Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Matt's Anniversary Present: A Smash Book

It's been fifteen years since I, a sophisticated junior at TCU, looked at that cute but goofy freshman at Mike McCaffrey's Anti-Valentine's Day party and thought, "Hmmm...I think I'm going to trick that boy into thinking that it's his idea to go out with me."

And the rest is history, the history of kids and cats and cross-country moves and used cars and visits to the beach and drinking margaritas and watching way too much sci-fi together.

To celebrate fifteen years together, I defaced a vintage children's book, because nothing says "Happy Anniversary!" quite like graffiti and hot glue:

a Before picture: I found a coloring page from "The Last Unicorn" for Syd to color. It's an inside joke that all I did as a child was watch a bunch of weird, dark cartoons, and inappropriate 80s-era comedies that were on HBO, and it's my mission to introduce Matt to all of them

for a while at IU, until they changed their budgetary policies to both boot me out of my associate instructor position (and thus, indirectly, out of grad school) and forbid Matt to work any additional jobs in the university at all other than his current one, he and I did a comic together for the student newspaper. Our friends all appeared, and our parents, and our cats. It's one of my all-time favorite things that I've ever done

The year before we got pregnant with Willow, Matt and went on this CRAZY road trip across three-quarters of the United States. Seriously, we were gone practically a month! We almost got arrested on a beach literally five minutes after getting there, and we kept having to sleep in the car, and we'd eat in these freaky buffets all the time because then we could be full enough to not have to have another meal that day, and I brought along all these travel memoirs of couples that we could read to each other as we drove, but in every single memoir the experience of travel basically destroyed each couple's marriage, and we saw everything in the entire world, it felt like

Matt's introduced me to every awesome graphic novel ever written, except I stopped reading this particular one below when it got really rapey

 Fifteen years is kind of hilarious, because when I look back at those photos from when we were dating, we look like babies

Like this photo of us with our friends. We're babies! We're in my first apartment, which I first shared with this guy friend of mine who later went kind of schizo, accused me of slamming my car door into his every time we were parked next to each other (which I didn't do) AND of replacing his gigantic bottle of Pert Plus with a giant bottle of hand lotion (which I also didn't do) AND sent this threatening letter to my parents telling them that he was going to sue me if I didn't pay him back $250 for all the D&D books that he'd left in the apartment when he finally moved out AND he put a password on our telephone account in secret before he moved so that he could switch the account for free and I had to pay to set up a new account AND he stole that old gold velvet and horsehair couch that we bought together without even asking for it. I loved that couch!!!

I asked the girls to draw pictures of all of us, and to write down some reasons why they love their Daddy. The reasons for both girls generally revolved around activities such as wrestling and treat-buying

I had to look the word "occasion" up in the dictionary, because all of a sudden I couldn't remember how to spell it 

 paint, glue colored with acrylics, text printed onto photo paper, a fussy-cut piece of vintage wallpaper, and LOTS of glitter

more text on photo paper, and vintage sheet music with a few applicable phrases circled in Prismacolor marker

and the cover, which is just a glory of random stuff--paint, stencils, paper doilies, die-cuts, twine, Sharpie, and a few images from the ill-fated original book left uncovered

It was so pleasant to put this book together that I finally understand why some crafters spend so much time scrapbooking rather than performing more reasonable activities like, you know, making skirts out of pillowcases or finding weird ways to dye play dough. The physical present was for Matt, sure, but the real treat was for me, spending weeks reliving all the happy memories of our fifteen years together, suddenly making realizations along the lines of "Hey, Matt has NEVER done his share of the dishes!"

He's always been good at presents, though (except for that fake opal ring in San Antonio business--who the hell gives his girlfriend of three years a fake opal ring on the trip that they're taking to San Antonio to celebrate being together for three years? Don't you think that when you've been dating for three years, and you're on a special anniversary trip, on VALENTINE'S DAY for Pete's sake, and you hand a girl a ring box, and inside it is a fake opal ring, and it's not even a fake opal engagement ring, just a generic fake opal ring, that she might not react with pleasure and gratitude?!?). This year for our anniversary Matt bought ME a panini press, because he knows I'm a big nerd who wants to make paninis all the time.

Seriously, don't you want to come over for breakfast today? I'm making cream cheese, chocolate chip, and banana paninis, and if you stay for lunch I'll even make you a turkey bologna and mozzarella panini. For dinner it's pulled pork and avocado paninis, with strawberry, cream cheese, and powdered sugar paninis for dessert.

1 comment:

Tina said...

What is it with guys giving out opal rings! I had a boyfriend that gave me an opal ring one year for Christmas after we had been together for like 6 years. Seriously! Oh well.

We LOVE 'The Last Unicorn' here at our house. We even borrowed the book and the graphic novel from the library. It is our bedtime read at the moment.

The smash book looks fantastic! You have inspired me to make one for my in-laws :)