Monday, October 1, 2018

Anniversary Update!

So, remember in 2017, everyone was all excited about Queen Elizabeth II's "Sapphire Jubilee?"  The Queen was crowned in 1953; now 92 years old, she is the longest-reigning British monarch, and her Sapphire Jubilee marked 65 years of rule.

But what the hell is a "sapphire jubilee," anyway?

Those earrings must be insanely heavy.  
If you tear out the Queen's ears, do they send you to the Tower of London or what?
Is THIS why the Crown Jewels are stored there?  Because of queenly injuries??

The reason for calling the jubilee (aka celebration) "sapphire" has to do with 65 years being associated with sapphire anniversaries.

(The 75th anniversary is the original diamond anniversary, which might confuse you, as Queen Victoria, the second-longest reigning British monarch after Elizabeth II, celebrated her Diamond Jubilee on her 60th anniversary in 1897.  Nice try, Queen Victoria.  Can't get that shit past me.)

I'm a big fan of etymology so let me diverge just a little to talk about the word "anniversary," which is a portmanteau of the Latin "annus" (year) and "versus" (turning) (as in "versatile," something that can turn).  Also, "coronate" is not a verb; it's incorrectly assumed that you "coronate" a queen at her coronation, but actually, you crown her.  Coronate is used colloquially as a verb but is more correctly an adjective.  A crown is coronated, meaning it has coronets, referring to the little cross-like ornamentations on the band around the crown, which themselves have various meanings.

If you are a viscount, the meaning is, "Look at how stupid my crown looks."

Anywho, sapphire is the "traditional" present for a 65 year anniversary.  (If you were paying attention in the last paragraph, the phrase "x year anniversary" should bother you in its redundancy, since anniversary already includes the inherent implication that it's an annual thing.)

For the last 1,000 years, and perhaps even longer, people recognized milestone anniversaries with traditional gifts.  Twenty-five years of marriage got you a silver wreath in Germanic nations and gold on the fiftieth, leading the 50th anniversary to be dubbed the "golden" anniversary.  (And, in many nations, the gold anniversary can be formally recognized by a president / prime minister / other head of state.)

But why stop with silver and gold?  At some point, everyone decided that you ought to have a celebration every five years, and so they padded out the wedding anniversary list.  The fifth anniversary became wood, and the tenth tin, with the associated materials getting better and better every five years.  Then, in 1937, the American National Retail Jeweler Association introduced an expanded list of gifts, one for each year up to the 25th, and then for every fifth anniversary after that.  You might think the jewelers were somehow benefiting from this, but I can't for the life of me determine how, since the first 25 years include such things as "linen" and "pottery," which few jewelry stores carry.  Maybe they were just trying to get people more conscientious of wedding anniversary years.  Who knows?

Previously, people had to enjoy each other's company without an associated material display of affection.  
Poor souls.

In any case, since I am a sucker, I love the idea of "themed" anniversaries and have whole-heartedly embraced the concept.

"CONSUME."  - Santa

Andrew and I celebrated our first anniversary, the paper anniversary, with cards and tickets to Disneyland.

Our second was Saturday, the 22nd, and it was the "cotton" year.  I found myself thoroughly stumped on what would be a good gift.  Andrew likes practical things, and cotton, while perfect for stuffing bears, is not an especially practical gift.

Fortunately I managed to slap something together: I got two cotton blankets and a cotton picnic basket and, after going to Il Cielo for dinner, surprised Andrew with a picnic at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery.  This sounds less creepy when you know that the Hollywood Forever Cematery has frequent concerts and movie screenings.  (Side note: if I were buried in a cemetery I would love for people to go live their lives there, watch movies, have picnics, enjoy themselves.)  (Side side note: the reason I say "if" is because I would most like for my body to be disposed of via jhator, or "sky-burial.")

 Il Cielo is considered one of the most romantic restaurants in Los Angeles.

The food is excellent if not very heavy and very expensive.

This table behind us was later occupied by a couple with, by my estimate, a 30 to 40-year age gap.
Ahh, Los Angeles.

We watched The Beatles' "Yellow Submarine," which tied in nicely to everything because a) the picnic basket had a nautical themed, and b) "All You Need Is Love" is the song we walked down the aisle to at our wedding.  I have never packed a picnic basket before and had to Google it, but I did a fine job (in my opinions) with dates, pistachios, red wine, goat cheese, crackers, and black licorice.  Following the movie (which is mostly an excuse to watch colorful music videos interspersed with Ringo delivering deadpan one-liners in the most delightful way imaginable) there was a firework show, which Andrew said was one of the best he'd ever seen.  He took pictures but, as usual, pictures don't do firework shows justice.

 Andrew hates that I shoot pictures in portrait mode.

After two years of marriage, I'm happy to say I not only have zero regrets but feel more confident in my decision to tie my life to another person's.  Andrew is my best friend and he builds me up, and in the end, I think these are two of the keys to a successful relationship.  I'm a better person because of him, and he is (I hope) a better person because of me.  Anniversaries are a good time to reflect on what you mean to each other, ways to strengthen the relationship going forward, and an opportunity to give aggressively over-the-top themed gifts, which is one of my hobbies.

Here's to another amazing year of us... and in case you were wondering, leather.  The third year is leather.

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