“The literary equivalent of a summer night, a good friend and a gin-and-tonic: Shannon is a deft writer; a natural storyteller with a wicked turn of phrase and frighteningly specific memory...”

Opt-in to the Shannon Colleary Communiqué to have both the Funny & the Wise delivered to your inbox weekly!

Why My Wedding Anniversary Means Nothing To Me

Henry and I don’t celebrate Valentine’s Day.  We tell each other not to get each other gifts for our birthdays.  We had our 12th wedding anniversary at Shutters On The Beach on Monday, but now I’m thinking we don’t really need to do anything special for our anniversaries anymore.  My reasons are shocking!

Our wedding day May 27, 2001

Our wedding day May 27, 2001

When Henry and I started dating on April 25th of 1998 (but who’s keeping track) I was used to dating men whose idea of commitment was to avoid having sex with other women right in front of me.  They would honor me by waiting to have sex with other women when I was out of view.  Which was thoughtful.

Right away I realized that Henry didn’t have sex with other women besides me.  Which was strange.  And there were other radical behaviors.  In the early months of our relationship I’d flown somewhere I can’t remember due to peri-menopause and Henry was supposed to pick me up from the airport.

I begged him not to pick me up at the airport because I knew that meant he wouldn’t show and I’d accidentally get into a taxi that was, in fact, a front for the human sex slave industry and I’d end up on my back in a basement in the Woodland Hills servicing Charlie Sheen.

But Henry insisted on picking me up.  Sure enough when I arrived in baggage claim I heard the lilting computerized female voice over the PA badgering me, “Could Shannon Bradley please come to the white courtesy phone?  Shannon Bradley please pick up the white courtesy phone because your new boyfriend is playing strip poker with the Pussycat Dolls at the Viper Room and can’t take you home.  He’s also high on peyote.  And might be a mafia don.  Or a Moonie.”

I picked up the white courtesy phone and there was Henry.  He told he’d had a car accident (yeah, sure, he crashed into the pool at the Playboy mansion) and was okay, but couldn’t pick me.

Resigning myself to a life on my back I boarded a passenger shuttle.  Twenty stops later I was dropped at my Mar Vista home.  In the dark I could just make out a figure sitting on my porch stoop.  Was it a Croation human trafficker or could it be …?  Had Henry actually taken a taxi to my house to welcome me home?

As the figure unfolded itself from its seated position and strode across the yard toward me I realized it was indeed Henry.  He pulled me into his arms and gave me the kind of kiss that let me know he’d missed me in a way I’d never been missed by a man in my life.  I knew right then I had to marry that guy.

And he still does stuff like that all the time.  Which is why I don’t need to celebrate special occasions like Valentines Day or birthdays or wedding anniversaries with Henry, because every day with this man is a special occasion.

Our marriage isn’t perfect – sex can be tricky – sometimes when he laughs he looks exactly like his mother – sometimes when I sweat I smell exactly like my father’s knees – but I can count on that guy and that’s worth its weight in Be-Mine Valentines and 12th anniversary silk pajamas.

Tags assigned to this article:
loving husbandValentines Daywedding anniversary


Write a comment
  1. Sharon Greenthal
    Sharon Greenthal 29 May, 2013, 11:18

    You’re a lucky woman – and Henry’s pretty lucky too!

    Reply this comment
  2. Trina
    Trina 29 May, 2013, 11:21

    That is so sweet! I also agree with not celebrating manufactured holidays, but instead just finding moments to be with each other. btw your wedding dress is beautiful!

    Reply this comment
  3. Julie Danis
    Julie Danis 29 May, 2013, 11:33

    I married on Valentine’s Day – not because I’m so romantic but because it worked with all the various schedules I needed to accommodate. My husband says that the Feb.14th is a great anniversary b/c he will never forget. We celebrate with champagne, lobsters, and chocolate cake and I wouldn’t have it any other way. If I could fit in my wedding dress I might even wear it to dinner!

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 29 May, 2013, 12:19

      Actually there is something so romantic about marrying on Valentine’s Day. Of course my efficient brain likes it because that’s like killing two birds with one stone. I just have some kind of Enforced Holidays chip on my shoulder.

      Reply this comment
  4. Ginger Kay
    Ginger Kay 29 May, 2013, 12:08

    We never celebrated our anniversary until my Half Life Anniversary. That is an incredibly significant milestone (that I totally made up), so I told my husband we needed to celebrate it.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 29 May, 2013, 12:20

      I actually prefer Made-Up Holidays. I like to celebrate having my mustache waxed making out in at the movies.

      Reply this comment
  5. Ellen Dolgen
    Ellen Dolgen 29 May, 2013, 12:18

    David and I still celebrate our anniversary — but we make it a point to keep the romance alive all year long. Fun post!

    Reply this comment
  6. Haralee
    Haralee 29 May, 2013, 12:26

    What a gorgeous picture. You cracked me up and it was very sweet at the same time!

    Reply this comment
  7. Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen
    Laura Lee Carter aka the Midlife Crisis Queen 29 May, 2013, 12:27

    FUNNY! VERY FUNNY! I had to read this one to my new and improved husband! WE met and married at 50, but I don’t remember when our anniversary is…

    Reply this comment
  8. Yvonne Condes
    Yvonne Condes 29 May, 2013, 12:35

    That Henry is such a great guy! Love that you both appreciate each other.

    Reply this comment
  9. Jasmine Forte
    Jasmine Forte 29 May, 2013, 14:50

    I enjoy EVERYTHING you write!!! You constantly crack me up in between the parts where you’re being serious and vulnerable! PLEASE KEEP WRITING!!!

    Reply this comment
  10. Jackie
    Jackie 29 May, 2013, 18:33

    This story made me smile — and wonder whether my husband has a long-lost brother — he’s a great guy, too!

    Reply this comment
  11. Brandi Sawyer
    Brandi Sawyer 30 May, 2013, 09:56

    Too funny! I only dated 1 person before my hubby, but he was a lot like the guys you dated. My hubby and I have been married 19 years this June, and rarely get to celebrate our anniversary due to his work schedule. And if we do, since our daughter was born we tend to take her with us. We did say we will renew our vows next year on our 20th, mostly because our daughter wants desperately to be a flower girl! LOL

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 May, 2013, 12:25

      Do I hear the door opening at Tiffany’s for those vow renewals. Why is it my head goes right to jewelry?

      Reply this comment
  12. Tricia van Dockum
    Tricia van Dockum 30 May, 2013, 14:29

    What a sweet sentiment, Shannon. I was a friend of Henry’s younger sister way back when Henry was single. I used to always tell my friend, Henry is going to make some woman very happy one day as he’s such a nice guy. Sounds like he’s done just that. : )

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 30 May, 2013, 16:11

      Tricia it’s so nice to see you here. The Collearys make some pretty lovely men.

      Reply this comment
  13. Sharona Zee
    Sharona Zee 1 June, 2013, 05:25

    Best advertisement for marriage ever!

    Reply this comment
  14. Lady Jennie
    Lady Jennie 4 June, 2013, 09:54

    Such a beautiful wedding photo (and a beautiful story).

    Reply this comment
  15. Anne (@notasupermom)
    Anne (@notasupermom) 18 July, 2013, 13:01

    Loved this, especially since tomorrow is our anniversary we won’t celebrate too much. 16 wonderful years!

    Reply this comment
  16. Amy Hunt Mayer
    Amy Hunt Mayer 12 September, 2013, 07:58

    Oh Shannon, How I love ya! How I love ya! BUT I HAVE TO GET BACK TO WORK! (but I would much rather laugh and cry at your posts…you were and always will be my favorite writer.)

    Reply this comment
  17. aliza worthington
    aliza worthington 5 December, 2013, 06:12

    You got married on my birthday! My 32nd birthday, but still! It’s fine if you don’t celebrate your anniversary, but you’d better damn well celebrate my birthday. Just sayin’.

    Reply this comment
    • Shannon
      Shannon Author 5 December, 2013, 09:11

      Aliza I have my marching orders. From now on we celebrate your birthday on May 27th.

      Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*