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June 24, 2012
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Mrs. Fussy never reads the blog. She copyedits almost every single post in the morning as she eats her cereal. But during those rare occasions when one of us is away, she will never go online to check out what I’ve posted.

A year ago today, I wrote of our tenth anniversary, and told the story of our wedding. It’s a post filled with cheese and brunch and cake. But there were also friends and loved ones. And Mrs. Fussy was compelled to read that story because she proofread it.

Today I’m still in Providence and Mrs. Fussy is looking after our children back in Albany. I have no idea what she’ll be reading this morning over cereal. But maybe I can convince her to take a peek. Because eleven is a big number. And you know what the traditional gift is for eleven years of marriage? Steel.

I’m not going to get all mushy today in public. I’ll save that for later. Our wedding was the time to publicly declare our love for one another, and I am glad to report that those bonds are still strong. Anniversaries I think, like engagements, can be more private.

We have a tradition of doing precious little on our anniversary. We don’t exchange gifts, and we don’t generally go out for a fancy meal. Maybe one day when the kids are a bit older, we’ll start doing more. Or maybe not. Our annual ritual this time of year, is to say to each other how glad we are not to be having a wedding today. Sometimes we’ll talk about what the traditional gift is, and what we would get for each other if we actually participated in that scheme.

Steel is awesome because Mrs. Fussy has her roots in Pennsylvania and that’s all about steel. I know almost nothing about the stuff, and once asked her where the steel mines were. I mean, I know good knives are made from carbon steel, and after being laughed at by my father-in-law for the steel mine comment, I  now know that it’s an alloy of iron.

One traditional gift is a really good knife.

The killer is that we’ve actually got a lot of great knives, but we take terrible care of them. I’ve been lamenting that fact on the blog for a while too. And there is really no excuse for not bringing them to a professional to be sharpened. So perhaps a better gift would be to get all the knives sharpened, and buy a new honing steel to help keep the blades sharp longer. Our knives are so dull, it’s not even funny. I’m amazed they can cut through anything.

However, this would really be a gift for me since I do most of the cooking in the house.

We did just get a new washer though. And it’s a beauty. It’s a Speed Queen. If the name sounds familiar, perhaps you have seen them in a laundromat near you. These are industrial strength machines, made for home use, without any onboard computers or other fancy bells and whistles that will cause them to break or malfunction prematurely. It’s a solid piece of metal with a stainless steel basin that’s designed to last and last and last.

Kind of like us.

The appliance guy who we bought it from said that he saw one from the 1930s that was still going strong. So while I’m tempted to say that our marriage may outlast our new washer, it’s also possible that our new washer will outlive us all.

But one has to be careful of appliances as anniversary gifts. Before their divorce my father famously got my mother new toilets for the boat. I was young at the time, but I recall that didn’t go over too well.

Ideally, Mrs. Fussy will not be too melancholy today that her vacation is ending. I know she’s enjoyed the hell out of taking some time off from her work responsibilities and spending time with the children, as I’ve galavanted around the country from coast-to-coast. Tonight I hope to cook something from the remnants of this week’s CSA share. The children with have Gramma’s Magic Meatballs from Venda Ravioli in Providence.

And once the kids are in bed, it would be nice to snuggle with the missus, share a glass of Highland Park scotch and watch an episode of The Wire, content in the life that we’ve created together and the home we’ve established for us and our family in Albany.

Who needs stuff. For better or for worse, we’ve got each other.

6 Comments leave one →
  1. Kate H. permalink
    June 24, 2012 7:31 am

    Beautiful sentiment. That’s what a good marriage is all about.

  2. Mr. Sunshine permalink
    June 24, 2012 10:53 am


  3. upstatedave permalink
    June 24, 2012 10:15 pm

    Never give a knife as a gift to a loved one. It severs the friendship/relationship. If you must give a knife, have the recipient give you a few pennies to “purchase” it. We must abide the old ways.

    • June 25, 2012 8:21 am

      I’ve heard this as well. In my head, I always lumped it with the custom of never giving an empty wallet to someone as a gift.


      • Kerosena permalink
        June 25, 2012 12:18 pm

        Congratulations to the Fussys!

        My grandmother abides this knife custom/superstition and has encouraged me to do the same. She tapes a penny to the package so the recipient can use it to “buy” the gift from the giver.

        I never thought about the empty wallet thing, but now that you mention it, I did slip a fiver in the wallet I gave my 7 year old cousin for his birthday.

  4. Uncle Laurie permalink
    June 25, 2012 11:13 am

    As Omar would say, “no doubt!”

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