Monday, August 14, 2006

The fabric of our lives

The second wedding anniversary is the cotton one. I know this because Kara just sneak-attacked me with a beautiful new cotton shirt. She is thoughtful and wonderful, though she is also two days early, so of course I haven’t gotten her anything yet. As soon as she gets in the shower, I’m going to jump in the car, run down to the drugstore and buy her the finest Q-tips in the whole place.

Earlier last year, I found out that the first anniversary is the paper one, so I decided to get Kara a cool paper present. This decision led to most lopsided gift exchange in which I’ve ever taken part.

I got Kara these cute little paper flowers from the stationery store. The flowers were the same colors as the bouquets that Kara had picked for her bridesmaids a year earlier, so I was hoping that the fact that I actually remembered this would score me some extra points, and she honestly did appreciate the gesture. The flowers are still in a vase in our living room. They’re still there because all you have to do to keep paper flowers alive is to try your best not to set them on fire, making them the only plants we’ve ever owned that will live to see their first birthday. Maybe we’ll take them to Chuck E. Cheese’s to celebrate, though we probably won’t let them play in the ball pit, ‘cause it’s always wet in there for some reason and I don’t want to find out why.

Then Kara gave me an iPod. Can you believe what a lopsided gift exchange that was? An iPod doesn’t consist of paper at all, except for maybe the warranty card. I definitely gave her the better present. The more technically savvy reader may be tempted to point out that iPods hold way more songs than a bunch of flowers made of 10% post-consumer product, but then you’re also much less likely to get mugged for your paper flowers. I’m always looking out for her safety.

Arbitrarily buying presents based on the material that is supposed to represent each year’s anniversary is kind of fun, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the Stuff You Have No Choice But to Buy for Your Spouse industry is trying to get us hooked in early with the cheap ones. Paper. Cotton. Cardboard. It’s only a matter of time before they hit us with the Faberge Egg Anniversary or the Diamond Paperweight Anniversary. I hope next year is the Bacon Anniversary. That sounds tasty. For now, though, cotton will do. It seems appropriate for us in our second married year – nice and comfortable, and not wrinkly yet.

When you’re a kid, two years is an eternity. For a marriage, though, two years means that the gates are open but the horses haven’t even started running yet. Or maybe, instead of starting gates, it means that the bathroom door is open even if somebody’s in there, because without even thinking about it, I’ve been taking some questionable liberties with the Open Door Policy. Perhaps it is possible to get too comfortable around someone. Funny what can happen to one’s sense of propriety in just two years.

But we’re still really just getting started. People like my parents, who have been married for almost forty years, are probably reading this and thinking: “Two years? That’s nothing. I could do two years standing on my head.”

At weddings, when they do that thing where all the married couples come out on the dance floor and the DJ keeps having the most recently married people sit down until somebody’s grandparents who have been married since Appomattox are the only ones still out there, Kara and I are back in our seats before Louis Armstrong can even tell us what he thinks to himself.

You can tell Mike Todd what you think to yourself online at


  1. I believe the third anniversary is beef. Congratulations.

  2. Wouldn't it be funny if the third aniversary is SCRAPPLE?

    It's hard for me to decide which of you did the better 1st anniversary gift. No one has ever given me paper flowers, but DANG, an IPOD? Methinks Kara be the winner, Mike.....

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  4. Dude, you crack me up. Your stories are great - and I knew this ever since that day in college when I read one, while sitting on your double decker couch. Good stuff.

  5. If anniversary's have to have a theme, why can't it be somethign cool. like the chocolate anniversary. Or Ammunition (For those of us who shoot and hunt) or the music cd anniversary. LOL

  6. I've been married 23 years in January and Gary has always ignored that list. He makes his own up. Corrigated cardboard I think was #1. Bubblewrap #2. Tinfoil was #4. Power tools #8 and lawn equipment #12.

    I finally got a diamond anniversary band at #20 but holy smokes, I had to put up with alot before that. lol

    I love your writing but your word verifications are killer!

  7. I've been reading your blog lately and I absolutely love it. Congratulations on your anniversary! We never keep track of the list and come up with whatever we feel like. I think it makes it easier than having to hunt for paper flowers!


    My husband actually bought me a big box of bubble wrap that I could just obsess over.

    I have a little ocd when it comes to bubble wrap. hehehehe

    It's the simple things in life that make us happy.

  9. Funny, I was randomly checking out your blog today.. as i have no idea who you are.. and your topic is your anniversary and mine is today!

    Its 5 years, which, like you said, is nothing in married years but think of it this way.. if we were celebrities your marriage and mine would be eternity!

    Also, i LOVE that you bought her paper flowers matching the wedding colors.

  10. You got rid of those mid-week photographs. But you're posting less often. Dang.

    Wait for the silk anniversary.

  11. Rima -- I'll take that anniversary well done. Thanks!

    melodyann -- Dude, I tried scrapple last weekend. It was everything I feared it might be.

    Child -- You the man! We'll catch up one of these days soon, I hope. Keep that tallywhacker under control, man.

    Burfica -- I'll try giving Kara bubble wrap next year. For the

    Sheri -- Congrats on the 23 years! And I like your list way better than the official one. Also, I hate the word verification, too. Is that a frickin' I or a J? I may experiment with turning it off and seeing if the comment spam rolls in or not.

    m -- Glad you stopped by! I'm enjoying your blog as well. You're like kinda blog-famous. That's cool.

    Michelle -- Thanks, and congrats! You rule.

    Arthur -- I'll get back on the picture horse one of these days. And I'm relieved that someone perceives my posting less as a bad thing. Does the silk one happen soon? It's probably cheaper than the unleaded gas anniversary.