Friday, November 17, 2006

Stranger and Stranger

Each year, Dan and I, like a good couple, celebrate our anniversary. However, each year, our life stage reaches a new level of strange.

Optimistic Newlyweds Unaware of Strangeness to Come


Our first anniversary started out normal enough. We went to the restaurant where we had our first date, an Italian restaurant, Ecco, in Alexandria. The most unusual thing that night was the piece of cork in my wine. Ecco is a very cute restaurant that makes tasty home made pasta. Just ask Scot and Tammy. We took them there when they visited DC last fall. Oh wait, no, we took them to the out of business shell that used to be the restaurant.

Also on our first anniversary, we implemented the plan of buying each other traditional anniversary gifts. The first traditional anniversary gift is paper. Many people buy things such as tickets to an event. Dan and I independently decided to get each other picture frames. Pictures are made out of paper. The one Dan bought for me was far superior and even has our wedding date engraved on it. Fortunately, while we no longer have the frame that I bought (it was pretty lame), I made up for it with my other gift, a personalized romance novel. That definitely counts as paper. And it was really funny, there was a part about mushrooms. As for the frame that Dan got, it now superiorly displays our wedding vows with a picture of us on our wedding day.

A word of advice to couples just getting married. If you are planning on eating the top tier of your wedding cake on your first anniversary, you should make sure you have one of those special tupperware containers. The ones that seal your cake away from freezer flavors. Our cake was in a cardboard box. It didn't seal. But, because I love frosting, especially frozen frosting, especially frosting made by Carol, I ate it anyway. Dan was more tentative, but did have a bite. The champagne helped to mask the cake freezer flavor.

At our colorful VA condo


We celebrated our second anniversary in California. Dan had just accepted a position in his work program that moved us around for four 6-month assignments. I had just quit my job. The weather was completely different than when we got married. That is, the day before our wedding in Michigan, we experienced snow flurries. The days around our 2nd anniversary were sunny and California comfortable. Here we are looking bright and energized.

Our stylishly furnished corporate apartment couch

The traditional anniversary gift for the second year is cotton. However, my gift fell a little short. I ordered a memory foam mattress topper expecting that it would have a cotton sort of cover on it. Instead, it was only foam, not exactly the traditional anniversary gift I was trying to buy. However, it is very comfortable and useful.

Our third anniversary found us less bright and less energized. We had just moved to Japan the week before. This picture shows us sitting on our small Japanese hotel room couch prior to going out to eat.

"S-sized" Couch

You might think we would go out for Japanese food since we were in Japan. But no, we went out for Indian food. Even though Dan and I both enjoy Indian food, this was the first time that we had ever eaten it together. The restaurant was cool because while everyone else around Tokyo spoke Japanese, the guys in the Indian restaurant spoke primarily English (at least to us). We even had a dialogue about whether or not there were mushrooms in the dishes.

The traditional anniversary gift for the third anniversary is leather. This worked out pretty well, Dan got me a purse and I got him an antique leather wall map of the world. The only problem with my gift to Dan was that I ordered it from Brazil and had it shipped to our Virginia condo. So he didn't actually receive it until April.


Our fourth anniversary tops even the uniqueness of living in Japan and celebrating there. On Thursday, November 16, 2006, we spent our anniversary with Will and our realtor, April.

S'more Making Device in Background

At 5pm we picked up the keys to our new house. At 6:30, we sat, in our new house, around our built-in table, to have pizza. Ultimately we would like to go out to eat, just the two of us, but we haven't quite figured out this getting a baby sitter procedure. I guess this just means an extended anniversary celebration. We hope to complete the event before December 16 (a month after our anniversary).

The traditional anniversary gift for the fourth anniversary is fruit or flowers. The modern anniversary gift is appliances. Dan got me a beautiful bouquet of roses. I got Dan a flower -fruit arrangement. We also got a smoothie blender to use on the fruit. To complete the acquisition of appliances, we even got a nifty new clothes washer and dryer.

We had a fairly uneventful first anniversary where we got to implement fun traditions. Year 2 was in a new state. Year 3 was in a new country. Year 4 was in a new house. We have no idea what year 5 will bring. The traditional anniversary gift for year 5 is wood. Perhaps I will get Dan a tree.