I’ll never forget this year’s wedding anniversary, because we ended up somewhere unique.
And that’s a nice place to be on your special day, right?
Well, within reason, as I’ll explain.
Lord knows, some years it’s not easy getting away.
Some years you find yourself so overrun it’s hard to get anywhere special beyond the local fish and chip shop.
Not that I’m running down fish and chips.
Life just gets in the way.
But this year, in an unlikely triumph of planning months in advance, we booked ourselves into a bush retreat up the valley called Somewhere Unique.
And very nice it turned out to be.
In fact, so apt was the name of the joint, I’m urging the tourist industry to adopt a ‘‘truth in description’’ policy when branding wine country getaways.
Forget esoteric tags like “Owl Hideaway” or “Slumbers Retreat”.
What’s that tell me – I’m gonna sleep in a log?
And let’s not be coarse either.
We don’t need “Shaggers Bungalow”, or “Bicker Chalet’’.
Just something to the point.
“Awesome Spot” will do, if the place fits the bill.
And Somewhere Unique certainly did.
Unfortunately, we also found ourselves somewhere unique mentally, and it had nothing to do with the accommodation.
It sprang from what psychologists and employment specialists call ‘‘staring into the abyss’’.
And no, not because we’ve been married so long.
Rather, on the way up to our destination, on that mystical line where Cessnock West turns magically into Bellbird, we received phone confirmation that I and a swag of workmates were being made redundant.
Suddenly we were somewhere unique professionally after years of steady employment.
Uplifting news, as you can imagine.
An absolute catalyst for celebration.
Life wasn’t meant to be easy, they say, and it’s pretty straight without a twisty.
But this twist was hard to swallow, what with mortgages and kids and a gut-churning suspicion the bottom had just dropped out of our life.
Sure made the trip ‘‘unforgettable’’ though.
And for that reason, I guess I owe thanks to the corporate eggheads who got together to run a red line through my and my workmates’ names.
I guess I can also thank them for adding a level of emotional intensity to our anniversary not seen since Leonardo Di Caprio and Kate Winslet’s stirring performances in Titanic.
And let’s not forget the sense of hope and optimism reminiscent of the Hindenberg’s final flight.
Yes, it was an emotional three days as the elephant in the room competed with parrots and kangaroos for attention. But nothing a few glasses of champagne couldn’t cure. Quite a few actually.
But you gotta laugh, otherwise you’d be bloody miserable, and you don’t want that on your anniversary.
Ultimately, gallows humour galvanised us, and for that I thank matrimony.
‘‘Till death us do part’’ was probably a line I and my workmates associated with our jobs until this development.
But that’s all changing, and so unto the future and all the possibilities it holds, we now find ourselves saying “I do”.
An unfortunate forced marriage.
Hopefully next year we won’t be celebrating such uncertainty.