Our Wedding Day!
October 25, 2003. Our Wedding Day!

The “traditional” 10th wedding anniversary gift is aluminum or tin.  (Yawn. Boring. Clearly a tradition decided upon long before the women’s suffrage movement.)

The “modern” 10th wedding anniversary gift is DIAMONDS!  (Hot Damn!  Go ladies! Get your bling on!!)

But seriously, how in the name of “every kiss begins with Kay” do you go from the traditional gift of tin or aluminum, to the modern gift of diamonds?!  It seems like a pretty big stretch if you ask me.  This modern modification to the anniversary gift rules must have been the result of eons of pretty pissed off wives who were presented with six-packs of canned beer from their oblivious, or perhaps slightly sadistic husbands…

” ‘Bet Wanda never’d imagine I’d get her a sixer of Pabst Blue Ribbon for the old anniversary. She’ll love this!”

Stupid, foolish Ralph.  I hear he died years before Wanda– shortly after their 50th anniversary …  Because he wanted to.  It was easier than listening to Wanda harp on year after year about that 10th anniversary when he bought her beer–“and didn’t even bother putting a bow on it!”

In my modern, soap operatic view of how the world works, I imagine the proverbial final straw falling upon the camel’s back sometime in the mid-20th century.  Some sweet, married gal (probably high on Easy-Off after hours of having her head stuck in the oven) decided she couldn’t take hearing another old wives tale about some husband who mysteriously went missing after gifting his wife 72-ounces of foamy, canned refreshment as a way to commemorate their 10th anniversary. Clutching her aluminum aerosol can of oven cleaner in her yellow rubber gloved fist, she raised the symbol of her oppression high in the air, and shouted, to no one in particular, “ENOUGH IS ENOUGH! No longer shall the substance I use to store leftover meatloaf be considered an appropriate anniversary gift!!  I decree that DIAMONDS shall henceforth be deemed a viable gift-giving option for a 10th wedding anniversary!!”

The doves flew through the sky and a host of angels sang her praise. And then it was so.  And then…Awww, he went to Jared.

Anniversary 2008! Five Years!
Anniversary 2008! Five Years!

You all know…God help the simple, cheap bastard that chooses to gift his wife a roll of Reynold’s Wrap for their 10th anniversary.  He’ll NEVER live it down!

“Sheila got a diamond pendant from her husband on their anniversary.  What’d you get me???  A 32oz tin can of pork and beans!!! Be still my heart. What a romantic.”

I wager a guess that this kind of choice would probably be worse than buying your wife a deluxe ratchet set for your first married Christmas.  Right, Frank??  Right?!!??!!

All joking aside, I started to get curious about the tradition of aluminum and tin as a 10th wedding anniversary gift.  According to a number of reliable websites (surely, if it’s online, it must be true), including this little blurb on about.com

The tenth year of marriage celebration is the first of the major milestone anniversaries. As you celebrate this special 10th wedding anniversary, think about the durability of your commitment to one another for a full decade…The pliability of tin and aluminum is a symbol of how a successful marriage needs to be flexible and durable and how it can be bent without being broken.

I think about my decade of marriage to Frank.  Sure, 10 years may just seem like a blip compared to folks who’ve been married FOUR SCORE (HOLY MATRIMONY, BATMAN!), but our commitment has endured. Despite wear and tear we remain durable.  We’ve been bent and twisted in ways we didn’t think possible, but we do not break.  Turns out, aluminum and tin are perfect symbols of our marriage right now.

Ten Years! 2013!
Ten Years! 2013!

So, I don’t want a diamond for my 10th anniversary. Unless you already bought one, Frank.  In that case… BRING THAT SHINY ROCK ON! But I’m not holding my breath.  And truthfully, I don’t even want something made out of aluminum or tin.  Instead, I just look forward to a weekend of fun times, making memories with my husband.  Dinner&Drinks…Yes, please!  A movie…Why not?  A couple’s massage…Perfection. Manis and pedis…my husband is apparently also my girlfriend. A leisurely bike ride…Gotta work off those celebratory cocktails somehow.

Maybe I’ll choose to acknowledge noteworthy aluminum and tin items as we naturally encounter them over our anniversary weekend as a way to honor the tradition.  Maybe I’ll just reflect on our last 10 years of marriage and all the things I believe have contributed to the durability of our life together.

Most of all, I look forward to telling my wonderful, patient, goofy, smart, loving husband how much I adore and appreciate him — how I can’t imagine my life without him, and can’t wait to see what our next 10 years together will look like.  But in the event that he shows up tomorrow with a six-pack of NattyBohs (without a bow), or a roll of aluminum foil, or worse…TOOLS, then just look for me in the kitchen.  I’ll be the one huffing fumes with my ass hanging out of the oven!


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