By: Brandy Black
Our 7-year wedding anniversary is coming up. I actually thought it was 6 until I looked at the key that I had engraved for Susan and realized we were married in 2003. I used to know all of our anniversaries by heart; there was a time that we celebrated monthly. Monthly! I think that dwindled when “celebrating” meant going out to dinner which we did all the time. The rest slowly slipped from my brain between getting pregnant and having a kid. I remember the days that I used to make myself remember what it was like to kiss Susan for the first time, to sneak into the laundry room to have sex just because, to find our hands meeting under the table at a dinner party when there was nothing to hide. A look, a touch, a smile meant the world and said so much. I swore I would never forget each and every delicious moment, I vowed to myself that every day when I drove to work braving the Los Angeles traffic, I would remember all of the first times, I would keep them in a safe place forever. I didn’t need a cell phone or the radio or music, I needed my sexy thoughts of the girl with whom I was falling in love.
On her 30th birthday, the same year we met, I was a struggling actress working 3 jobs and broke. I knew I wanted to get her something that would far surpass any other gift, but it was a daunting task. I sat down at my friend David’s pool with a blank book, gold pen, and a huge bag of every scrap of paper that had ever been exchanged between the two of us. The napkin with my lips and phone number, the loose leaf paper of “I love you’s” the postcards, the I’m sorry’s, the good mornings, and pictures of young Susan and Brandy falling in love through the late night conversations, cake and donuts for breakfast, quick sex before work, groceries waiting for me outside my door (I was practically a bachelor), wisdom teeth, late night guitar playing in the courtyard, random trips to who knows where at 11:00PM (ended up in San Fran) because, because, because of love. Pure, sweet, unabandoned love. I worked hard on this precious book that would later hold memories that would slowly drift from our minds and perhaps hearts. Jobs become more important, buying a house, making more money, having kids, so much at stake that the whimsy of love begins to fade into a steady heartbeat that holds you at night.
Now when I think of what to get Susan for our anniversary, it’s stuff, trips, things that only money can buy. Yes, it’s lovely to get an ipad, or a necklace (OK never mad at jewelry Susan) or a Vespa (that’s what she wants) but nothing compares to a true gift from the heart. This is the hard part. So, as one of my presents to Susan (I have to give her the Vespa), I chose to write about us. To try my best to bring back those memories that I swore would take me to work and back for the rest of my life.