INSIDE THE NUMBERS: Thanks a billion, Laurie!

  • Opinion   Thu, May 26th, 2022   Stewart Grant

I’ve never been the greatest at shopping for my wife for special occasions, though I know I should do better. After a while, you kind of run out of ideas, no? Each year she’s got a birthday; then there’s Christmas; Mother’s Day; our Wedding Anniversary; and plus, we’ve always acknowledged September 14th which is the day we changed each other’s lives...when we started “going out” back in high school.
September 14th has traditionally been our day to celebrate our relationship. That’s when the clock started for us, and we’ve never once broken up since that Friday night in 1990 at the St. Marys DCVI high school dance.
The thing with many occasions such as birthdays, wedding anniversaries, etc., is that everyone knows when they are. There’s an expectation that you need to do something for these dates, so I find that it’s more about trying not to screw it up than it is about doing something truly romantic.
Over the years, I’ve used our “start date” of September 14, 1990 to create special moments at unexpected times.
The obvious measurement of time is years. It’s kind of what we do in society. On our five-year “going out” anniversary, in 1995, I proposed marriage to my then 19-year-old girlfriend, Laurie. She was most definitely surprised! But thankfully she said “yes”. We finished school, and finally got married four years later in 1999.
It’s when you occasionally measure time in periods other than years that you can celebrate milestones that are surprising.
We enjoyed such a moment when I surprised Laurie in advance of our “10,000 day” anniversary in January 2018, when I arranged for a special trip “10,000 miles” away to Australia and New Zealand. This gesture more than made up for not being the greatest at buying memorable birthday or Christmas presents!
This past week marked an interesting milestone for Laurie and I that inspired me to write this article in the first place.
“A billion” is a number that we all know is a gigantic sum, but it’s almost undefinable to the average person because it’s too big to really wrap your head around. The odds of any of us having a billion dollars, for example, are pretty remote, right? And what can you really do with a billion dollars anyway that is so much better than having a few million? At some point, you’re just rich.
Well, as of this week I understand what a billion is. As of about 9:45 p.m. this past Monday, May 23, 2022, I’ve been lucky enough to have been partners with my darling Laurie for a BILLION SECONDS. (I figured this out on a website called which I stumbled upon.)
So, what do you do for a billion-second anniversary? I (briefly) looked into renting a helicopter and having it show up in our backyard for a surprise tour, but do you know how hard it is to rent a helicopter in St. Marys on short notice...on a holiday weekend? Instead, I settled for jewelry. It’s the thought that counts, right?
Have you been with your loved one for more than 31.7 years? If so... you’re a billionaire and you didn’t even know it. Congratulations!