I'm not sure, but I don't think my job here is to entertain you.
Posts about my relationship with Ish -- especially the ones where I'm happy -- never garner much response. I understand this. I mean, what are you supposed to say? How great for you?
At the same time, it's important to me to at least mention our relationship every now and again. It's not action-packed or self-deprecating, but my marriage currently makes up most of my life. After a bad divorce, relationships that didn't work, dating "challenges" and plenty of general misery, I really enjoy having a husband I like to write about.
No, perhaps following this meme structure wasn't riveting, but I thought the questions were good. I like reading other people's answers to them, anyway.
So you know? I don't blame you if you don't find the day-to-day aspects of my life interesting. Please feel free to read someone else's drama instead.
I have nothing to complain about. Today will be the third day that I -- or rather, our daughter -- is overdue. I'm not comfortable in any bodily way, but you know? If I manage to give birth to a healthy child, it will have been worth it. Plus, seriously. I have air conditioning, ice cream, wifi, and a doting husband who does more housework than I do when I'm not pregnant.
I've been thinking a lot about that last part. That "doting husband" thing. I never write about it, and I'm not sure why. Maybe I'm reluctant to write mushy posts about how fabulous Ish is because I'm reluctant to write mushy posts at all.
But I do realize there is good, meaty stuff to write about him, and us, and how we went from dating to living together to getting married to where we are now. We're in the best place I could ever imagine being. We're beyond happy and googly-eyed about this kid, and sometimes I feel I almost need to pinch myself. Hey, I got to marry Ish!
And yes. "Got to" is exactly how I feel about it.
So last night when I was busy lying (laying? gah, I will never get it right) in bed NOT going into labor, I remembered that meme that Dooce did a while back, and thought it might be fun to try myself. It's not about Ish alone, but touches on many aspects of our relationship. (And I thought that following a structured Q&A would be nicer than rambling aimlessly.)
Insert Some Facebook Meme Title Here, Like "All About Your Marriage"
What are your middle names?
I'm always leery of these types of questions. Does anyone really care, or is this just phishing for personal information? Well, whatever. My middle name is Jane, after my mom's sister. Pete's middle name is Randolph, after his grandfather.
What is your social security number?
Ha ha, just kidding. They didn't ask that.
How long have you been together?
Our first date was Saturday, August 6, 2005. So almost four years.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
That really depends on how you define "know." Pete answered my Craigslist personal ad on the afternoon of Friday, August 5th. The answer is therefore either "24 hours" or "we didn't."
Who asked whom out?
I thought my Craigslist ad had expired, so I was surprised to get his email. But it was cute and funny and he totally got what I was trying to get across. We had a brief but amusing email exchange, culminating in his saying he wanted to buy me a drink and our exchanging phone numbers. So he asked me out, but I made it easy for him.
How old are each of you?
My birthday is in July, his in August. I'm currently 33, and Pete is 40.
Whose siblings do you see the most?
Hmm. My sisters live in the Northeast, and we see them about twice a year: once for Christmas, once for some inevitable other event in spring/summer (weddings and births, for example). When we're visiting, we live together, so we spend ALL of our time together.
Pete has one sister who lives in Arizona. We get out to AZ more than twice a year (it's closer and easier than getting to New England), but our trips are much shorter, and we stay with Pete's parents -- so we don't see Whitney or her family 24/7. Altogether, it probably comes out pretty evenly.
Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
I don't know how to answer this. Pete and I don't really argue, so we don't have any topic that comes up time and again. I think what's hardest on us as a couple is what's hardest on us as individuals.
He had a really rough end to his first marriage. I am NOT the same person I'd be if my parents were alive and well. That's our baggage.
On a day-to-day basis -- and when we look at our future -- we're in very similar boats. We are frustrated that we don't do more with our creative passions; at best, I'm a part-time writer, he is a part-time comedian. We berate ourselves for this, but when push has come to shove, we've both ended up following a safer (corporate/suburban) life path. We both wonder if this will always be the case, and both hope that it won't.
Did you go to the same school?
No, not even a little bit. I grew up in CT, then had one totally false-start semester in Delaware, but ultimately went to and graduated from UCONN in 1997.
Pete grew up in CO and AZ and had much fancier college-ing than I. He went to Middlebury for a year, then transferred to UPENN (class of '90) and got his MBA from Stanford in '96.
Are you from the same home town?
Oops, I accidentally answered this above. But you know what's interesting? Or, okay, you know what's interesting to me? Pete's parents and grandparents grew up in the Midwest. My mom grew up in Minnesota, and both her parents AND my dad's parents were from Minnesota. I think that there are likely many ways that Pete's mom's upbringing was similar to my mom's, and his dad's was similar to my dad's, and that there's some kind of familiarity/understanding/way we connect that has something to do with that.
Who is smarter?
This is a tough question. If you were to ask, say, "Who has a greater capacity for learning and retaining information?" I would say that we're about evenly matched. But there is no question: Pete knows more than I do about almost everything...from trivia, to history, music, geography, politics, art, architecture, all things financial and mathematical, and even fucking vocabulary.
It's annoying, but I love him for it.
Pete also has an almost idiot-savant-like ability to remember faces and names (first and last).
Despite this, I do not feel intellectually inferior. I can go one-for-one with him in the clever department (or at least, we amuse each other). I know a subset of pop-culture, literature, and history that he doesn't.
I daresay my "emotional intelligence" quotient is higher, but not by a lot.
I can, however, out-focus him any day.
Who is the most sensitive?
I don't even know. If I had to pick one of us, I'd lean toward saying Pete.
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We haven't found a regular spot in Napa yet, because the places are either really low-end or really expensive for what they are (e.g., $20 burger places). This isn't to say there aren't plenty of restaurants that aren't worth the expense, we just can't eat there all the time.
I'd say Taylor's Automatic Refresher is our current go-to. It's designed -- in looks and menu -- like an old-fashioned burger joint, but the food is updated, fantastic, and affordable. And in addition to offering root-beer floats (OM NOM), they have a decent wine list (including sparkling).
If we were gonna step it up, I'd say Thomas Keller's Ad Hoc would be our desired regular destination.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Our trip to Paris and London. I never finished blogging about it, did I? Note to self.
Who has the craziest exes?
While this might depend on a very, very nuanced definition of "crazy," I'm pretty sure any way you slice it, I do. This is probably why I'm still friends with so many of them.
Who has the worst temper?
Definitely Pete. He gets very angry at the cats ("It's like negotiating with terrorists!") and at bad drivers. Surely I get annoyed with these things, too, and lots of things will make my blood boil, but I don't have the kinds of outbursts he does.
Ask me again after we've had a child.
Who does the cooking?
We both do. I probably cook more often, but that's because I'm home more. We both enjoy it, and Pete's got some great recipes. My stuff tends to taste better, but that's because Pete errs on the side of "healthy" where I err on the side of "needs more butter."
Regardless, we still get take-out a LOT.
Who is the neat-freak?
HAHAHAHA. It is a struggle for me to keep anything clean. I WANT things clean and organized, I MAKE things clean and organized, but it is a constant internal struggle for me to do so. And there are plenty of days where I just let things go.
Pete, on the other hand, can't sleep if the dishes aren't done. Who am I to stop him?
Who is more stubborn?
Me? Maybe? To be honest, stubbornness has never been an issue in our relationship. We're more likely to have issues over who's being more sensitive about something. It's a sappy mess when one of us hurts the other's feelings. Not because of the person whose feelings got hurt, but because of how bad the hurter feels.
Who hogs the bed?
Who wakes up earlier?
Pete does because he has to for work, but I hear that this baby will change things a bit.
But if you must know, we're both morning people. Don't hate.
Where was your first date?
We agreed to meet at the Nob Hill Tavern on California St., near where I used to live. From there, we wandered down to the Crepe House on Polk for a bite to eat, then walked around some more, chatting. We dropped into The Bell Tower (where we had our first kiss), then back up to a dive bar that used to be called Hanuma Bay (it's changed owners and names twice since then), and ultimately to my apartment.
Despite what it might sound like, I barely drank at all that night. Pete left before dawn, though barely. And we saw each other again the next day.
Who is more jealous?
After four years and much empirical data, I would say that neither of us is the jealous type. At least, not of/about each other. Of other people? And their stupid blogging/writing/comedic success? We're both on the same page, there.
How long did it take to get serious?
The fact that Pete was married-and-separated (3,000 miles separated, mind you) when we met posed certain obstacles to our being too serious. My relationship with him was something totally outside of his relationship with his wife -- totally outside his relatioship with everyone and everything in his "regular" life, actually -- and never the twain shall have met. Or something like that.
We had fun and were good for each other and that was it for a long, long time. Six months after we started dating, he decided to go ahead with a divorce. The divorce wasn't final until a year-and-a-half after that. All the while, he kept me at arm's length.
For example, Pete was good and kind and supportive enough to travel back east with me for my father's funeral. (We'd been dating for under two years at that time.) That seems like something someone in a serious relationship would do, right? But then after the funeral, I flew back to San Francisco alone, while he went to visit his not-yet-ex wife.
Ouch. But also, totally understandable.
I guess in the end I would say that we were always a little serious; otherwise, what would have been the point? Why would I have bothered? Why would he? But it wasn't until we moved in together that we were officially "serious," and I don't think my full-on, THIS IS IT kicked in until he proposed.
Who eats more?
Who does the laundry?
We both do, but this is new. Until we lived here, Pete did all the laundry. Now I do it, unless I'm 8+ months pregnant, in which case I do one load and then it's three days later and Pete decides he may as well just finish it.
Who's better with the computer?
I'm pretty sure that I know more about computers and the Internet than Pete does. I certainly have been playing around with them longer and in more ways than he has.
That said, I think there are many men about Pete's age (who don't work in the tech industry), who learned a lot more than they'd care to admit by having an interest in online porn.
Who drives when you are together?
Pete does. For a long time this was because he had a car and I didn't. Once we both had cars, it was because if we were going somewhere together, and it was somewhere social, he'd be willing to be the designated driver a lot more readily than I was.
Now that it's easy for either of us to drive, usually he does. This is because he often confuses my not knowing where things are with an inability to drive. I can drive, I just don't know how to get there! He likes to remind me to do things like "signal" and "get in the left lane if you're going to turn left." And then I have to reply, with as much indignity as I can muster, "I KNOW HOW TO FUCKING SIGNAL. WAIT, WE'RE GOING LEFT???"
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