Celebrating my anniversary with my husband is my last good memory of the “before time.” We drank fancy cocktails and ate dinner at one of our favorite neighborhood restaurants in Queens. No one was wearing a mask or practicing social distancing; this was before the president declared the novel coronavirus outbreak a national emergency—before Tom Hanks announced he had it, inciting a mass panic to protect our national treasure at all costs. (He’s better now. He donated his plasma. Love you, Tom.)
Now, couples are finding creative ways to celebrate their anniversary in quarantine—like my colleague Paul Kita and his wife, whose fifth wedding anniversary falls at the end of May.
“We got engaged in Cape May, NJ,” Paul told me over Slack. “We were planning on going back, but COVID is likely going to cancel all that. So I’m going to do my best to re-create the experience. I’ve contacted a bar for the recipe for one of her favorite cocktails. I’m going to try to buy her some art from her favorite hotel down there. I’m going to cook her some lobster rolls. And I’m going to try and get some sand delivered—TRY on that last one.”
Hester Grainger and her husband Kelly, who run the company Hudia together, recently celebrated their 12th wedding anniversary in quarantine—and Hester said it was “actually great.” Better, in some ways, than an elaborate celebration in a non-pandemic world.
“There was no pressure to go out for an expensive dinner, or to spend tons of money on a weekend away,” she wrote in an email. “I even made my husband Kelly an anniversary card! We had a lovely day at home. Starting out with a family brunch with our two children. We spent the day in the garden enjoying the sun. Then had a great anniversary dinner in the evening. It really was a memorable anniversary.”
So how can you go about planning an epic anniversary in quarantine? In the before times, it might have been fun to actually re-live your first date, but that isn’t possible now—I mean, unless your first date involved eating beans in stretchy athleisure, in which case, no need to keep reading! For everyone else: Is there’s a clever way to re-create certain elements of your first hang, quarantine-style? If it’s a wedding anniversary you’re celebrating, are there ways you can recreate special details from your big day? Here are ideas for how to celebrate an anniversary in quarantine.
1) Travel virtually to a past vacation spot—or somewhere you’d like to go when this is all over.
2) Stream or rent a movie you watched early on in your relationship.
3) Attempt to recreate the first drinks or first meal you ever shared together. (For bonus points, print out a menu from the bar or restaurant.)
4) Attempt to recreate a signature drink or menu items from your wedding day. (For bonus points, attempt the three-tier cake.)
5) Re-read your wedding vows to each other. Sob uncontrollably.
6) Re-do the first dance from your wedding—this time in the living room, and in your pajamas.
7) Pick a photo printing service and order a collage of couple-y pics from throughout your relationship. (Or sit down and build a collage or album together!)
8) Head to the bedroom (or wherever) and play the Wheel of Foreplay.
9) Listen to the music from every concert you’ve seen together—or if you’re not concert people, listen to the biggest hits from whatever year you first got together.
10) Adopt a shelter pet.
11) Snuggle on the couch surrounded by your all-time favorite snacks and thumb through old photo albums together.
12) Challenge each other (in a chill, friendly way) to relationship trivia, where you each come up with a series of questions to quiz the other person. (Examples: Which celebrity did we see at that bagel place on our third date? Where were the names of our neighbors in the first apartment we lived in? Etc.) Winner gets an erotic massage.
13) If you’re quarantining separately: FaceTime sex? A little long-distance sex toy action?
14) Present your partner with a handwritten list of your favorite memories together from every year you’ve been an item.
15) Pick up or order a bottle of wine from the year you first got together.
Looking for more ways to get romantic during quarantine? Head here for 36 date ideas for couples isolating together and apart.
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