When you’ve been married for 40 years, as my wife, Sue, and I have been, you want to celebrate your anniversary in a big way, by doing something wonderful and memorable during a week of fun and frolic, all while expressing your eternal devotion to your beloved spouse.
So I got my teeth cleaned and Sue had a root canal.
These were only two of the many romantic ways we marked this landmark event, which was so action-packed that we needed five full days to cram it all in.
It should be noted that we spent this time at home, not in some tropical resort with postcards, palm trees and swim-up bars, which only would have distracted us from doing such exciting things as shoveling snow and babysitting our granddaughters.
That’s exactly what we did on our anniversary, when Mother Nature spared no expense in gifting us with a spring storm that dumped six inches of snow on our driveway.
Instead of wearing a bathing suit and flip-flops, with a margarita in hand, I donned a parka and boots, with a shovel in hand, and headed out into the arctic air.
“Have fun!” Sue said as she blew me a kiss.
When I came back in, cold and tired, I found a waterfall — not like in Hawaii, where Sue and I honeymooned — that was cascading through the ceiling from an upstairs bathroom, where our son-in-law Guillaume had just taken a shower.
“Shall we call a plumber to help us celebrate our anniversary?” I asked Sue.
She declined when the leak stopped and said that she and our younger daughter, Lauren, were going shopping. Since Guillaume was going to work, I would be in charge of babysitting our granddaughters, Chloe, 5, and Lilly, a year and a half. It was the most fun I had all day.
Later, after everyone left and Sue and I were alone, we had a romantic candlelight dinner featuring leftovers.
“It doesn’t get any better than this,” I said as Sue and I toasted each other with boxed wine.
“Happy anniversary, dear,” she replied sweetly.
The next day, which was Tuesday, I proved that I would do anything for my wife short of painting the hallway by driving her to the orthodontist’s office so she could have a root canal.
“Don’t worry,” I said reassuringly. “It won’t hurt.”
“That’s easy for you to say,” Sue replied nervously.
“I know,” I told her. “That’s why I said it.”
As it turned out, I was right: It didn’t hurt at all. It didn’t hurt Sue, either. But it did knock her out, which is why she spent the afternoon napping while I made myself useful by having cocktails.
On Wednesday, I had an appointment with my dermatologist, who will turn 40 later this year.
“I’ve been married as long as you’ve been alive,” I said.
“I’ve been married for 12 years,” he responded, “but it feels like 40.”
By the afternoon, Sue was feeling much better, so we spent the rest of the day at the outlets, shopping for sneakers, shoes and, most important, a new pair of boots.
“In case,” I explained to Sue, “it snows again.”
On Thursday, the action continued when I got a haircut. After I told my barber, Maria, about my anniversary week, she said, “You’ll need another week to recover.”
That afternoon, Sue and I went to a travel agency to see if we could book a vacation to a warmer locale later in the year.
Lindsay, our travel consultant, said, “You’re having a busy week. You need to get away.”
Friday morning, I got my teeth cleaned. After I told Margaret, the hygienist, all about the exciting things Sue and I had done to celebrate our anniversary, she said, “All that’s missing is a colonoscopy.”
That night, Sue and I went out to dinner at a nice Italian restaurant called Grana, where we were serenaded by Brett Chizever, a bartender who also has theater experience and once played Rooster Hannigan in a road version of “Annie.”
In a beautiful operatic voice, Brett, 30, sang us a Gershwin tune called “Love Is Here to Stay.”
His rendition earned a round of applause.
“Happy 40th anniversary, you two lovebirds,” Brett said.
“Thank you,” Sue replied with a wide smile.
“Believe me,” I added, “this is the most romantic thing that’s happened to us all week.”
— Jerry Zezima
Stamford Advocate humor columnist Jerry Zezima is the author of three books. Visit his blog at www.jerryzezima.blogspot.com.