So, we had a small celebration of our anniversary planned. Nothing fancy, nothing that required reservations 6 months in advance, nothing that required hose or uncomfortable shoes.
My spouse has wanted to go to the Ice Age movie, although in truth, I think it's the Simpsons trailer that he really wanted to see. Still, it's rare that he wants to go see a movie, and since it was still playing, we decided to go. We often have good luck with movies on our anniversary.
Last night was not one of those times. I looked up movie times, but unbeknownst to us, the time we chose was for the 3D version of the movie, which would have cost significantly more. "That will be $29," the cashier at the ticket window chirped.
My hand, in the process of handing her our credit card, froze. "Did you say $29? For a 5:00 show?" I asked. She nodded. The spouse and I conferred.
Twenty-nine dollars would buy us some beers at the oceanfront organic brewery. Twenty-nine dollars would buy some really nice steaks to grill at home. We decided not to go to the movie.
The tickets would be $14.50 a person. I've seen very few movies that I thought were worth that.
And who decided that an animated movie should be in 3D? Isn't their very 2Dness part of the charm?
We went home and grilled ourselves a nice meal with some chunks of apple wood that my spouse had been soaking. Yum. We went back to Home Depot and bought some more wood chunks from a variety of trees and some seeds because we're having fun playing with our urban homestead to see how self-sufficient we can be.
It took us a bit of time to shift gears, to decide that we were having a nice anniversary, even though it was different from what we planned. But in a way, it's a good metaphor for a marriage that lasts many years. Last night, we were able to shift gears, to decide what was really important, to communicate honestly, and to get to that point quickly.
If one of us had really wanted to see the movie, we'd have spent a tad more than we had planned. But since we weren't gung-ho to begin with, it didn't make sense to see the movie. After all, in less than a year, I'll be able to check it out from our local library--for free.
We could have sulked or pitched a fit or created all sorts of drama. But why waste that energy?
Maybe some individuals and some marriages thrive with that kind of drama. Maybe.
But how much nicer it is to admit defeat and to head back for a delicious late summer meal and dreams of veggies from our own little plot of land.
Our anniversary celebration seems to offer lessons for other aspects of life too. We often have a vision for what we're expecting, and frankly, life often goes in a different direction. But those different directions can have distinct pleasures and advantages too. We might miss them if we pout and sulk and pitch temper tantrums.
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