Miss Debrett on... Celebrating Anniversaries
Once a year the marriage faces its
challenge - to celebrate or not to celebrate?
Few dates in the personal calendar have
become so freighted with significance, and
it's a rare person who is completely
immune to the symbolism of the date,
even if it is only marked by a fleeting
twinge of discomfort.
In the early years of the
marriage, the anniversary
date is frequently writ large.
Even if the presents are comparatively downbeat - paper, cotton, etc. - and the marriage cannot be hailed for its longevity, there is still a warm glow of significance about the date of the wedding, and a feeling that the marriage is young, vibrant and worth celebrating.
The problems come in the workaday middle years of the marriage, when the first glow has faded and the landmarks of longevity have not yet been achieved. Child-rearing, mortgages, careers have all taken their toll, and there may be a creeping feeling that the marriage, in all its mundanity, is not worth celebrating. But this is precisely the point when cards, presents, flowers and dinner dates come into their own. Celebrations are a mutual and reassuring reassertion of the value of the union and, what's more, a great excuse to have some fun.
But be warned, this is a danger period, when the date itself loses its glow of significance. Preoccupied people, with romance the last thing on their personal agenda, are prone to forget the date. If both partners do so, the omission fades into significance. But if one half of the couple is the forgetful one, returning home empty-handed while the other waits expectantly for a surprise present, bottle of champagne, dinner date etc., then expect some serious fall-out. There is something curiously humiliating about being the one that treasures the memory of a date, while your partner sails past, completely oblivious of its supposed significance.
The solution is to engrave the memory of the date - if not on your heart, at least in your diary or personal organiser. It's far better to err on the side of over-attentiveness, and you may well manage to convince both yourself and your partner that you genuinely have something to celebrate.
Miss Debrett's Top Tips
- The workaday middle years of the marriage may be beset by a creeping feeling that the marriage is not worth celebrating - this is precisely the point when cards, presents and flowers come into their own.
- Don't let the date lose its glow of significance - forgetfulness will be freighted with significance.
- Err on the side of over-attentiveness - you may well convince yourself and your partner that you genuinely have something to celebrate.