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Celebrating 38 in style ... at 10 o’clock

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COFFEE WITH KEITH

Thursday was my wife’s and my 38th wedding anniversary. Yep, that’s 38, proving again that my Nancy is a saint.

Anyone who has put up with me for that long is A-OK in my book.

Thirty-eight years is a long time. For those of you keeping score at home, that’s 13,870 days, about 333,000 hours, almost 20 million minutes and approaching 1.2 billion seconds.

Can you count with me? One … 2 … 3 … 4 … 5 …

According to the American Greetings card company, the 38th anniversary is the “exotic” anniversary.

Oooh-la-la!

Its website states, “Woo hoo! Thirty-eight years deserves a wild celebration! A trip to Costa Rica? A Hawaiian luau? OK, at least a round of margaritas. We all have our own definitions of exotic, but that’s what makes the 38th wedding anniversary traditional gift fun to give and exciting to get.”

It continues …

“Exotic to you might mean interesting foods, faraway lands or sexy lingerie, while exotic to someone else might simply mean adding mango to their smoothie. But the whole point of this 38th anniversary gift is to give or do something unfamiliar, out of the ordinary … and maybe spice things up a bit.”

OK, we stayed up until 10 o’clock. After all, today is a work day.

Speaking of bedtime and aging, I saw a sign recently that read as follows: “They say 40 is the new 30 and 50 is the new 40. But all I know is the older I get the more 9 p.m. is the new midnight.”

Ah, the life of someone who has been married for 38 years. …

But speaking of the length of marriage, my parents put almost all of us to shame. They’ve been married for 73 years … and counting. Talk about sainthood!

American Greetings also states beryl and tourmaline are the contemporary gifts for this specific occasion.

Huh? What?

Sounds like something you would put in some kind of witchy brew, or maybe even meat loaf.

Ah, but doing a little digging, I discovered beryl is a gemstone related to emeralds and aquamarine. Tourmaline, called the rainbow gemstone, is a gorgeous and unique mineral that makes a beautiful centerpiece. And both are great anniversary gifts as jewelry or art.

Art? Yep, get me that picture of gemstones we can hang on our wall!

And the flower for this anniversary? The bleeding heart.

“With cartoon-like hearts covering every stem, the bleeding heart is the most boldly symbolic plant of deep emotion, love, passion and connection. If you want a 38th anniversary gift that literally looks like love, then this is the flower to give.”

My heart bleeds, but I do love a good cartoon.

Finally, American Greetings suggested some gifts: An exotic wood cutting board or serving bowl, a subscription to a travel or leisure magazine and planting a bleeding heart garden at home.

Here, honey, here’s a nice wooden bowl. Happy anniversary.

Reminds me of the year … I think it’s the fifth … of the wood anniversary. All the experts suggested a gift centered on that theme.

To this day, I have no idea why Nancy didn’t like the 2X4 I brought home that day for her.

Hey, my thinking was brilliant: A stud with a stud.

She didn’t buy it. (Remember, that was 33 years ago!)

Moving on to the travel or leisure magazine, Nancy enjoys watching those travel shows where couples move to a coast, an island or overseas and go house shopping. I offered to watch one of those with her – a solid 30-minute investment in my marriage.

I had to apologize that I fell asleep. Well, after all, it was past 9 p.m.

Finally, the bleeding heart garden.

Well, since we’re in the process of finally moving from New Braunfels to the Boerne area, I didn’t want to waste hours of sweating while planting some kind of flower garden that we’ll never get to enjoy.

That actually was a legitimate excuse.

So, looking for ideas I landed on Amazon and I found all kinds of cool things.

A plaque that says: “Wife. Established 1981.”

A mug: “13,870 mornings (see, I did my math correctly) of drinking coffee together.”

And a T-shirt: “I survived 38 years of marriage and all I got was this lousy T-shirt.”

Back to the drawing board.

Maybe, just maybe I should have taken Nancy to that exotic location to celebrate.

Like the fresh fruit aisle at H-E-B.

Happy anniversary.

And, as always, thanks for reading.