My wedding anniversary is coming up, and, stumped for ideas, I decided to browse through the list of traditional wedding anniversary gifts. Note that I said traditional, not that modern, newfangled list that somebody greedy made up that’s filled with diamonds and crystal and shit in the first 10 years because they’re too impatient to wait the full 60. So, today I bring to you the Mayfairy’s Guide to (Traditional) Wedding Anniversary Gifts, so that none of us need ever be stumped for ideas again. Well, not for the first 10 years, anyway.
Year 1 – Paper
The first year is simple. By now, you should have figured out if you’ve made a terrible mistake. In which case ‘divorce papers’ will be your gift of choice. If not, however, you can do what I did, and give your spouse a written appraisal, notifying them that their contract has been extended for another year and giving praise where it is due.
Year 2 – Cotton
It’s only been 2 years, don’t get ahead of yourself with thoughts of silk just yet. You’ve got to experiment with cotton. Socks, pillow cases, spools of cotton thread unraveled and wound around the house in a gorgeously messy trail leading to yet more cotton. If you do opt for cotton socks I have reason to believe that they’re blessed.
Year 3 – Leather
You need to keep the relationship fresh and the spark alive. So, our traditional forebearers recommend that you invest in some quality leather bondage gear.
Year 4 – Linen, Silk, Fruit, Flowers
After that bumper year of bondage, S&M and looking good in leather, you’ll probably need new sheets. New linen (silk if you’re still feeling sensual) and some flowers to mask the sex smell would be ideal.
Year 5 – Wood
Got wood? Good. After 5 years of marriage if you’ve still got the basics you ought to be grateful.
Year 6 – Iron, Steel, Sugar, Sweets
They’re really covering all eventualities here, aren’t they? I guess they feel that after six years you may have morphed into two totally different people. Or maybe they’re suggesting that you wander around construction sites together, throwing Quality Street at iron and steel workers. There’s a story to tell the grand kids.
Year 7 – Wool, Copper
It’s been seven years, so it’s time to change your IUD. Now’s the big decision; do you switch to the long term, 12 year contraceptive extravaganza that is the copper IUD, or do you do the baby thing? If that’s the case you should get knitting. Everyone likes knitting for babies, especially if what you’re knitting has ears.
Year 8 – Bronze, Pottery
If you’re feeling artistic you can recreate that pottery scene in Ghost. If not, you can go with Bronze. It’ll make your partner feel like they won third prize with you, which is fair enough because you’re not artistic enough to recreate the pottery scene in Ghost.
Year 9 – Pottery, China, Willow
Seriously, this is your last chance to recreate the pottery scene in Ghost. Why are you still stalling? If you did that last year you’ll have realised that pottery is hard, and will instead opt for actual china made by professionals that won’t leak and will actually be useful for something. Did I mention that pottery is hard?
Year 10 – Tin, White Steel, Aluminium
What are the making drinking cans out of, these days? I think it’s aluminium, but they’re still called ‘tinnies’ colloquially. After 10 years you get to drink beer out of a can together. If you want to be really classy you can skull Fosters on the train during morning rush hour. I saw this happening the other morning, though I doubt a decade of marriage was the precursor.