On this 16th anniversary of my marriage to My Love, I’m happy to report our wedded bliss is still unspoiled.
We have been told the same is true of our marital can of Spam.
Our friends gave us Mork (named so by me as it is a “meat like pork”), leaving it along with hundreds of unpopped popcorn kernels on our honeymoon bed.
The popcorn, I know, was an homage to my bride’s Cornhusker State upbringing. But Spam? I can be a ham, but did I forget some greater symbolism behind this gift?
So I called the U.S. Library of Congress. That’s where Justin, one of the purchasers of Mork, earns a living.
“It was one of the few things we could find in the convenience store across the street from the hotel,” he told me this week. “We wanted to get you two a bunch of condoms but [another friend] said you wouldn’t need them. When you are married, you’re allowed to procreate at will.”
That same Spam sits on my desk today. It has traveled more than 3,100 miles round trip from my hometown to Texas where we resided for six years – me, My Love and our canned meat product.
To anyone who has eaten or at least held a brick-like can of Spam knows, Mork’s survival is no miracle. My Love and I getting through our wedding is a different story; however, we made it. That day honestly turned out to be the best of my life. As I told my newlywed wife after the last guest left our suite, I had never felt so loved before in all my life.
Then we spent the next 15 minutes picking popcorn kernels out of the sheets.
The passage of time, though, can make many things go bad, and 16 years is an eternity in these satellite-fed, download-now times. For reassurance, this week I called the Hormel Foods customer service line.
Gina, my representative, decoded the numbers printed on Mork’s aluminum bottom. He was packaged in October 1996 – seven years before the company began putting “best by” dates on Spam, she said.
“If you open it on your anniversary Friday, as long as it isn’t discolored or smells funny, it should still be good to eat,” Gina said.
Well … maybe on our 50th anniversary.
I thanked Gina, who then realized what our friends didn’t 16 years ago. “As a wedding gift, that can of Spam is a good one,” she said. “Like a marriage, it has no expiration date.”
Video: John Hiatt, Love Like Blood