Last Monday was Mom and Dad’s wedding anniversary, and while it was on my radar, I didn’t actually order the flowers until that very morning. Later that day, I did the math and realized that it wasn’t just any anniversary: they’d been married for 50 years!
Embarrassing fact number one: the math is pretty simple. I just add one to my current age and that’s how long they’ve been married. I’ve been thinking a lot about how I’ll be 50 next year. I should have realized what that meant for my parents this year. If I’d remembered earlier, I could have talked to them about celebration options: whether they wanted a party with friends or just a family get-together. But it’s too late. Opportunity wasted.
Feeling like the world’s worst daughter, I tried to think of something I could do at the last minute to at least acknowledge this momentous event. I decided I would post their wedding picture on Facebook and let all their friends know about their anniversary so that they could wish them well. It wasn’t a party with presents and speeches, but it was better than nothing.
Embarrassing fact number two: My simple 10-minute idea took me two hours to implement. The photo search took much more time than I expected. I thought I knew where the photo I wanted was, but I was wrong.
Really really wrong.
I went to the boxes of photos that live in my studio, because that’s where I keep all my more important family pictures, or so I thought. After digging through them all and coming up empty handed, I wondered where they could be.
I went through my photo albums (we have over a dozen) on the off-chance I’d stuck it in one of them, but of course I hadn’t. So I tried a box that said “photo boxes and frames” on it. It was from our move six years ago and I found all sorts of things I’d forgotten about including an ace bandage, but no pictures of my parents’ wedding.
Back upstairs, I tried a big box we have of nicer framed family photos. The little black and white photo I was searching for deserves a frame but doesn’t have one yet. I was hoping I’d stuck it in the box with these other treasures in a spirit of “put it somewhere safe”.
The closet of the same room had one more box of photos in it. The last box of photos. And sure enough, I found the wedding photo in it.
Embarrassing fact number three: I had forgotten about most of these photos. I knew about a few of the boxes, but the others I re-discovered as I grew desperate to find the wedding picture. I’ve been thinking for a long time that I need to organize the thousands of digital photos on our computer, but I didn’t realize we probably have even more paper photographs and slides that need sorting and digitizing as well.
I want to believe I’ll learn from this mistake and will be on my toes when their 60th anniversary rolls around. But that’s ten years away, so there’s plenty of time for me to forget.
And it’s less than reassuring that despite this debacle, I didn’t order a Father’s Day present for Dad until Friday even though I’ve been thinking about it since June first.
Embarrassing fact number four: He will be lucky if he gets his Father’s Day present before July.