May 31, 2010

A Valuable Anniversary Gift
money watch

My anniversary gift, set to the time we were married. Click on image for larger view.

Yesterday was our seventeenth wedding anniversary. And while I wasn’t expecting furniture, the traditional gift for this celebration, I definitely wasn’t expecting this!

I woke up to Susie’s loving warning: “Don’t come out until I tell you!” I obeyed. And when she finally gave me the signal I made my way the kitchen. “I know you’ve been lusting over a special watch so I wanted to give you this to go towards it,” she said. I noticed the smile in her eyes.

My heart leaped. Her gift, a watch made out of a fifty-dollar bill for the wristband and a dollar bill for the face, was beautiful. The hands were red thread, set to 3:30, the time we were married seventeen years ago. I was blown away. “There’s no way I would ever use this money for anything,” I replied. The Hamilton Ventura, one of the classiest watches ever made, paled by comparison (and truth be known, I simply couldn’t justify paying so much for a watch, no matter how beautiful it was).

In my family I am known as the consummate gift giver. And, as we all know, a good gift giver’s standards are often so high, it’s almost impossible to buy him anything. Almost, but not impossible. It’s not the monetary value of a gift that counts. It’s the thought that went into choosing it that’s really the gift. Rule 7 on my list on how to be a good gift giver: the best gifts cost little (or nothing). My wife had transformed legal tender into something much more valuable than its face value. This was the artist I fell in love with the first time I saw her art in a show in Baltimore.

“You mean you’re not going to spend the money?” “No way, you could have used two one dollar bills and it’s value would have been just as sweet,” I replied.

After 17 years, it’s nice to know the romance is still there. But I’ve refused my wife’s offer to remake the wristband using cheaper materials.

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