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A New Place, A New Anniversary

Monday, August 15, was my two-year wedding anniversary.

My husband was kind enough to plan our anniversary date, even though I didn’t ask him to do the planning in a very gracious way. Because I love Italian food, he made reservations at a nice Italian restaurant in a larger town nearby.

On Tuesday, the designated day to celebrate, we got dressed up and drove 50 miles to this nice Italian restaurant. (Yes, I know I said “nearby.” In rural small-town Iowa, a town 50 miles away still qualifies.)

My husband and I have unconsciously eased into a tradition of taking pictures of each other across the booth when we’re sitting in a restaurant. We often take a picture before food arrives, just after food arrives, and then again while eating. And often we take pictures just of the food. So, after two years of marriage, we have quite a series of booth pictures and food pictures.

Taking our booth pictures on Tuesday night reminded me of just how much our situation has changed in the last year.

When we celebrated our first anniversary last year, we used a five dollar Baker’s Square gift card that I was gifted for some surprisingly unspectacular action… closing a checking account, or something. We purchased pie and coffee and were careful to stay within the five dollars.

The reason we were careful to stay within five dollars was because we were at the moment semi-homeless and definitely jobless. I say semi-homeless because we were staying with my husband’s parents, who had very graciously opened their home to us for a limited amount of time while we tried to find jobs.

For the purpose of this post, I will not explain the reason that my husband and I were simultaneously jobless, but for those of you with overly active imaginations, we had not participated in any illegal or otherwise –unacceptable-on-the-jobsite activity. We had been trying to find jobs for at least two and a half months, and stress had become a constant, though unfriendly, companion.

We tried to make light of our anniversary and enjoy having made it through a year of marriage quite successfully (in our opinions). We had the camera and were busy taking our booth photos when the woman in the booth behind my husband turned around and asked us to stop taking pictures. She was paranoid, she said, and she did not want to be in our pictures.

Consider the tremulous bubble of happiness that I had managed to produce up until this point popped.

I left my key lime pie on the table and rushed off to cry in the bathroom for about fifteen minutes.

We managed to salvage that anniversary date with a walk around a random neighborhood near the Baker’s Square, but all in all, I have hoped ever since that all of my anniversary dates would be better than that one.

Our date was better this year.

We took our booth pictures this year.

We were not interrupted by a paranoid person.

We have a home.

We have jobs.

We are very blessed.

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