Next Saturday is our tenth wedding anniversary. Considering we live in LA, where people trade spouses like baseball cards, that's a pretty impressive number. This kind of longevity calls for some serious celebration, so naturally, we have not planned a thing.
I've put together a handy little chart so we can compare and contrast the stark difference in celebrating your wedding anniversary before, and after, kids.
In the weeks leading up to your anniversary you talk about what you should do to properly celebrate your marriage.
You have no idea what day or month it is, and so neither of you realize that your anniversary is coming up within the next week. The day before your anniversary, one of you opens iCal in order to record a dentist appointment for your offspring, only to realize that your wedding anniversary is tomorrow.
You look at your wedding album together, and talk about how amazing your special day was and you relive all the moments that made you laugh or cry.
You don't know where your wedding album is, because you haven't seen it since you had to turn your home office into a nursery for your surprise second child. It's entirely possible that you inadvertently donated your wedding album to the Goodwill and that some stranger purchased it for 50 cents. If you could find your wedding album, and did try to look at it together, that would last about 20 seconds before one of your offspring spilled an applesauce crusher on the photo of your first kiss as Husband and Wife.
You plan a romantic night out, probably involving cocktails and expensive wine and a fancy nine course tasting menu at the hottest restaurant in town. You make a reservation several weeks in advance, and request the most romantic table in the restaurant.
Since you realized only 24 hours ago that your anniversary is, in fact, tomorrow, you madly scramble to book a babysitter for your offspring. After six tries, you find someone who is available, but only until 9pm. You have no idea what the hottest restaurant in town is these days because you haven't been out without a child for going on three years, so you just try to find any restaurant that looks halfway decent, serves alcohol, and has space for you and your spouse during the time you will be paroled. Screw the most romantic table, you'll take any table.
You take pains getting ready. You buy a new dress, have your nails done, get your hair blown out, and book your bikini wax appointment a week in advance to ensure there won't be any chafing.
If you're lucky, your kids will nap at the same time and you'll get a chance to shower. Hopefully, they'll sleep long enough for you to shave your legs, but that's a long shot. You haven't had a pedicure in several months, and your hands look like they belong to the witch from Hansel and Gretel You haven't gone shopping since before you had a kid, so you'll be sporting something (anything) that looks halfway decent on your postpartum figure and that is marginally clean. Forget about that bikini wax. If your spouse can still get it up after watching you push a baby out of your lady parts then he can certainly navigate the rainforest you've got happening down there.
You have a four hour meal, with wine pairings, and get just tipsy enough that you go home and have mind-blowing sex with your spouse. You might even decide it would be "fun" to have kids and go really wild. You have sex more than once, and stay up late talking about how amazing your life is, how happy you are together, and how wonderful it would be to welcome a child into your family.
You scarf down some mediocre food so that you can get home in time for the babysitter to get to her bartending job. You have two glasses of wine and get so hammered that you actually think you might pass out on the Uber ride home. You stumble into the house, try to figure out how much you owe the babysitter (a lot, it's always a lot), and then try to sneak into your bedroom without waking up the kids. You have some quick sex, during which you hope neither of you falls asleep from sheer exhaustion, and then you play rock paper scissors to see who has the "pleasure" of getting up with the kids in the morning. You fall asleep midway through telling your spouse you love him, and without taking off your makeup or brushing your teeth.