Hartley: Demand anniversary gender equality now | AspenTimes.com

Hartley: Demand anniversary gender equality now

Todd Hartley
I’m With Stupid

I know this is a little off-topic, but I'd like to revisit a subject from last month that I think deserves more time, and that's my anniversary — or, more specifically, anniversaries in general — because I feel strongly about gender equality and I think guys have been getting ripped off when it comes to the annual celebrations of our wedding vows.

You know that there are suggested gifts that you're supposed to give each other for each year of marriage that you're celebrating, right? For instance, on the first anniversary, the gift is supposed to be a clock. It's not terribly exciting, but at least it's practical and something you can both use.

That practicality continues for the first decade, from Year Two (porcelain) right up through Year Nine (leather). So if you're a married guy, and you make it for nine years, you'll have in your household a clock, some porcelain, some glassware, an electrical appliance, silverware, something made out of wood, a desk set or linen chest, some linens and some leather.

I think we can all agree that after nine years, things are fairly equal between the two genders. I mean, personally, I'm not exactly craving linens and silverware as a gift from or for my wife, but I use that stuff every day, and so do all you other guys. And if you play it right, even that leather gift you give her in Year Nine can work in your favor if it's skimpy enough.

So after nine years, pretty fair — but you see, that's how they get you. That's how you get roped in. Because in Year 10, things change a little. In Year 10, the gift is supposed to be diamond jewelry (followed by fashion jewelry, pearls, furs and gold jewelry in Years 11 through 14). And I know that in Aspen some men wear furs and jewelry — not that there's anything wrong with that — but come on. Those gifts seem a little one-sided to me.

As it turned out, last month, I was celebrating my 10th anniversary, meaning that either I or my wife was supposed to be getting diamond jewelry. The only jewelry I've ever worn is my wedding ring (found in a Cracker Jack box vs. the umpteen thousand I spent on hers). I figured that meant the diamond jewelry was probably intended for my wife.

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Yeah? Well, guess who didn't get diamonds for her 10th anniversary last month? Thankfully, my wife let me off the hook. She said that this year, instead of giving each other gifts, we should save our money for the bed we were about to purchase.

Now, as a guy, I knew that really meant that I wouldn't be getting anything, but she damn well better be getting something for having put up with me for a decade. So I bought her a dozen red roses and put them in a vase for her to see when she woke up, and I got her chocolate, and I picked out a card and wrote a sonnet on the inside.

Yeah, that's right: a sonnet. Fourteen lines, iambic pentameter, the whole nine yards — because other than the plays and all the literary-genius stuff, I'm basically Shakespeare.

That night we went to dinner at one of Aspen's finest restaurants, Element 47 at The Little Nell, and had about the best $47 prix-fixe meal you'll ever have. It started with perfect crabcakes and a mouthwatering steak that could have been $47 a la carte at some Aspen eateries, and a friend at the Nell arranged for us to have Champagne and "Happy Anniversary, Todd and Cindy" written in chocolate on our desserts. It was impossibly romantic — or would have been if our son hadn't been there with us.

The prix-fixe also included a glass of wine, which made it a great deal by Aspen standards. Unfortunately, we were limited to just a handful of choices and couldn't have our pick of Element 47's unbelievable wine list, because there was a wine on there that cost about as much as a new BMW. They invited us down to the cellar to see the bottle. I was afraid to breathe in the same room as it.

So I think I did pretty well — roses, a sonnet, chocolate, an almost-romantic dinner. I mean, it's not diamond jewelry, but it's OK. And what did I get in return? Well, that transaction has yet to be completed, but the new bed just arrived, so we'll see how strongly my wife believes in gender equality, too.

Todd Hartley knows a new BMW wouldn't be gift enough to make up for a decade of him. To read more or leave a comment, please visit http://zerobudget.net.

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