Tin and Aluminum




“Yes tin. Or aluminum.”


So begins my search for the perfect tenth anniversary gift.  I am not sure who determines which materials are representative of specific anniversaries, but tin and aluminum seem weird. “Happy tenth honey! We’re getting new siding!”

Hours later I find myself at an antique store. It smells like old lemony soap. The floorboards creak and groan with every step. The rooms ooze a collection of wares ranging from butter churns to silver tea sets.

I’m afraid to touch anything.

In these situations I find it is best to cut to the chase. I head right to the lady at the counter and say, “Hi, it’s my tenth anniversary tomorrow.”


“Yeah, you know. Tin.

Blank stare. Dammit.

“Tin or aluminum?”

The first bead of sweat rolls to the waistline of my shorts. I feel I’ve been trapped.

“Sir what are you looking for?”

“A gift. For my wife. Made of tin. Or aluminum.”

“We have lots of things made of tin.”

“Great is it in, like, a certain section?”

“It’s everywhere. What is she into?”

“Gardening, and baking.”

“Yeah, there’s tons of that stuff.”

“Great. Where?”

“All over.”

“Wish me luck then. And thank you for your help.”

She waves me off from behind a crossword puzzle and I creak and groan my way from room to room picking up random items and holding them, desperate for inspiration that never comes.

An hour later, beaten, I drive home with my tail between my legs. I sit down to do some work and I notice the cabinet on the far wall looks different. I go to inspect, and I find my wife has set out a bunch of stuff from our wedding day. 

I don’t open the wedding album, I feel we should be together to do that, but I do pick up the picture from our honeymoon. It’s a great picture of us set in a cheap frame from the resort we stayed in, but I love it. We look young and healthy and happy, and you can tell, from my newlywed wife’s sparkling brown eyes, that we are saying, “We found love, and it’s good. Everything is right with the world.”

And now it’s ten years later.

It’s been ten years of mortgages and kids and health scares and the deaths of loved ones and layoffs and dishes piled in the sink and arguments about money and loud sighs and mountains of laundry and fights with family and gaining weight  and losing weight and gaining it again and diets and shopping and spills and car accidents in the snow and missed opportunities and planning for the future and worrying and parent teacher conferences and homework and master degrees and more school and late nights and flooded basements and mice in the ceiling and blizzards and trees falling in the yard and crappy vacations and 

…being there.

Tin and aluminum. 

The not-so-helpful employee was correct. The place was filled with the stuff. Tin cookware hung from the ceiling. Tin lanterns piled on top of tables. Tin toys sat by the drawer full.

Cookware (Sustenance). Lanterns (Light). Toys (Joy).

It’s the stuff you can find in a home. Stuff family passes down from generation to generation because its made from good strong dependable metal. It may not have the density of lead. It may not hold an edge like steel, and after ten years of use it may have a few dents to show, or a crease where there shouldn’t be. But the essence of the thing stays, and that’s what makes it beautiful. 

Thanks Bub, for all of our adventures, our home, and most of all, our boys. I love you. Happy Anniversary.



P.S. I’ll try to be better with using coupons.

-Mike Sposito

Owner Spowerks LLC








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