My husband and I recently celebrated our 10-year anniversary. Like we do for many special occasions, we promised each other not to get the other person a gift. As the giver, we don’t like the obligation of having to come up with something simply to unwrap, especially when there is nothing in particular the other one really wants at that point in time. That is precisely why I was as giddy as could be that I broke our pact and came up with gifts befitting of the occasion.
I was listening to the song “Must Have Done Something Right” by Reliant K for the umpteenth time. The first line of the song is “We should get jerseys cause we make a good team.” In a stream of consciousness in hearing the words and thinking about our upcoming anniversary trip, I thought it would be a scream to actually get jerseys for “Team Zich”, consisting of Joel, the family Center, me, the group’s Small Forward, and Peanut, our pack’s Point Guard. PERFECT!
I contacted our local sportswear supplier and got a quote for printed basketball jerseys – two humans and a wee canine, please! I Googled “basketball jersey” to see some examples of various styles. I picked out the one I liked the best and emailed the example to the graphic artist at the store. We had a bit of a snag in interpretation of size and scale of lettering since an exact size was not provided to the artist, however we agreed upon a remedy and so I had my jerseys ready to go for our trip.
In the spirit of giving a gift you can’t buy, I planned to give Joel a summary of noteworthy events over the past 10 years as well as the top 10 songs that remind me of him. Joel is outstanding at keeping our photo albums current, so it was easy to flip through a decade’s worth of snapshots and jot down notes with dates. In addition to some other big-ticket life events that have occurred, I picked out what I thought would be perfect to highlight (and ultimately what I could print on a single sheet of paper) and added some cute clip art. In addition to just knowing songs off the top of my head that remind me of the mister, I also went through mixtapes and my iPod to decide upon on a top 10 song list. Back to the computer I went to neatly type up my list of song titles, explanations of why they reminded me of him, and added some cute clip art.
Because I don’t like surprises and I can barely contain myself in keeping one, Joel found out a week in advance of our trip that I was super-excited about having something up my sleeve. “You agreed – no gifts! Now I have to go out and find something…” he grumbled. Repeatedly tapping my temple, I replied, “You know where I went shopping? Right here. OFF THE SHELVES OF MY MIND!” Your move, teammate!
The gifts were a slam dunk (pun intended). Joel was genuinely surprised by my efforts and deeply touched by the sentiment. As difficult as it was to keep my schemes under wraps, it was definitely worth it. There was plenty of laughter and tears as we recanted our memories from the notes I’d created. This tribute of sorts to a decade as a team set the tone for what turned out to be a truly outstanding day.