Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Oh, You Shouldn't Have

Silverware. For a five year anniversary, the proper gift is silverware. Personally, this is baffling. One would hope that after five years, the people celebrating their anniversary would have acquired some suitable eating utensils. Up until this point, have they been tearing food apart with their hands or the occasional plastic spork just waiting patiently for their “silverware anniversary?” And if we are following this logic, they are still 12 years away from having a couch to sit on (anniversary #17 being the much celebrated “furniture anniversary”).

Before you call me naïve, I realize the silverware to be presented should be of the collectible (read: non-usable) type. The type that you would place in a drawer to collect dust, hang on a wall next to your commemorative plates creating a surreal anti-gravitational place setting, or (and probably much more likely) pawn off as soon as your relatives leave town.

This, of course, is a modern take on the five year anniversary gift. Traditionally it was the much more practical and splintery “wood anniversary,” because nothing says congratulations like a slab of oak. The switch to silverware however had a negative impact on the wood worker economy. But sales of bears carved out of tree stumps soon recovered when the 6th anniversary was announced to be the “wood object” anniversary.

If the wood object you receive happens to be a desk, then you are all set for your 7th anniversary which is the “pen and pencil set anniversary.” This is a little redundant since you probably received a number of Cross Pen sets back when you graduated high school or college or any other occasion when a relative who did not really know who you were needed to get you a present.

If you are wondering what’s with all this anniversary talk, it is our five year anniversary this week at the library. If you are wondering what’s with all the presents talk, it’s because we really, really don’t want any more silverware or wood. Thanks and all, but we’ve got it covered. Seriously.
posted by jw