Do you know what today is? It is my three year wedding anniversary. The years go by fast, I tell you. I am starting to think in the manner that I have heard old people talk all of my life.
I guess I should tell you how we are celebrating. Well, Nick is over at the school helping a student get ready for an English speech contest, and I am doing laundry. I also had a spurt of energy and inspiration in which I transferred an open bag of detergent into a glad ware container.
Earlier I made perogies for dinner, from scratch. I am so Eastern European today. Grandmother would be proud.
Three years…hmm. In year one we were in the U.S. I was finishing up college. I don’t remember how we celebrated. In year two we had just returned from Belize and bore witness to my younger brother’s high school graduation. This year, we are in China, celebrating our 7th week of quarantine. We haven’t really bought each other presents for Christmas or anniversaries since we were engaged. One reason is that we don’t have tons of money, and it wouldn’t be that fun to like, buy each other pres…holy Moses, it is hailing outside! They are the size of English peas! I wouldn’t have noticed, except for we have all of the windows open in the entire apartment because it is kind of hot these days and we aren’t allowed to turn on the air conditioner because of SARS. And, starting yesterday, before we go to work each morning, a lady in a white coat zaps us on the forehead with a laser in order to take our temperature to make sure that we aren’t feverish.
Anyway, like I was saying, to me, when we buy each other presents with money that we both had to earn, the thrill is kind of gone, you know? I’d rather spend the time together.
I am keenly aware of how money relates to work which in turn relates to life. Back when I earned an hourly wage at the coffee shop, when I would go shopping, I would think, “This costs 3 and one half hours of my life. Is it worth it?” The answer was pretty much always a resounding “no”, which is why (before I came to China, the land of bootleg clothing) I have always been content to go around in second-hand and ill-fitting clothing, and why I don’t jump at the chance to go to the movie theatre (that is a triple waste! 1. time 2. life and 3. money), and why I am turning into more and more of a ‘do-it-yourselfer’. One year, Nick’s mother gave me a Target gift card for Christmas. I spent it all on groceries. Priorities, my friends. I am willing to pay for an experience, but not so willing to shell out for a thing. I’m all for a class or a cultural experience. I like living.
Happy 3rd Anniversary, Ni Ni.