The world’s most-visited museum is The Louvre. It is home to some of the best-known works of art, including the Mona Lisa and the Venus de Milo.

I’m certain every artist sees themselves visiting The Louvre at some point in their careers. My artist wife is no different.

In fact, anyone worldwide can become a member. For a fee. A very reasonable fee.

Membership has many perks, including one year of free admission, a subscription to their quarterly magazine, and my personal favorite: Discounts at the gift shop

Of course, you can use each of these… if you live in Paris.

My artist wife doesn’t.

It’s much easier to visit The Louvre if you live in Paris.

Undaunted by the obvious geographical challenge, I decided to buy her a membership anyway. It would include a personalized membership card with her profile photo and name.

With our 15th anniversary was coming up two months later, I also bought two seats on an airplane. For a fee. A very unreasonable fee.

But, who’s kidding who? The membership would be the much more important and much less expensive gift.

I wouldn’t be fooling her though.  She would know I had also booked two seats on a plane.

I had pulled the same stunt for our 10th anniversary when I bought her a membership to the Art Institute of Chicago and gave that to her as a gift. I revealed later that our flight and hotel were also booked.

This time, however, was different.

You might recall a story I shared recently about a trip my son and I took. It included one day in New York City, which is an art mecca that my wife has always dreamed of visiting.

Following the revelation that I chose to take her son to New York first instead of her, I was hoping the second airplane seat would have me in it.

Following the revelation that I chose to take her son to New York first instead of her, I was hoping the second airplane seat would have me in it.

As part of that New York City trip without my artist wife, I had built in many mitigating factors to ensure I still had a relationship with her.

This Paris trip was one of those mitigating factors. In fact, it was the biggest mitigating factor. Unfortunately, I couldn’t tell her until two months after I shared about the trip to The Big Apple.

So, there we sat at a local eatery. As is our anniversary custom, we ordered our meals and then exchanged gifts. 

She slid her index finger into the envelope as we waited for the kitchen to make our meals. Sliding the anniversary card out, she gently opened it, feeling the slightly heavier weight of the plastic card I had affixed to the inside.

Immediately after seeing the membership, she was over-the-moon excited. And she knew. 

She knew exactly what was on my mind.

I didn’t have to say a word.

“Yes, you can come with me,” she said while slipping the membership card into her purse.

What a relief!

After all, I had also bought myself the non-refundable secondary membership attached to her primary membership. That card had my profile photo and name. It would be awful to try to change it to someone else at this point.

Read It Again