Friday, September 23, 2011

The Anniversary Challenge

Monday will mark two years since Dan and I declared our I Dos...

We have a trip coming up in October that's our "gift" to each other, but to celebrate this weekend, I laid down an Anniversary Challenge: Dan is to plan a Saturday night date he thinks I will love. Come Sunday, I'll make the day all about him.

If left to my own devices, I'd create for us both some over-the-top evening, assuming because I would have put so much thought into it, and because it'd be what I would want, that Dan would naturally love it, too. 

That happened this year for Dan's birthday- a film at a quirky DC theater I thought was special, dinner at one of my favorite little bistros in Washington - places I loved and wanted to share with him. Only, he wasn't that into those ideas, and admittedly, he'd hinted as much as plans were being made. Still, I was sure it would be just perfect, so...we went. He soldiered through it like the good guy that he is, but as we headed home, in a very unDan move, he kindly let me know that I'd given him a birthday night custom-made for...myself.

He was right, and I felt so bad. I didn't do it selfishly, but...I did the things I would have wanted him to do for me, not the things he might have wanted from me. To compensate, the next morning we got up, I took him to breakfat at Bob Evans ('cause for the life of me I can't master his favorite biscuits and gravy) and then we went to the movies to see True Grit

Dan's birthday is not too unlike our first married Christmas when, among the gifts under the tree was the most shiny, sleek, scraper for my car.  Sure I needed it, and Dan only had me in mind as he joked, "I'll be the one who uses it!" Still, I didn't want it for Christmas, from my husband. So, in a very me move, I suggested that, henceforth, he shop beyond AutoZone for special occasions. The next year, there were Tory Burch boxes.

Dan and I are alike in many, many ways, but emotionally, if we were eggs, he'd be hard-boiled and I'd be scrambled!  When we were dating, there was a constant effort, on both our parts, to woo the other so we didn't operate in our respective neutral gears of frivolus and practical.  What eventually would be revealed, coasting through married life together (the hard way - because I just couldn't get through that popular Love Langaues book; too Chicken Soupy for my Soul) is that Dan and I give and receive affection in very different ways.

I'm the kind of person who will manufactor whimsy for others. Have I mentioned how I love a theme?  I joke that if we had $10 left in the bank, Dan would let me spend it on party papers. He has never tried to hinder my crazy, and often times he plays into it to charm me. That's one of the ways I knew he was my perfect match. Thank God, too, that he lends his level-headed, pragmatic temperature to keep our flame at a steady burn. matter how pretty it is, a monogrammed napkin can't soak up all the messiness of marriage.  

So, for our anniversary, with this challenge, we'll be forced to think like each other, for each other. It should be a fun way to 
customize happiness for one another, a simple enough practice that should be a constant theme in our marriage every day.



Hines-Sight said...

Those photos are awesome. This is a great post. My husband and I are very different, and he's kind of like an old shoe. He really only wants two things on his birthday. I used to plan trips, but he said that cost him money. He wants to be able to do what he wants to do. With kids in the house, that is a big thing now. And the other thing...well, that rhymnes with rhymes with Tex.

Dee Stephens said...

Love this post and the pictures are awesome! Love the China Town one!
Brad and I are both really practical to be honest.
One year for Valentine's Day I asked for a new light fixture for our kitchen. It's what I wanted. This year I asked for that backpack for my bday.
For Brad's birthday? He's a pain. Never will tell me what he wants and half of the time what I do get him he takes back...unless again, it's practical.
Hence -- me giving him a lunchbox.LOL! Have fun this weekend! Take pictures!

Ashton said...

Congratulations!! Y'all look so happy together. It seems you both realize that love and relationships is something you have to continual work together with. I wish you both many, many years of happiness and love together.

Bella Michelle said...

Oh, Happy Anniversary! I think you have learned a super valuable lesson much earlier than most couples do and can't wait to hear about what wonderful days you had celebrating!

BTW, y'all are a beautiful couple!

Emily said...

The pictures are incredible. You both look so happy and in love :) I think my favorite part of your post was how honest you were about yourself, your husband, and your relationship. Have a wonderful weekend--I can't wait to hear all about it!!!

Southern Living: Preppy Style said...

What a great post and awesome pictures! You guys look like you're just having so muc fun (and he's learning a few things too). Congratulations!! Funny you should mention this though because I'm facilitating (not teaching) a marriage class at church this year and empathy is at the heart of it (ehemmmmm...I'll be dropping the hint that my hubs can empathize with me by liking what I like and getting me some TB boxes too...hmmm). :-) Have a great day you two!

Sandra said...

Best anniversary post ever! Loved the pictures...actually made me want to get another dress and hire a photographer. But love the description of you and your hubs as boiled and scrambled eggs. Yeah, my hubs is definitely the hard boiled one.

Kim said...

So you headed to The Run for the Ravens game? There's one in Glen Burnie! I think you should come to Larrick Tavern! That would make Dan happy. I cried reading your sentiments aloud to Dave.

Cherish @ Southern Soul Mates said...

Happy Anniversary!!! LOVE the second b&w picture-your hair looks just fabulous!!!! Sounds wonderful-hope y'all had a fantastic weekend! xoxo


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