Saturday, April 02, 2011

Ten Things about Roger and Me

Although I'm several days late, I'm adding this to the "Ten Things about Me and My Better Half" thing that Hallie started over at Betty Beguiles. This link will take you to the join-in post, if anybody else gets inspired.

1. I am almost seven years older than he is. (Six years, eight months, and 19 days, to be exact.) This was especially weird when we were first getting to know each other, and I would refer to significant historical events. For example, I know exactly where I was when President Kennedy was assassinated (Home Ec. class.*) He doesn't have a clue, because he was in kindergarten at the time.

2. Now, thirty years later, I get all the benefit of the discrepancy. My hair, although graying, maintains a kind of overall brown tone. Roger's formerly black hair and beard are fast approaching solid white. (This is a very flattering color for his complexion, I'm glad to say.) So when people know approximately how old he is, they automatically assume that I am younger. Easiest way in the world to take ten years off your age!

3. We are both Tolkien nerds. This ought to be obvious, since we named our daughter Arwen! It also contributes, though, to why Roger was willing to consider an "older woman."
Shortly after we met, we were both at a weekend church event, and there was a Lord of the Rings game of some sort sitting there. I mentioned that I was a big fan, and he (thinking he was talking to some kind of mild enthusiast) asked me his sheep-from-the-goats question: "How did Frodo's father die?"** The rest is history.

4. Roger is a lark who likes to get up with the sun, or even before. He's at his best in the morning. I am an owl, who drags herself out of bed, but could stay up to all hours of the night, especially if there is good conversation or good literature. This has been a stressor for us at times, but we seem to have finally reached a workable plan.

5. One of us is more musical, but which one depends on your definition. I sing in the choir at church, play (at) the flute and guitar, and always have a snatch of song as a commentary on what I see or hear. Roger, although he has a nice baritone, only sings at mass, and has never played an instrument. But he's the one with a constant playlist going on his computer as he works. I (to my shame) don't even have iTunes installed.

6. He likes coffee. I like tea. Fifteen years ago, that would have been the end of the story. But then I began to drink fast-food mochas as a cheap hot beverage in the winter. And he began to have an afternoon cup of tea, when he didn't feel like brewing a new pot of coffee. So now we're to the point where I might actually order decaf at a restaurant after dinner (especially if I can get it with Baileys!), or he might have tea. But not usually.

7. Roger is very easy to buy clothes for. Classic, woven, blue, sometimes buttondown. The end. I, however am difficult, even for myself. It has to be the right shade of whatever color, with sleeves that fit, and an acceptable neckline, and not too clingy, but not boxy, and on and on and on.... He, to his credit, has not given up on buying me presents. This past Christmas, he hit five for five. See why I love the man?

8. Both of us are avid readers. Of anything and everything, not just Tolkien. (Although we do have a full four-shelf bookcase full of nothing but works by or about the Inklings. I know that if there was a local literary pub, with a writers discussion group, he'd be there.) He tends a little more toward classics and historical non-fiction, while I lean more toward mysteries, certain kinds of sci-fi / fantasy, and general fluff. But both of us find sitting in the living room with our books and occasionally sharing the "good parts" a satsifying evening.

9. One difference is that Roger is a writer, and I am not. Oh, I am quite literate, and I do post to this blog occasionally! But I write in lieu of conversation with all of you, and I can't do fiction at all, only parody. (Come to think of it, maybe that's why I like these meme-style post prompts; it's just putting my spin on somebody else's writing...) He, however, is a published author, and regularly sends long and fascinating hand-written letters to a variety of people. It's one of my regrets that we were never apart long enough after we met for me to have any of his letters stashed away. I have a couple of birthday notes and poems, though.

10. We'll celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary in August. Some of the days have seemed long, but the years have been all too short. I hope that God sees fit to give us 30 more. I love you, honey!

*For all you young things -- Home Ec. is short for Home Economics, where we learned things like cooking and sewing and how to set a pretty table. It was a nice break from History and French. The boys took Shop, where they made wall clocks in the shape of a flying goose. We got real skirts and dresses and good things to eat. Sex discrimination for the win!

** He drowned.


The Sojourner said...

Funny thing: I knew what Home Ec was, AND how Frodo's father died.

(That's not even a hard question! It's right in ROTK! If you want to separate the sheep from the goats, ask them to list and explain the major races of Elves or something.)

([That's something I couldn't do; I had to read the Silmarillion for class and that part was just. so. confusing.])

The Sojourner said...

And by ROTK I mean FOTR. Note to self: If you're going to brag on your extensive knowledge of Lord of the Rings, get your titles straight.

dylan said...

Speaking of home ec: When I was in the sixth grade (1979-80), I was compelled to take both a woodworking class and a cooking class! I learned to cook these cinnamon-raisin thingies that were wonderful, as long as I didn't overcook them to the point where they acquired the consistency of a hockey puck!

But more to the point of your post, it sounds as if you and your husband are truly, wonderfully blessed. Many years!

Kristen @ St Monica's Bridge said...

Love this list! I also love your Home Ec explanation. My husband teaches "Family and Consumer Sciences" which is the new umbrella term for Home Ec. He actually teaches, Foods and Nutrition, Parenting and Child Development and Culinary Arts (he was a chef before becoming a teacher!). I know he would appreciate your clarification as his students have no concept of what "Home Ec" is ;).

Rae said...

This is beautiful!

I have been rereading Vatican II on marriage and family, and you are such a wonderful model of following the Church's teaching. I'm thinking especially of:

"Authentic conjugal love will be more highly prized, and wholesome public opinion created about it if Christian couples give outstanding witness to faithfulness and harmony in their love, and to their concern for educating their children also, if they do their part in bringing about the needed cultural, psychological and social renewal on behalf of marriage and the family."

So thank you very much for that in general, and this post in particular. It reads as both lovely and real.

#9 is completely true of my marriage as well. I love "I write in lieu of conversation with all of you."

Jeanne G. said...

Twenty years ago in middle school I had to take home ec. AND shop. I didn't make real skirts, just a real ugly sweatshirt. I love this "game"/ meme-like thing. I participated too.

Branwen said...

Mom, this was fun to read, and I'm proud to say that I pretty much knew all of it already :)

Enbrethiliel said...


Do we get extra points for gasping in mock disbelief, "He drownded"? =P

I recently tried to reread The Silmarillion, found it awfully dense, and set it aside to reread the more engaging Hobbit instead. But I felt a wonderful surge of recognition when I got to the part where Tolkien explains the difference between the "Wood Elves" in Mirkwood (who, of course, never went all the way West) and their sundered kindred, the "Fair Elves," the "Night Elves" and the "Sea Elves," and realised those were the hobbity translation of Vanyar, Noldor, Teleri, and of course, Moriquendi. The Elvish names (and I suppose, Elvish writing style) completely stumped me in The Silmarillion. I think I'm best reading histories written by hobbits and men!

And the point of all that is that if you take Sojourner's suggestion and ask someone what the major races of Elves are, you'll still get at least two kinds of people who can answer correctly!

This is a lovely list, Ellen. It made me smile several times. You do have a blessed marriage. =)