My First Anniversary Gift
Craig and I had dated only six months before we got engaged. (I know--brilliant, right?!) We were married a whopping nine months after we met (No need to say it! I know. More brilliance) We were young(er), mostly broke, but pretty happy. Anyway, it probably shouldn't have come as a big surprise when I opened my first anniversary gift, a mind-boggling 20 years ago.
Craig lovingly wrapped the gift in pretty bright paper. It even had a shiny bow! I was so excited to open it. How many times do you get to open a first anniversary gift? Once, right? (Well, once, usually.) Still, I thought my loving husband of 12 months knew me better than anyone in the whole world.
I would be mistaken.
Friends, I give you what Craig and I would eventually call The Bridle...
Bridle is the first thing that came to mind when I laid my eyes on this hideous gold-plated monstrosity. Gaudy, chunky, and weighing about a pound (although it felt like 100 around my neck), this was jewelry that someone with big hair, power suits, and pointy shoulder pads would wear. Like those chicks on Dynasty. Like Alexis and Krystle Carrington and people who spell their first names one way when you think they should be spelled another. And I am so not a power suit, pointy shoulder pad, weird first name kind of gal. I am the complete opposite of that! I don't even wear a lot of jewelry--never have! Why Craig ever thought that I'd even remotely like this necklace, I have no idea.
Of course, when I first opened it, I had to pretend that I loved it because, well, that's how nice people behave. Gifts were never dissed. Ever. It was supposed to be the thought that counted, right?!
But it was our first anniversary! You only get one first anniversary!!
So, I wore The Bridle to our fancy first anniversary dinner that night. But the whole time it felt like a noose around my neck, and I couldn't stop agonizing over why in the world Craig would even for one millisecond think that I'd ever like this thing.
Finally, at dinner, I guess I had been acting kind of quiet. Over crème brûlée, he came right out and asked, "You hate it, don't you." It wasn't a question.
With a big guilty lump in my throat the size of a peach pit, I reluctantly replied, "Yeah."
Then we both laughed hard enough to attract the attention of most of the restaurant. And we learned three valuable lessons that night:
1) We wouldn't hold back when we were upset, no matter how bad.
2) Craig wouldn't buy jewelry without me.
3) Crème brûlée would always be our favorite dessert.
And, The Bridle? It's still the ugliest piece of jewelry in the History of Ever but I wouldn't part with it for anything.