Marriage meme -- part 1 -- 04/08/09

I've seen this marriage meme popping up on various blogs and journals in recent weeks and I thought I'd give it a shot. I did think that it was a bit long, so I've divided it into two parts, one for today and (probably) the other for tomorrow.

What are your middle names?
Abram and Katherine.

How long have you been together?
We began dating thirty-two years ago. We'll celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in June.

How long did you know each other before you started dating?
I was a second shift computer operator (and also a graduate student in systems science) at a university and Nancy was an undergraduate student who was taking programming courses (math major with a computer science concentration). One quiet Friday night (they tended to be much less frantic than Monday thru Thursday) we (staff) decided to order pizza and a grad student who worked part time as an operator stepped out into the student work area to ask if anyone was interested in going in on a pizza purchase with us. Nancy was the only student who joined us for pizza. So, that was when I met her. It was not a significant meeting, a brief conversation while eating some pizza, then she went back out to the student work room and we went back to work. I have no idea how much time passed before the next time we met. (See next question.)

Who asked who out?
I asked her out.
(Those of you who have heard me tell this story before can skip ahead to the next question.) One night (a particularly busy night when work was backlogged) she came to the input window with a blank punch card (remember, thirty-two years ago, back in the days of punched cards) on which she had written the job names of the batch computer programs she had submitted that evening. She was wondering where they were in the job queues and how long it might take before they ran. I took the card over to the main console and checked on them (and yes, I did boost their priority), but before returning to the window I inserted her card in a keypunch machine and punched HOW ABOUT DINNER AND A MOVIE SATURDAY NIGHT. And ever since then we have told people that we met through computer dating.

How old are each of you?
Nancy turned 54 in February and I am going to be 66 in about three weeks.

Whose siblings do you see the most?
Hers. It's simple math: She is one of ten children -- plus her mother lives in Rhode Island and one of her sisters also lives in Rhode Island and also on any given weekend there is likely to be an out-of-state sibling or two visiting. I'm from a much smaller family -- just me and my brother -- and he lives in New York State.

Do you have any children together?
Two -- Gillian and Jeremy. (And Adam, my son from my first marriage, moved in with us when he was 14.)

What about pets?
We have Tiger, who has allowed us to be his human staff for almost sixteen years.

Did you go to the same school?
Binghamton University. She got her bachelor's degree from there. I was an English Ph.D. dropout from there but then returned as a grad student in systems science. She joined me as a grad student and we not only took many classes together, we were co-authors on our master's thesis (Human Factors Engineering and the Design of Online Computer Application Systems). We also took some grad courses in information technology management from Syracuse University together. Nancy then went on to get another master's degree, an M.A. in education from Binghamton.

Are you from the same home town?

Who is smarter?
We both are.

Who is more sensitive?
I don't know. I think it all depends on the situation.

Where do you eat out most as a couple?
Statistically, probably Trinity BrewPub in Providence -- because we tend to eat there when going to see a play at TrinityRep (except when they are so busy we can't get a table). We most often eat out at The Mews Tavern right here in Wakefield, but that is more often as a family (i.e., with Jill and/or Jeremy) rather than just as a couple. (In fact, we were there last night with Jill and Eli.)

Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
London -- in June of 1979 for our honeymoon. That was about 3500 miles (straight line distance). Second furthest was probably our trip to California last summer (about 2700 miles). And I guess our Caribbean cruise a couple of years ago would be the third furthest.

Who has the craziest exes?
I'm the only one who was previously married. Besides which, we've been together so long that all prior relationships are ancient history.

Who has the worse temper?
For a quick burst of rage? Me. I can get very angry at physical objects (and software and networks and operating systems, etc.) that seek to thwart me. (I am a strong believer in the inherent perversity of inanimate matter.) Also, I tend to talk back to radio and television news programs. However, let me caution you that you really do not want to get Nancy pissed off at you.

Who does the cooking?
Me. Well, 99.99 percent of it. Nancy bakes.

To be continued in the next entry...

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