Another wedding anniversary experience | Latte Guy | May 27

While the rest of America celebrates Memorial Day on Monday, the woman who is my wife and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary.

Friends and family will no doubt take the occasion to send Wendy condolence cards, and who can blame them?

Wendy and I considered going to Santa Fe or Hawaii or Ireland to mark this momentous event. However, after several rounds of spirited discussion and a couple of inconclusive votes, we decided on a compromise.

Instead of going someplace fun or exotic this year, we’ll pay our mortgage and the kids’ tuition instead, and treat ourselves to a celebratory meal at Subway, where I just happen to have a two-for-one coupon.

Sadly, dining at Subway may actually be a step up from previous anniversary meals. In the recent past, we’ve spent many an anniversary having a post-Viking Cup soccer game burger at the Dairy Queen in Poulsbo. One year, I even sprang for large dipped cones.

I waited until this week to pick out an anniversary gift for Wendy since I had it on good authority that the world was going to end on May 21.

Since that didn’t work out as advertised, I’m working against a deadline to get Wendy something nice.

But, to quote the late Douglas Adams, I love deadlines because I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly past.

The pressure is really on me to pick out a good gift this year given my epic failures in past years in this regard, if you can call kitchen towels, hand tools, baseball tickets, magazine subscriptions and scented candles failures as anniversary gifts, and evidently you can.

Wendy likes waffles, and so I thought about getting her a Belgian waffle maker this year. I went looking and found a nice one. His name was Sven.

But I changed my mind and am going in an entirely different direction, one that may determine whether I am around to celebrate our 31st anniversary next year.

Wendy and I met in high school, so we’ve known each other for nearly 40 years now. We don’t have many secrets from each other.

For example, I know Wendy likes to put butter on her beef stew, drives fast, and hasn’t had any soda pop in something like a decade.

I even know what music she wants played at her funeral, and that she doesn’t want to be kept alive by a machine when the time comes, particularly if the machine involved has a “popcorn” setting.

As compatible as we are as a couple, we have our differences.

When it comes to the yard and garden, I favor orthogonal lines like a planner whereas Wendy prefers the curvilinear.

I like cheap beer. Wendy doesn’t.

I load the dishwasher neatly from the back. Wendy doesn’t.

I like to follow rules.  Wendy doesn’t.

I think I look good in ancient T-shirts, well-worn shorts, dorky white socks, and work boots. Wendy doesn’t.

One thing I do know about Wendy is that whatever lame and wholly inadequate anniversary gift I ultimately select for her, she’ll act like she loves it, like it’s just the thing she was hoping I’d get her.

True love is about more than being good at picking out gifts or writing smarmy, insincere messages in last-minute cards purchased at Safeway (been there, done that).

Between Subway and the predictably bad gift, it’s sure to be a memorable anniversary.

It’s just a shame that I don’t have a better, more public way to tell Wendy how much I love her, how happy I am that she’s put up with me all these many years, and to assure her that we’ll get to Ireland one of these days.

Luckily, I’ve got just the wardrobe for the trip.

Tom Tyner is an attorney for the Trust for Public Land. He is author of “Skeletons From Our Closet,” a collection of writings on the island’s latte scene.

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