The Traditional gift
The gift for a fifteenth wedding anniversary is CRYSTAL. And, in an alternate ending, today would have been the 15th anniversary of the late, great, Dan Fritz and me.
Crystal seems excessively dramatic to me…but if it’s meant to represent the solidity of a couple’s unity–I’ll buy it. What I won’t buy, however, is the “modern” gift alternative: a watch. I mean, with the advent of the cell phone as a cyber appendage more useful than one’s hand, the wrist watch now only represents a sense of fashion, wealth, irony, or a combination of all three. To put it differently, noooobody wears a watch!
(I can hear you voice your protest from the Beyond. You would still wear a watch…for its intended purpose: to tell time…): crystal, plastic, or otherwise…
What time is it, Dan? I’d sometimes ask, like a normal person wanting to know the time of day.
Time for YOU to get a WATCH! you’d respond, always, predictably, and right on time. It was the only answer I ever expected or needed. After all, the simplest thing in the world is to find out the time without asking.
We would have relished this opportunity to make the joke timely and appropriate—for once.
It’s crystal clear you need a watch! I’d retort, my attempt well-meaning but too late. It’s too late. Fifteen years and I am still retorting, unreformed.
And these are the loneliest moments…
I reproduce conversations which I can only assume would have happened if things had been different and your watch had taken a licking but not stopped ticking. Worlds of dialogue created inside of my head, reliving puns, recreating rhyme schemes, and rounding it out to 23-minutes (commercials included). Life left to commas ( , ) which end in a period ( . ).
Time marches on, but there is no 15; fullstopwatch.