10 years and a lousy t-shirt

Yesterday was my 10 year anniversary and the second one in a row that Tim and I have been apart. Last year he was at a conference in Norway {violin strings for him} and this year he’s in Tanzania on what amounts to a 6 week safari with a little work thrown in {cue the violins, again}. I don’t mean to suggest that he likes being away from me on our anniversary, because I know he doesn’t, but it’s true that he’s been gone for the last two.

Despite his physical absence, however, he has managed (for two years running) to deliver a surprise anniversary gift. Last year, upon waking, I had a text message directing me to  look in the garage where we kept the extra cans of paint. Waiting for me was a gorgeous piece of pottery – a blueish-greenish glazed bowl that sits on our dining room table and is usually covered up by holds fruit. 

This year I came home after being out all day to this:

In sticking with the traditional wedding anniversary themes, he gave me a hand-crafted hammered aluminum serving bowl. It is beautiful. 

I know you’re on the edge of your seat wondering what I managed to pull off delivering to him in Arusha. Maybe I sent over a tile cutter, with its diamond blades? Maybe a tin cup for drinking his masala chai tea every morning in the boma? Maybe, at the very least, a special dinner prepared by the guest house cook? All good guesses, but all wrong.

I gave him nothing. Terrible. I know.

Aside from the week-long trip to France last month, arranging the full summer of renters for our house, finding and managing the cleaning service in VA and our nanny in ME, maintaining a full-time job, and caring for our three children and one minivan while he is away I gave him nothing.

I was thinking about designing a t-shirt I could give him upon his return which reads: “I missed my anniversary two years in a row but managed to surprise my wife each time with a thoughtful gift and all I got was this lousy t-shirt!”, but then thought that it would be too awesome and he wouldn’t be able to walk down the street without being stopped every 15 seconds and asked where he got it. (That’s how much I love you, honey.)

To be fair, I did buy us two tickets to a performance of Footloose by a fabulous theater company which performs every summer on the campus of our Alma Mater. That counts for something, right?

Seriously, Tim, after all these years you continue to amaze me and I am so lucky to be wandering through this life with you as my partner. And, if you happen to miss our 12th anniversary, opt for the modern theme. 

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