Fourteen years ago…we meet under the most ironically cliché circumstances. At a bar in the downtown area I was playing my decidedly last game of pool in the public eye. Tired of the bar scene, well any scene for that matter, I felt I was­—to quote Detective Roger Murtaugh, played by Danny Glover in the Lethal Weapon films—“Getting too old for this s***!” Thus downing my beer I lined up the last shot of the evening… of my life. Not going to kill myself just not going to be out late playing pool.

Then across the length of the table there she was, sitting alone at the bar. Even from behind I could tell she had a well-rounded and firm…personality (whew). Thus the cliché continued as introductions were made via the only line that came to mind, “What’s a pretty girl like you doing in a place like this?” OH MY GOD!-No you did not even use that antique pick-up line! I know, I know (slaps forehead) lame as h*** so sue me I was nervous…and some drunk…not a little, just some which is more than a little…I think.

The next six years were spent in a casual, non-invasive quest for her affections. During which time she remained oblivious to my intentions. Seriously? Geez-us it was soooo obvious. And though the pursuit was frustrating and futile it allowed time for a true, lasting and real friendship to form. However…one can only wait so long. Yes, it had been quite long enough and thus the decision to abandon anything more than “let’s just be friends” was made. The next day she calls from 200 miles away. She is on a fabulous beach getaway with a female friend… I am painting a laundry room alone. It is now that she realizes and returns my heartfelt sentiments and something new begins.

Eight years later… we’ve been through a lot. Happiness, horror, joy, heartache, nightmares and dreamscapes; but no matter what this world throws at us (or how many times it throws it) we’ve faced it together. Now on the dawn of our 8th anniversary of wedlock I find myself struggling with one burning question- What the f*** do you do to celebrate your 8th wedding anniversary???

Maybe go down to the pool hall, for old time’s sake, and play a game of 8 ball. We could drive there in a classic muscle car, you know—one of the great V8s. If the car’s all original we can listen to 8 tracks…like “8 Days a Week,” by the Beatles! Or maybe we should just stay home? Mix up some V8 and vodka and play Crazy 8’s by candlelight! How about a movie night? We could watch 8-Legged Freaks or The Hateful 8… because those films seem very romantic (cue eye rolling). Hmmm nothing seems right, maybe I’ll just consult my Magic 8 Ball and…that’s it! I’ll give her a Magic 8 Ball… no… no… no… it’s not like she’s 8 years old; but a gift, a creative and thoughtful gift. Now there’s an idea…but what?

There is an oft unheard of argument, which despite its unquestionable logic, is considered taboo when it comes to gifting a female companion. This is the “board game versus jewelry” debate. The concept is that jewelry is an easy out for men and demeaning to women. In the sense of : here’s something shiny and expensive that has little thought or meaning but it’s shiny and expensive so here ya go! The board game aspect is not to be taken literally (though it can be) is meant to symbolize actual time vested. This is either the time and thought put into selecting a gift with meaning or giving a gift that says I want to spend actual quality time with you.

Lucky for yours truly there is a middle ground, which was discovered during a conversation about currency. My darling wife’s maiden name is Morgan, which she takes great pride in. She mentioned that she’d always had an affinity for Morgan silver dollars and expressed a bit of interest in owning one in near-mint condition. From this an idea formed in my mind. Now you can’t just give a gal one old coin for your 8th wedding anniversary but if you could find 8 coins… of reasonable value… with some relationship significance tied to them…the search was on!

For the past several months hours were poured into internet searches, and a rudimentary knowledge of old coins and their value was necessarily obtained. Finally after weeks of searching, bidding, deep consideration and heartfelt sentiment eight coins were selected and obtained. Each one bears a significant, symbolic meaning or numeric relation to the time and moments we’ve shared. The coins will be presented in an old school clasp coin purse to add the finishing touch. I won’t tell you what each one means-—that’s for her and her alone.

So in the end I decided my sweet Lil Red, the love of my life, deserved the best of both worlds, something shiny and somewhat expensive that a lot of time and thought were put into. Now for some a small coin collection may seem like a lame gift but it’s special to me because I collected it for her. I can only hope she sees it that way too.

Happy Anniversary my beautiful best friend forever—Saw & Red 07-05-10.

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Hope to hear from ya, until then try and stay focused. See ya!