When Doug and I married (on THIS day, way back in 1987!), we left the church in a limousine, which means we totally missed out on the tin can and shoe polish thing, as the limo company had a very strict policy against defacing their vehicles.
That was a bit of a bummer (in my mind, at least), and I’ve been trying to make up for it ever since. Which is what gave rise to one of our most cherished anniversary traditions.
That first little ride in an unmarked car gave me all the excuse I needed. Now, every year on our anniversary, I make a point of announcing the fact that my husband and I are (still) married to everybody who shares the road with us.
A Fun Anniversary Tradition
In the beginning, I worked alone, but as my kids got older, they became my partners in crime. The trick was to decorate Dad’s car without him catching us. We’d usually descend upon it in the parking lot while he was at work, but sometimes we’d fix it up early before he ever left home.
Some years it’s posters and balloons. Some years it’s pictures and poetry. Some years it’s banners and streamers. Some years it’s shoe polish and sweet sentiments:
- “A happy marriage is but an earlier heaven.”
- “Just married __ years and the honeymoon’s NOT over.”
- “Every day with you, dear, is sweeter than the day before.”
- “Married __ years and my wife still adores me!”
- “We’re still married… and more madly in love than ever.”
- “A match made in heaven burns bigger and brighter.”
Some years we take pictures; some years we forget. Some years I use homemade banners. Some years I paint the words directly on the car window.
Some banners are used one time and tossed; others are laminated and saved to be reused when busy schedules prevent making new ones. A few years we’ve missed altogether, because our anniversary has hit while Doug was deployed, or I was delivering a baby, or our family was in the middle of a long road trip and I didn’t think ahead of time to pack the posters.
But that’s okay, too. We’re in this for life, and every day provides a new opportunity to celebrate that fact, whether shoe polish is involved or not.