Andrea and I eloped on April Fool’s Day, 1993.
We didn’t tell anyone but the jeweler who made our rings.
We actually had our first date on April 1st, 1992, and I asked her to marry me in December of that year. Being much smarter than me, she suggested we wait until we had been together at least one year, so we set the date for our one year “dating” anniversary.
The picture above was taken at Sears Portrait Studio, and we were married in the Wake County Courthouse that afternoon. We had to get two of the ladies who worked in the office to be our witnesses.
Needless to say, no one believed us. We got a kind of cheesy certificate in lieu of the formal one that would come later in the mail that looked like something you would have purchased at Spencer Gifts (these days you would just download one off the Internet).
We drove to Asheville and spent the night in a B&B for our honeymoon.
To be honest, I can understand why none of my friends thought the marriage would last. I took seven years and three schools to get my four year college degree. I moved around a lot. But getting married was the start of a very stable period for me. We’ve lived in the same house for twenty-three years and I held the same job for twenty. Of course, I’ve recently gotten another job and we are in the process of moving to a new farm so some change is inevitable.
I have a lot of advice on how to make it three decades married to the same person, but there is really no need to share it since younger couples won’t listen anyway (grin). Most suggestions, such as “never go to bed angry” are worthless anyway, as sometimes in order to stay together you need to spend a short time apart.
To paraphrase Jack Nicholson in As Good As It Gets, being with Andrea has made me a better man. If I have ever been kind to you, or made you smile, you can thank her (if I was an asshole, well, that’s all on me).