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Fifteen years of love and laughter

I’m feeling a bit sentimental today. It’s my 15-year anniversary, and I spent several hours last night looking through photos of Jim and me. The earliest days are not so well documented. Back in 1998, we were still using FILM CAMERAS! Can you imagine? Can you remember taking photos and having to WAIT to see how they would turn out? Can you remember how each photo was so carefully considered because of the cost of film and processing? And then, where did we put these paper images that came back from the drugstore? If you were organized and on top of things (sometimes I was), they would find their way into an album, which was a lovely format for sharing your photos in person. If you were not so organized (often I wasn’t), they ended up in a box in the closet where they still live today, waiting to be re-discovered in some archeological dig in the 21st century.

Here are a few (mostly digital) shots of our 15 years together.  The shot in the lower right corner was taken just last week.  I think we’re holding it together pretty well, don’t you?  Click and then click again to see a larger image.

But I digress. This post is not about film versus digital.  It’s about my sweet husband on our 15-year anniversary, and my thoughts on staying happily married. If I may, I want to offer up some advice for those of you who have not yet found your life partner. First, choose wisely. This marriage thing is not always easy. Even the best relationships go through really tough times that will leave you wondering if you’ve made the biggest mistake of your life. This is an inescapable truth, regardless of how very much in love you feel the day you make your forever commitment. Second, find someone who makes you laugh. The ability to laugh together is a key to happiness, and can really help to overcome the challenges I mentioned above. Third, find someone who likes the same movies, music, sports, or whatever, that you do. You don’t need to be joined at the hip, and it works perfectly well for each partner to have interests and friends of their own. But I know that Jim and I share a common language and thousands of inside jokes because of our common tastes in music and movies. Also, I couldn’t care less about sports, and I found one of the few men on the planet who shares my apathy in that regard.  We generally operate at about the same speed, we like doing the same things, and we make each other laugh.  As a result, we continue to enjoy each other’s company immensely.

So, here’s to all you lovers out there, and here’s to my sweet soul-mate, Jim McManus.  I’m looking forward to our next 15 years together.  Remember, “The further we go, the happier we get.” (quote first seen at the FurtherFest in 1997 where Jim proposed to me).

2 Responses to Fifteen years of love and laughter

  1. One technique for remembering important events is to attach (or link) it to other events. There’s another thing you can do to improve your memory but, uhh, I forgot what it was (digression obsession).
    In the case of the McManus Anniversary date I have two:

    It followed another wedding I attended in Birmingham exactly one week earlier. Since then, my friend and I have parted ways. The bride and groom’s marital bliss wilted and eventually turned into divorce. What happened? let’s see, mix one desperate, frigid (in more ways than one) Russian mail-order bride (child in tow) hoping to replace her Iron Curtain for a nylon one with a lonely, religious fanatic (is there any other kind?). What could possibly go wrong? A few years later it could and did. On the plus side, green cards were obtained, so, mission accomplished. Next?!

    Every day I see on my wall a small frame with a few pieces of Kansas memorabilia. One such piece is a ticket from the House of Blues. The date? you know it, April 25, 1998. You see Robbie Steinhart (their original violinist) had just rejoined the band and I figured the wedding and reception would be over in plenty of time for me to make the show, plus I was single and dateless. Well, once my usher duties were fulfilled, I hung around a while, then left. I found out later I missed a helluva reception. And the narcissist in me missed out in all the cool photos, “doh!”.

    To this day, I bear the shame of a man who chose his 4th (yes 4th) favorite band over his 3rd favorite friend(s). Fortunately I was able to redeem myself when they gave me the tiny pup tent with no air mattress at Furtherfest in 2000.

    This planet would be hard pressed to find two more grounded egos and compassionate souls than Jim and Wendy. Individually they’re talented, accomplished, driven, balanced and cool as hell. Collectively, their love surrounds each other, their family, their friends and humanity. They’re a corporeal orb of love and coolness spreading around those who wish to partake of its healing powers. When I need a dose of positive, progressive energy, I know where to go, and sometimes I’m even invited.

    I love youz guys, Happy 15th.

    Your Usher, friend, neighbor, birthday brother, occasional unannounced “guest” and thing that wouldn’t leave (or stop typing),

    Chuck E.

    • Oh, Chuck-e, you do have a way with words! Thanks for always remembering our special day.

      You know, I never knew that story about you slipping out early to catch the Kansas show. You missed the reception, but you have a great story to tell, and that’s worth a lot, right?

      We love having you and Lindy in our lives. May we all enjoy many more years of happiness.

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