In honor of our anniversary today, I asked Randy 10 questions about what makes our marriage tick.
What's the best thing about being married (in general, not just to me)?
Knowing that I always have a friend to share life with. Someone whom I can take care of, and who will take care of me when things are tough. Knowing that there's always someone to listen to my trivial stories, to acknowledge my bad jokes, to surprise with news of new movies and shows, and in general just to share life with--that's awesome.
What's the worst?
As close as we are, knowing how often I disappoint you and let you down. You see me at all my worst times, and after 17 years, you know most of my mistakes even before I make them.
What's the biggest challenge?
Answering 17th Anniversary Surveys.
What do you think makes our marriage work so well?
God. Seriously, I believe the fact that we both respect and seek God, and our commitment to Him...that keeps drawing our commitment to one another closer together.
When you leave your clothes on the floor in the bedroom...actually that's not a question. It's more of an observation. Care to comment?
It's Feng Shui. It balances out the shopping bags and empty Diet Coke cans.
Touché. We've been married for 17 years. Any regrets?
I regret that it's gone by so fast.
Name one all-time favorite memory of being married to me.
That's like saying name your favorite meal. I might be able to narrow down to a favorite food or restauraunt, but the great experiences are too numerous to say just one. The memory that always goes to the front of my mind is just our evenings together, talking and watching TV, or just talking. Hearing you laugh when I pretend the dog is talking.
Oh. Maybe the cookie dance.
Ah, the cookie dance. If you could give one piece of advice to a couple of newlyweds, what would it be?
Find something you love together and do it at least once a week. Other than sex, I mean. Go to a movie. Paint a picture. Do a puzzle. Play a game. Watch a show. Spend your life planting opportunities to interact. As you grow closer together, deepen them.
Why do you think men are so romantically challenged when they know it would go a really long way with their wives? (No, this is not a set-up.)
If I could answer that, I wouldn't be romantically challenged. :) We all see the world through our own eyes, and map our wants, likes, and dislikes to other people. We each assume that our mate works just like we do. A lot of marriage is spent correcting that notion.
With the above in mind, define "romantic". For women, I think it's typically things that require planning and forethought--you want to know that your guy is connecting with you emotionally, and that you are on his mind. It might be as simple as agreeing with something you say, or something as elaborate as leaving a trail of roses through the house.
For guys, "romance" is when you are engaged with him in an activity he loves--and no, I don't just mean physically. I remember those times in our marriage when we've read the same book at the same time, or played a game together. Those moments of selflessness on Carrie's part--sharing experiences, but outside her first preference, that's incredible.
So, when it comes down to it, I think both men and women are romantically challenged. Just like every human on the planet is service-challenged. We are all fairly selfish. Romance--and love--come in to play when we give up some of our time or thought or plans to make someone else feel special.
Wow, you really thought that one through. What are you most looking forward to in the next 17 years of marriage?
Comfort. Not as in luxury, but as in relationship. I think we're just starting to get a lot of life figured out. There is a security in knowing someone so well. There's also a challenge; that we can find a way to keep surprising each other. I'm looking forward to that too.