The punch line

This week there will be a celebration in our house, but you’ll never know it.

There won’t be balloons or cake, presents or a ceremony. Life will go on in the same mad dash as it does every day, because a wedding anniversary on a Thursday kind of limits your spontaneity – almost as much as scheduling your kid’s braces payment and hydro bill on the same cycle.

Such is life.

Despite the lack of romance, it won’t make the importance of the event any less special. As the Carpenter and I honour our 15-year commitment by basically skipping it, I thought I’d share a sweet story about how we keep the magic alive in our relationship every day.

Let’s take last Saturday for example. The Carpenter was gone all day helping a relative move. But first, he took the 6am shift as hockey dad. For these reasons, I felt the man needed a special meal. Yes, sometimes, my kindness surprises even me (ahem).

It might have also been a slightly calculated move on my part. My best friend was in town and thus, I was planning to ditch the Carpenter and the kids to go for a night out on the town. That may have influenced my generosity, but it’s hard to say.

The point is, I do not enjoy cooking and I like grocery shopping even less, but sometimes, to show my appreciation for the hardest working man I know, I cook him a delicious homemade meal. No, really, I did. I cranked the tunes, sang and stirred up concoctions found on the Internet, evoking my inner Kitchen Goddess. I whisked that magic.

I planned a meal that I knew my spouse would enjoy because I would not. In other words, it was a dish packed full of gluten and fattening sauces. I’m not bragging, but it smelled fantastic. I roasted potatoes in herbs and even added his favourite fried apples on the side. I exceeded my own expectations. In fact, I felt I needed a cigarette when it was over (metaphorically speaking).

I had thought of everything and timed it to perfection, ready for my man when he stepped over the threshold. Yep, I was just that good.

Now, one of the great secrets to our relationship is the art of flirting. Ladies, jot this down: naughty texts needn’t be perverse to be alluring. Okay, at least not in my marriage, where anything is better than nothing (cough). I picked up my Blackberry and sent the Carpenter the following text: “Hey gorgeous, I am making you the best dinner ever.”

Not one minute passed before I received his three word reply: “Who is this?”

Funny guy. He has caller ID.

I resisted the urge to confuse cayenne pepper for paprika (again), and instead I stood at the kitchen sink and gave thanks to the force that has kept the two of us laughing through all these years. It hasn’t been easy. It wasn’t always fun. Marriage is work. Parenting is exhausting. Aging is a buzz kill. You get the point.

This anniversary, as with everyone before it, we’ve learned love isn’t about big moments and grand gestures. It isn’t about dates circled on a calendar.

You have to find happiness in the stupid things that make you laugh, together. Giggle like best friends do.



Kelly Waterhouse