Speaking of a Bliss of another kind, I wanted to tell you what Craig and I did for our 10th wedding anniversary.

Now, if you’re a sensitive soul concerned I’m going to discomfit you with a tale of saucy shenanigans, relax. The only sauciness here relates to condiments at dinner.

So…

As our 10th anniversary approached, friends suggested how we could celebrate.

A holiday to a romantic island. (Will they have fast internet?)

A road trip to wine country. (Hmm… wine, you say.)

A cruise. (Stuck on a boat with small talkers – nooooooo!)

An adventure vacation. (What? Have you met us?)

We did want to do something memorable, and we considered all these ideas. Then we came up with an idea of our own that felt so. very. right.

It might not be something you’d see in a romantic comedy. It might not appeal to anybody else. It might strike some as odd.

What did we do?

We both took the day off work. We got up super early mid-morning and drove to what was then the largest bookstore in our city – a massive, multi-level Borders. After picking up take-away coffees we kissed each other goodbye and set off for our respective favourite sections of the store – Craig to technology, me to science.

We spent the next couple of hours perusing, scanning, muttering happily to ourselves (okay that was just me), and constructing piles of definites and maybes. Then we dropped our teetering piles at the counter for safe-keeping and adjourned for lunch, where we told each other about the books we had found and planned the sections we would tackle next.

Refuelled and refreshed and recaffeinated, we spent the afternoon separately wandering through our favourite genres. I explored literary fiction, art, psychology, memoir, humour. Craig strolled the aisles for drumming, karate, health, business. Occasionally we’d run into each other and show off our finds.

By the early evening we were tired and happy and had, between us, amassed about $1,000 worth of books. We bought them all.

Then we took ourselves to dinner (there you are, you saucy condiment!) and chatted contentedly about which books we were most excited to read first and why. One of us may have ordered two large chocolate desserts and gone home with a tummy ache.

When people asked what we did for our anniversary, most of our friends smiled and nodded and totally got why that celebration was perfect for us.

Others felt we should have done something more conventionally romantic and anniversary-appropriate. And I understand why.

Romantic movies are full of images of what relationship happiness should look like. And compared to those movies, it’s easy to feel like what you have is inferior.

My relationship with Craig looks like nothing I’ve ever seen on film, with the possible exception of early Ingmar Bergman. There’s a depth to it, but superficially we have little in common. When we got married we were both in our late 20s, each with hundreds of books and CDs, yet we had not one book in common and only one CD: Alanis Morissette’s Jagged Little Pill.

*picks up hairbrush*

An older version of me
Is she perverted like me
Would she go–

Wait– where was I?

We can talk with profound understanding about many things yet other times walk away from a conversation with utterly, 100% diametrically opposed ideas of what we just agreed.

Our relationship doesn’t look like celluloid bliss. And neither does any other relationship I’ve ever seen in real life.

I’m so very glad we didn’t do something conventionally romantic for our anniversary – I doubt we’d have enjoyed it half as much or remembered it with anywhere near such delight.

That day set the perfect benchmark for the sort of celebration we should plan for our 20th anniversary this year. (Yes I was a child bride – how kind of you to comment.)

It is a very happy memory for us both.

It was bliss of another kind, sure.

Our kind of bliss. Which is the only kind worth having, don’t you think?

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