Rob and Marilyn cutting wedding cake at post-wedding party in Albany condo
Married in Las Vegas, we partied in Albany and then in Buffalo afterward. Twice the cake!

Our anniversary lunch-dinner was more elaborate than our wedding day dinner. After we married at the famous Little White Chapel, we had just enough time to change into travel clothes and grab a quick dinner at a Johnny Rockets at a casino before moving on to the airport for our red-eye flight home with our surprise news plastered on my chest via the T-shirt in the photo, above.

I was reminded that today is our wedding anniversary by my older (ha!) sister’s electronic card in my inbox this morning. And then Facebook’s compilation of photos. Both did a great job in their selections.

We were an unlikely pairing from the get-go. Robert and I shared a middle class upbringing and I spent two years at the same university he graduated from, BUT the elephant in our room was age. He was not yet four-years-old when I arrived as a freshman. Or is it a freshwoman these days??

He was so young when we met that when I look back on photos I wonder at my boldness. In my defense, I did try to fix him up with a couple of young women I knew. He was such a nice guy and smart and ….. well, they were much to involved in partying to care. In the end it was their loss; and my gain.


If you know us, you’ll understand our anniversary blow out took the form of an eye appointment for me and then lunch/dinner at a nearby Carrabba’s. That is one of my favorite restaurants. First, it has lots of booths so you can carry on a conversation with the people in the booth and not have to listen to everyone else’s discussions. Second, it has professional waitstaff who are very well trained. Third, but not last, it serves the best steak in town. It is, after all, Carrabba’s Italian Grill. Not that I had steak, mind you, because their chicken Marsala with mushrooms is very tasty, as well.

Rob also had a $20 gift card so it wasn’t a big out of pocket expense. Not that we pay cash for anything. This is where knowing us, especially knowing Rob, comes into the equation. He is all about research. He puts stickers on credit cards to remind us (that means me) which ones are for restaurants, or for gas, motels, etc.

I do not clip grocery coupons. Never have. But over one memorable several-year span I bought thousands of dollars of books for free. Walked into the store, made my selections, handed over a fist full of $5-off coupons and left with nary a dime leaving my pocket.

When we came home from our world journey, there was about $300 worth of coupons in the storage unit. Fortunately, I used them all up before Waldenbooks went out of business.

Cheap, thrifty, frugal or what?

Sometimes I say we are cheap but that really is not correct. We will pay good money (where do these terms come from?) for a piece of art we like but we will not pay any money for a cheap trinket or an ugly vase.

Thrifty sounds like we only shop at dollar stores and that isn’t true, either. We have standards. We will go to the local flea and farmer’s market for specific sorts of items like sunglasses. Who would pay more than $7 for a pair of sunglasses anyway?

Frugal sounds like a cake Grandma Moses would have made for Christmas. It might fit us, though. After all, we got married on the fly, returning home through Vegas from an artificial intelligence conference and Rob wrote off part of his expenses.

I think I just worked around to savvy. You have to love a word with double Vs, yes? There may be calendar years between us, but there is no gap when it comes to money. We both worked hard for it; we both benefit from putting money aside in savings for our future; we both understand that choices have consequences; and we have discussed and agree on a lifestyle.

No wonder today is a happy anniversary.

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