For my husband to give me a meaningful card for our anniversary was present enough. But coupled with heart-shaped earrings in a beautiful little box, WOW! With Leslie’s help — she offered him three choices — he picked the earrings and the handcrafted box to put them in. He doesn’t remember our Boxing Day anniversary, nor how many years we’ve been married, but some glimmer helped him choose perfectly.
When I opened the Leslie-wrapped present, he hung over my shoulder to see what he’d given me and why. “Our anniversary? Did I forget?” I said he hadn’t, and that the box and earrings were what he’d given me.
“I did a good job, didn’t I?” he said. “Did you give me something?”
“I did. That card on the mantle…and shoes.”
“Shoes? You gave me shoes?”
I laughed. “Two pair yesterday,” I said.
“Why did I give you shoes, or why did I give you two pair?
“”Well, shoes because you’ve been complaining you don’t have any, and one pair because it was Christmas and the other pair as an early anniversary present…”
“Anniversary? Did I miss it?”
“No, it’s today, it’s ‘now,'” I said. I held the box up to show him Emily Dickinson’s line.
He shook his head. “I don’t know what that means.”
Hm, Dickinson is sometimes hard to explain. “It means ‘now’ should be treasured and celebrated, our anniversary, for instance. ‘Now’ means the present…right now…’forever’ is made of all our ‘nows.'”
I don’t think my stumbling explanation made sense to him, but he was pleased that I was pleased with “the present” he chose.
2016 National Society of Newspaper Columnists’ contest, second place, blog category.