Thursday, December 1, 2016

On Our 15th Anniversary

Once upon a time, back in 1999, my mother reconnected with her college roommate. In their catching up, the two women quickly realized they had children who were almost the same age--a boy and a girl, and both happened to be single at the time. I'm sure you see where this story is headed: a blind date was arranged, Clint and I both begrudgingly went along for what we were each sure would be a trainwreck, and a year and half later we got engaged (on stage at a Willie Nelson concert, because Clint's heart wants what it wants, but I digress).

And now, we are celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary. We have managed not to kill, maim, or send the other person running for over a decade and a half now, an occasion that deserves to be celebrated.

We realize now that we were so young when we got married; we joke that we basically finished raising each other. A large part of the secret to staying married has been that my husband is just an incredibly good sport. This man has never flinched no matter what I've asked of him: he goes along with whatever "miracle" diet I'm raving about at the moment, dons a Halloween costume without a complaint, and generally rolls with the punches. He's patient and unflappable--both of which are requirements for life with yours truly.

Here's my better half, Halloween of 2009. For our couples costume, I went as a police officer and asked him to dress as a doughnut. Because a happy wife means a happy life, he obliged.

Since I've known him, Clint has been my confidante, chauffeur, handyman, co-conspirator, and generally number one fan. He recently added nurse to his resume when I broke my ankle, and even though his meals consist mainly of soup, cereal, or Hot Pockets, I'll add chef to the list as well. 

We've had some adventures over these years; some of them domestic and some of them far flung. From our honeymoon in Aruba to New York City, the Bahamas, Hilton Head to Hawaii, Cabo to Grand Cayman, seeing the sights and eating our way through Italy, or to Phoenix for a football championship game, we have definitely put in some mileage.

Here we are in Hawaii in 2005, with Don Ho. Clearly, Clint is a fan of "Tiny Bubbles."

Charlotte, 2008. A grainy, before-there-were-iPhones picture at a fundraiser with Ric Flair (who had gotten a black eye the night before in a domestic dispute). Woo!

Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, 2010. At a bar called the Giggling Marlin, you see who got the catch of the day!

St. Thomas, Virgin Islands 2014. I can never resist a gimmick, so it's a good thing I married someone who will go right along with it all, including the flaming volcano cocktail at a place called Duffy's Love Shack.

Thanksgiving in New York, 2014. In this family, we are always up for a photo op.

Venice, Italy 2015. I had anticipated this gondola ride for months. The day we were there, the winds were gale force and the rain poured down sideways. Half our group refused to go, but Clint, knowing how badly I wanted the experience, grabbed an umbrella and braved the churning canal with me without complaint.

Phoenix, Arizona 2016. When my beloved Clemson Tigers made it all the way to the National Championship, Clint (who went to Georgia Tech) cashed in every airline mile and hotel reward point he could find to make sure we were there.

Remember my saying how young we were when we got married? Sometimes 15 years ago seems like an eternity and sometimes it feels like it was just yesterday. Since we had a Christmas wedding, one of my favorite ways to look back over the years is through the ghosts photos of Christmases past.

2001: Our first Christmas as a married couple. Those baby faces!

2006: In our festive best at a Christmas party.

2011: All smiles with Cotton, our other constant companion.

2013: A Christmas anniversary celebration at the Homestead in Virginia.

Of course, in between all these Kodak moments, we've had plenty of other escapades as well. There was the time Clint bought a car without talking to me about it first (disaster), or the time I took a dreadful job and ran out the emergency exit after just five days (disaster relief), and there's always that one tense Saturday each fall when our alma maters play each other in football. We bought our first house and then, as most of you well know, tore it apart and renovated it this summer. Things haven't always been easy, but it's been made better knowing I have someone to share it all with--both the highs and lows. I guess what I'm trying to say is that, on the rainy gondola ride of life, it helps to have someone ride in the boat beside you. And laugh when the winds blow your umbrella inside out.

Happy 15th anniversary to my better half! I look forward to many more years of testing your patience and trying (usually in vain) to make you laugh. 


  1. I don't even know Clint and I like him! He seems like such a good sport!


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