A Rose in the Camper

Last month, my husband and I celebrated our 16th wedding anniversary. Many women (arguably so) expect a big event on their anniversaries and put an equal amount of pressure on the man to plan and produce said event. They want to feel special and loved and appreciated.

That's not me. Well... I want those feelings (like any other human) but I don't pin all my hopes on one big day either, because my spouse will fail - miserably - at planning an all-out, Hollywood-style, "romantic" date... and I'm okay with that.

Instead, we've learned that feeling special and loved and appreciated can come in many different forms in many different settings and in any given minute of our relationship. I hope I don't sound high-minded or superior - in fact, we've learned these lessons the hard way by expecting the other to deliver something that is totally uncharacteristic of that person. My weakness has always been the movies - thinking my dear one will magically replicate the ultimate scene from the latest romantic comedy. Now, when I watch those movies, I oooh and aaah at the scene, and then I think of how much my partner does for me out of love - albeit they are way more practical things!  And then I oooh and aaah at how blessed I am to have him in my life.

This is not to say that we don't think of our anniversary as a special day. We do! Often, we'll start talking about it together a few weeks ahead of time. We'll discuss gifts (Should we just count the last Costco impluse-buy as our gift to each other?), travel (Do you want to take a drive to the mountains?), and of course, The Rose (Don't forget to pick one up!).

--> DETOUR: I got married young, just before I turned 20, so I hadn't found a church home yet and I was looking to steer clear of too many traditions - especially the standard wedding vows. I found a perfect solution in a small book of vows (before you could just Google it). The vow ceremony I chose included a part where the groom gave his bride a single white rose and promised to give her another one each year on the anniversary... So I guess I do have one expectation from my husband! But it was simple enough, and he agreed to it.

This year, we decided to go camping for a few days, so on our way out of town, we stopped at a florist's shop. She was just closing up and when my hubby explained what he needed and why he needed it, the florist went to the cooler and found one of the last white roses - one that was already open - and wrapped it up. As she handed it over, she said, "No charge. Happy Anniversary." (Thank you to New Look Floral in Belgrade, MT).

I'm not a floral expert, but apparently roses are usually most desirable for sale if they are closed, or at least only partially open, because (I'm assuming here) they'll last longer for the customer. However, that opened rose we received traveled with us in the truck, stood elegantly on our camper's table for three days, made the trip back home, and lasted another week in my kitchen. What a beautiful reminder of a special day sixteen years ago!

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