Last week my wife and I celebrated our anniversary. We marked the occasion by returning to the place we got married: a former church that had been turned into a restaurant that overlooked the canal in downtown Indianapolis. The restaurant is no longer in business. The minister who presided over the ceremony is retired. Our caterer is out of business and so is the photographer. Also, some of our guests have divorced and remarried.

So, you could say the end of our beginning was the beginning of the end for a lot of people. Maybe we’re bad luck. Or maybe it’s me. Two of the newspapers I wrote for back in the day went belly up. And that was before the great media die-off! But my wife and I are still together. 11 years in a row!

I know someone who remarried the wife he divorced several years back. They just celebrated their 2nd first anniversary. Or was it their 10th inconsecutive anniversary? I asked the staff at Hallmark for guidance, but they weren’t any help. So I bought them an Ebony (the cards targeted to black customers) birthday card (even though they’re not black) so they would feel as confused as the rest of us are as to why they’re back together.

The traditional anniversary gift for 11 is steel. I considered giving my wife a steel sword. But I quickly decided that:

That’s probably not what the people who come up with these things had in mind.

The likelihood of a twelfth anniversary is greatly diminished by buying her a not-so-romantic gift.

Now, she would be armed.

The last one of those is, of course, the secret to our marriage. People without medieval weaponry tend to stay together as they lack the ability to do serious bodily harm to each other while shouting words like scallywag, fopdoodle, and ronyon. (Of course, dyeing in a sword fight would be much cooler than say clogging my arteries until my heart ruptures trying to lug an 80-pound bag of water softener salt to the basement.)

Also, my wife sleepwalks, so having guns is completely off the table. She has a built-in defense. “You’re honor I was asleep and he looked like an intruder!” Nope, not taking any chances there.

Anyway, back to the gift. I didn’t get her steel. I got her a necklace and an airline gift card. While she’s away, I’ll be practicing my sword fighting moves with the sword I didn’t get her. Just in case she bought a sword too.

Carry on, Citizens!