Mr. Understanding and I are well into our second decade of marital bliss, sliding towards two decades, as of today. He is in another foreign country, whilst I am in mine, and comes home tomorrow. He is formulating budgets for Asia and I am unpacking a 40ft. container. It is a toss-up as to which is more painful. I have a card or two for him, which I have yet to write in. I know for a fact he does not yet have one for me. Usually he makes them but even I can figure out this is impossible for 2007. Sigh. He makes the best cards. Last year he did not have one for me either, but he wrote me a beautiful love letter on some random Argentine hotel stationery. And, we were staying at the Copacabana Palace and he had jewels for me so I overlooked the tawdry paper goods (no, it was not a Ramada but it might as well have been). It was a biggish year. This year he got a fancy pants guitar for his birthday/anniversary so at least he got a gift.
Since I have not seen much of Mr. Understanding the last 6 months, I am rather at a loss as what to write besides: “Hey there, how’s it going? Sorry we were moving during your shoulder surgery and I could not stay in the hospital or pamper you. I did take care of the children and move the house, so that’s something. Even though you make ridiculous suggestions on furniture placement and can’t pack a suitcase, I still love you. Looking forward to catching up – keep in touch!” Somehow I don’t think this will cut it. Fatigue and frustration are short-circuiting my ability to spout words of affirmation.
Mr. Understanding writes much better love letters than I do, in any event. They are so perfect I am saving them for my children so they will know how to write to their spouses. Anniversaries, like birthdays, are important to me because each one represents a little victory, like the crossing of a finish line at the end of a race. This is no mean feat and cause for celebration. Some years are fabulous, some wretched, but in general for us it is a big mix with a larger dose of the fabulous. In the meantime, Mr. U, if you are reading this, skip the card, skip the letter. I’ll settle for a pack of gum when I see you. Dear man, you are off the hook!