When McIrish and I were newlyweds, we had a tiny apartment in Jersey City with a glittering view of Manhattan’s skyline, a little cat named Joe, and not a lot else. We had love, you know? I worked at a high-stress job in a sleek and soulless skyscraper in the city; McIrish was in school at night and worked during the day.
On our first anniversary, I met my honey after work at a homey little Italian restaurant in Greenwich Village, where the food is unparalleled and the waiters don’t speak much English. McIrish didn’t give me an engagement ring when he proposed, impetuous lad that he was, and the truth was, he couldn’t really afford one. I’m not the diamond type, anyway. But on our first anniversary, he did give me a ring: an antique amethyst band, which I still think is the prettiest piece of jewelry in the world. I gave him a bathrobe, for the record. It was also quite nice. : )
After dinner, we walked through the cheerful Village, admiring doorways and shops, looking up at the windows of apartments and the little slices of domesticity they showed. At a corner lot, we bought a little Christmas tree. Took it on the PATH train home and decorated it that night, Joe batting the ornaments and being generally pesky, as cats are wont to do.
McIrish and I still go to New York for our anniversary whenever we can. We still hold hands, we still go to the same restaurant, and we still feel so lucky that we found each other that day long ago, standing in line, full of hope.