A Salute to Twenty-One

It’s the number of dots on a standard six-sided die and the total over which you can’t go in a hand of Blackjack. It’s the age at which a young American can legally drink and the number of the Amendment that restores the right to do so after the eighteenth Amendment took that right away.

In 1808, it became the official standardized number of cannon shots fired for a royal salute in Great Britain, a tradition that started as a symbol of exhausting one’s easily accessible ammo in order to signal peaceful intent. The United States wouldn’t adopt the number for saluting purposes officially until 1890, because ‘Mericans tend to be stubborn and they preferred their salute to correspond to the number of states in the union. Eventually, that began to seem like an awful lot of trouble, and twenty-one, like a pretty good compromise.

For me, the number twenty-one has gained a new significance this week as my husband and I celebrate twenty-one years of marriage. That’s twenty-one years in which we have lived in five different homes in three states, become the parents of two children, and shared so many private jokes that we probably don’t really need to talk at all anymore to make each other laugh. We’ve supported each other through schooling and job changes, through lots of frustrations and even more joys.

For almost ten years, he has been the first to read nearly every post that finds its way to this space, and a few that didn’t make cut, and has titled many of them. We share an appreciation for stupid puns, little known ska/punk bands, and overstuffed burritos.

So, this week, we mark an amazing twenty-one years. A quick internet search tells me that the traditional symbol for the twenty-first anniversary is brass. We’re not gamblers or big drinkers and I’m fresh out of cannons, but we are pretty big fans of brass. Happily “our song” comes with a healthy dose of it. Sounds like a celebration to me:

17 thoughts on “A Salute to Twenty-One

  1. Awww….Happy Anniversary, Sarah and Mr. Sarah : ) For some odd reason, my husband tries to explain our inside jokes if anyone is around when we make them…it’s almost painful to watch since there’s so much that goes into those silly little things.

  2. Phyllis

    Happy Anniversary You two! I was just thinking when I met you, E was maybe 2. Dave and I just celebrated our 51st yesterday. Now I want to search and see what I can find for the number 51. Great blog, keep them coming.

    1. Thank you! Yes, E was about 18 months old when we moved to your neck of the woods. Even then he looked so much like his dad that people I’d never met in town recognized me because of the resemblance.

      I think the 51st is supposed to be sapphire.

  3. Tiffany

    Whoa. I’m in love with you two. Such a beautiful story. Here’s to 21 more years and many more inside jokes! Those are the best. Thank you for sharing this.

I love comments! Please keep them PG, though. I blush easily.

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