It was 9 o’clock on a Saturday morning and Jenny had just dialed her mother in northern Kentucky for their weekly phone conversation.
“Hey, Wayne,” Jenny called out to me. “My mother says it’s our wedding anniversary. Is it?”
“I dunno,” I said. “What day is today?”
It was, and within 10 minutes the florist’s delivery van was in our driveway with a vase of flowers that had been ordered by her mother.
We were a little embarrassed that neither of us had remembered our anniversary. Her mother could not believe that we would forget.
Of course, her mother has an easier time with her own anniversary; she was married on Christmas Day. I don’t know why anyone would do that, but that’s not part of this story.
We were a little surprised that we had forgotten, too. First, it’s written on a calendar that Jenny keeps in the kitchen; it has all of the extended family’s birthdays, anniversaries and the like, on it. And second, it’s on my organizer-calendar book that I carry everywhere with me.
The problem with our anniversary is that it is three days before Joe’s birthday, and always falls somewhere around Thanksgiving. We’re so busy getting ready to cook or travel that it’s hard to make a big deal out of it.
When we got married 11 years ago, our wedding and Jenny’s move to South Carolina got in the way of Thanksgiving. That was the year we had Thanksgiving dinner at Kmart. That’s another story, too.
So every year it’s anniversary or Thanksgiving. This year we chose Thanksgiving. Maybe next year I’ll be buying diamonds. (At least, that’s Jenny’s suggestion.) Or not.
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If I had listed the top 10 things I would buy if I had the money, a new mattress and box springs wouldn’t have been on the list. So how did we end up with them? Advertising.
For months I’d been complaining about back and neck pain when I rolled out of bed in the mornings.
“Stop whining and go to the doctor,” Jenny said, perhaps a dozen times.
Of course, I didn’t and wouldn’t.
I was still complaining about it when we visited my sister and her husband in Kansas City at Thanksgiving. Scott and Shelly, their son and his wife, were bragging about what a good night’s sleep they get in their new bed with one of those fancy sleep-number mattresses.
“Maybe you need a new mattress,” my sister said. “How old is it?”
“Not that old,” I said, beginning to count the years in my head. When I reached 22, I quit.
“Well, we’ve had it a while,” I admitted.
I had pretty much forgotten about the conversation until I saw an ad in the Gazette offering a coupon for two free nights at a Marriott hotel with the purchase of a mattress and box springs like the ones used in their hotels.
I suggested to Jenny that we stop by the local store and try out the mattresses.
“I doubt that’s the problem, but if you want a new mattress, get one,” she said.
We did, and after the first night’s sleep on the new one, I told her that I didn’t seem to have much neck or back pain.
“I knew you were going to say that,” she said.
Somehow, I knew it, too.
T. Wayne Mitchell, publisher of the Gazette, can be reached by phone at 662-534-6321 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.