Answer by Mira Zaslove:
My husband,and I both forgot our anniversary this year. The day came and went. We both forgot. And this was not the first year. We have a great marriage. And we aren't absentminded people. My husband is a scientist. He's got many complicated formulas, dates, and equations packed into his brain. My best friend from junior high school says she is going to use me as her memory from childhood.
So what gives? How is it that we are: (1) happily married, (2) have decent memories, and (3) continue to forget our anniversary?
We eloped. In 2008. The economy was in the pits. Money was scarce. Fear was high. We couldn't imagine spending any money on a wedding. I was embarrassed to admit it. We had been to a few amazing weddings. Friends had gorgeous celebrations in Costa Rica, and beautiful Napa Valley estates. We were scared. I knew I couldn't live up to expectations.
Years later, when I lamented that we didn't have a traditional wedding, Jay said we should have had a "Depression Era Themed" party. We could have done it on the cheap. It could have been great.
I wish we had. But, at the time, I wasn't in the mood to poke fun at our financial situation. I wasn't up for planning a big party, when the company I was working for stopped paying people. My employer went under. Hundreds of talented people lost their jobs. The stock market plummeted. Many of my friends and family lost their life savings.
Yet, tough times bring people closer together. We were in love. We were living together and we wanted to make it official. I wanted the security, and health insurance, that came with marriage. We booked an appointment at City Hall for a Thursday morning at 9:30am and paid $93.00 for the marriage license.
I didn't get a fancy proposal or fancy wedding. But I did get the best husband and the best friend of my life. I have one of the happiest marriages of anyone I know.
The difficulties that I have faced for eloping have largely been a sense of regret for not including friends and family. We kept it a secret, and some of my best friends were understandably hurt that they were not invited, or told that I was getting married. I regret that.
I love weddings. And not just for the elaborate dresses and cake, which I also like, but for the celebration. There is something great about being in a room with everyone you love, and declaring your commitment to the person you plan to spend the rest of your life with. I would have enjoyed meeting and talking to Jay's and my extended families. I wish they had the chance to meet each other.
Yet, a perfect wedding does not correlate with a perfect marriage. And certainly the reverse is also true. Sometimes I wish we had a traditional wedding. But as the years pass, I think about it less and less.
I love my husband more today than the day we got married. And even if we forget that exact date, our marriage is cool. The fact that we eloped has nothing to do with the strength of our commitment.
And looking back at our wedding photo, we were happy 🙂 I bought the dress on clearance at Ross Dress For Less (clothes were very cheap in the midst of the financial downturn), did my hair and make up myself, and the flowers were given to us by another couple who had just got married. It was a happy day. But one day, no matter, does not make a marriage.