Friday, February 19, 2010
My February Anniversaries
I’ve missed a few “anniversaries” this past week. I blame it on Scott’s broken ankle – I’m out of my routine. In truth, I’m not really big on anniversaries to begin with.
I know, I know, I celebrated the anniversary of my blog, but that was mainly because I needed something to write about.
Scott and I got married many years ago, two days before Christmas. In retrospect, that was an ill-conceived plan. I have a hard enough time gifting for Christmas and then suddenly I had an wedding anniversary to contend with. For the first many years, I simply forgot about the date altogether.
Eventually I decided to move our anniversary to a new season entirely. My aunt did this with her birthday – moved it from whatever wretched time of year it actually fell to her favorite time of year: autumn. That move worked out well for her, so I decided we would employ a similar strategy for our anniversary, moving it to April 1st, which is an anniversary of a meaningful moment in our courtship, and which, conveniently, falls nowhere near anyone’s birthday, including that of JC.
One of the anniversary dates I forgot about this past week was February 12th, the anniversary of my quitting smoking sixteen long years ago. I did not quit stoic cold turkey, but rather kicking and screaming – a pregnant woman weaning herself from her most beloved vice in the hopes that someday her offspring would more than make up for the loss.
I was telling someone just today that Scott’s ankle break has left me with what feels like a hundred untended to tasks. I’m so overwhelmed by the catch-up that I spend most of my time avoiding it all and just playing online Scrabble. I recalled that in the old days I would make lists – good, hardy, productive lists – and those lists would keep me focused. I would sit down at the dining room table with a paper and pen, a cigarette and a cup of coffee, and I would organize my days and weeks and life.
Without the coffee and cigarettes, my list-making has never been as productive. It’s hard to believe, but I really haven’t gotten much done in the last sixteen years.
The other anniversary I completely forgot about is that of my dad’s death. I’m not so good with numbers, so I’m not certain how old he’d be right now. All I know for sure is he’s been gone far longer than the last time I had a cigarette; longer than the 25 years I’ve known Scott. It’s hard for me to believe that he's been gone nearly two-thirds of my life. So long that I can no longer remember his voice.