Cornbread And Cupcake

“Marriage is a gamble, let’s be honest.” -Yoko Ono

Well, we’ve done it. We’ve managed to stay married for TWENTY years. That’s a milestone that deserves capital letters and something special to mark the occasion by. A few days before our anniversary my husband asked me what I wanted: “We should do something big,” He said. “It’s pretty amazing that we are both still here.”

Like any married couple, we’ve had our highs and lows. What we did to commemorate our anniversary any given year was indicative of the state of our relationship. Memories of previous anniversaries drifted through my brain: A high note was our 10th where he surprised me with a renewal of vows ceremony and party. A low note was spending our 4th with me sitting on top of the refrigerator, supporting a sheet of drywall on my head as he screwed it into our new kitchen ceiling. Otherwise, I recall only a handful of fancy dinners, many accompanied by squeezing my post-pregnancy body into a pre-pregnancy dress.

We looked at each other over the kitchen island. What should we do for our 20th? I took a moment to think. We are a classic version of opposites attracting. He likes to fish, watch football games and sing karaoke. I like to do anything but those things. Yet, our friends call us by what we bring to get-togethers: Cornbread and Cupcake. The way we compliment each other is reflected in food: he’s the bread: steady, reliable and necessary. I’m dessert: artful, surprising and equally as necessary. For being so different we actually make a great team. From raising our boys to teenagers, renovating three houses and keeping our heads above water- somehow, two very different people have made it work for twenty years. How to celebrate?

Just before our anniversary I was in the grocery store. Catching my eye on the bottom shelf was the perfect gift. No hesitation-I grabbed the last one and took it to the register. There was a note when I got home: “Took the boys running errands, be home late.”

The next day we each unwrapped our gifts. What will it be? I thought. Something romantic? Something unexpected? He opened his: a large capacity Keurig coffee maker. He smiled. I opened mine: a huge stainless teapot. I smiled. Then we burst out laughing. We’d gotten each other exactly what we needed to keep going another twenty years: caffeine.

Nothing goes better with cornbread and cupcakes.