fashioned way. He’d get me flowers, I’d get him a card and we’d go out for dinner. While we both enjoyed our child-free time together, I finally admitted that I didn’t even like red roses, and his card wound up in the garbage can.
So we devised a new tradition called the Every Other Year Anniversary. We alternate years planning a surprise for each other. A celebration of a marriage should be special, and we intended to make it so.
I volunteered to go first, planning a weekend getaway to Hiawassee, where we stayed in a lake lodge and saw the Charlie Daniels Band in concert. I chose all the activities—Chad didn’t have to think of anything. Planning it was as much fun for me as going. As for Chad, the suspense added to his excitement. And, he didn’t have to call the florist at the last minute to order flowers.
This was the first anniversary that I took pictures, and that sealed the deal for me. Making memories is what it’s all about.
The next year was my turn to be surprised. Chad, though traditionally not a romantic, came through with flying colors, planning a weekend in Nashville. We went on a comedy bus tour that was hilarious; we visited the Grand Ole Opry and downtown Nashville. Chad even endured some shopping just because he knew I would like it. We ate at a very upscale restaurant and enjoyed each other’s company more than ever.
For once, I didn’t have to make any decisions. I could tell Chad had put a lot of thought into where we went and what we did.
We agreed at this point that the new challenge would be topping each other the following year. Surprisingly, we manage to do it every time. Of course, some years have been more elaborate than others, depending on finances or the children’s schedules.
Our celebrations have included hot air balloon flights, beekeeping lessons and visits to the Fox Theatre in Atlanta; the Jack Daniel’s Distillery in Lynchburg, Tennessee; and the beautiful Biltmore Estate in Asheville, North Carolina.
We have now been married for more than 20 years. The Every Other Year Anniversary has made our marriage loving, complete and, above all else, fun! I can’t wait to see what’s in store next year.