Regular Life

Regular Life

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on. – Robert Frost

Sixteenth on the 15th

It isn’t impossible, but these days it’s improbable.

My wife and I have been married 16 years as of August 15. Looking back I wonder, in somewhat chronological order:

  • Would we have met had I not switched at the last minute from the University of Arkansas to the lesser-known University of Central Arkansas?
  • What if I hadn’t gone to Shoney’s with friends on the night we met?
  • What would have happened to “us” had I gone ahead to graduate school at the University of Missouri?
  • If Shannon stopped tweezing, would the unibrow grow back as full and dark as the day we got married?
  • Would a modern condom hold fast to the antenna from Little Rock to some spot east of Memphis, like one did on the drive out to our Smoky Mountain honeymoon?
  • Will those who saw and revered it ever forget the beer-dispensing soda machine at the site of our wedding reception?
  • Did that period of working a day job and then cleaning offices at night to squeak out a trailer payment and lot rental build character, or just suck?
  • Did calling it a “mobile home” really fool anybody?
  • Could anyone else have put up with me for nine years and then, after all that, imagined it was a good idea to have a child with me? (we tried for two years – *wink*)
  • Could anyone else have brought Benjamin into my life?
  • Could I imagine patting anyone else on the back just now as I took a break from typing this?

The answers, in no particular order and repeating in some cases, are, “Who knows?”; “Who cares?”; “Not a chance”; and “Not even a little bit.”

16 Years and a Benjamin Boy
(click to enlarge and prettify)

15 Responses to Sixteenth on the 15th

  1. Happy Anniversary, my love! (Why’d you have to bring the unibrow into it???)

  2. Happy Anniversary! Time sure flies when you’re having fun. Great picture. How’s that gorgeous chick (with a voice, even) put up with a geek? Many happy returns. What’s a unibrow?

  3. Happy 16 years you two! It doesn’t lessen the significance of my own five with my wife, but rather gives us even more to aspire to. When looked at, the series of events that lead up to the start of certain relationships seem incredibly unlikely when taken as a whole. Good thing that both of you knew a good thing when you saw it and have stuck together through all of it.

    Having worked nights cleaning office space as well, I can say that it both builds character AND sucks.

  4. Crappy jobs not only build character but provide you with a valuable reference point to what suckage really means. Without those crappy jobs in our past, we’d be complaining about awesome careers now. Much like I hear everyday from the 20 somethings that never worked a day in their life before graduating college.


    (I’m a romantic and think we would have met our wives no matter what path we chose, cept for the path where we blow ourselves up…that one kind of ends poorly)

  5. Happy anniversary, Mark and Shannon!!!! I am totally impressed that you two have put up with each other for so long!!! Haha! And just for the record, I’d rather not find out if the unibrow would come back or not. Please keep tweezing, Shan! Love y’all.

  6. Happy Anniversary to two very nice people.

    Hopefully, there will be many, many more.

  7. CONGRATS!!! Shannon surely deserves something pretty and sparkly for putting up with you for so long for sure. It is truly inspiring.

  8. Your wedding was memorable for sure, and between mom splitting her pants dancing, and the beer soda machine it should go down in redneck legend. ….not to mention the aforementioned condom that rode part of the way on your honeymoon.

    Do you remember that we chocked your wheels so well that you couldn’t leave until we moved them? You screwed up when you invited Crabtree…he’s ruthless.

    As for the rest, Shannon looks better now than she ever has, but the unibrow should NEVER even be spoken of again. It took some guts for you to bring that up, and as your older brother with a whopping 2 years of experience on you, I’m going to suggest that you refrain from similar comments in the future, or you may not make it to 17. :-)

  9. Sixteen Years….impressive. It’ll be another 12 before Moonshot and I cross that same thresshold. And by then you guys will be bragging about 28, stealing all the thunder from our 16. Jerk ;)

    When you think too much about the odds, you begin to realize just how unbelievably unlikely it is that you are where you are today. Luckily, it seems like you’re pretty happy to be where you are.

    Happy Anniversary, Williamses

  10. Allright, so how come nobody loved me enough to tell me about the damn unibrow when it was still alive & kicking? It took a stranger at a Regis Hair Salon in Rogers, Arkansas mentioning it to me when I was already in my late 20’s to make me realize that I had a problem! I am very hurt that an intervention was not staged much, much earlier. Now I can’t even look at our wedding pictures without cringing! It’s sad, people – really, really sad.

    On a happier note, thanks to all for the Anniversary wishes! We’re pretty impressed with ourselves that we’ve made it this long – we’re both pretty hard to put up with sometimes. I guess once you find that person who can put up with you (unibrow and all), you hold on for dear life!

  11. Everybody – Thanks for the anniversary wishes.

    Pops – Just google the word and you’ll get immediate, frightening results.

    Simon – Five years is a great milestone. I can’t imagine what our lives would be like now had we already birthed two children by the time we had been married five years.

    OhCaptain – Yeah, well, the sad thing is we had that office cleaning job after I had a college degree. At the time it was my second job and Shannon’s only job.

    Lan – Come on… where’s your sense of adventure?

    Dave – Thanks. Means a lot from a guy who has quite a bit of marital success himself.

    Amy – Those Mylar balloons are sparkly, and the flowers are pretty. The digital photo frame we’re going to buy each other will be both.

    Charles – The Crabtree Effect never should be underestimated.

    Moksha – I would never claim to be better than you just because we’re older and got married younger than you.

    Shan – I never even thought about it before someone mentioned it to you. So, you had that going for you. Love ya.

  12. Congratulations on 16 years! Time flies when you are having fun huh! Happy Anniversary.

  13. Beautiful photo of your beautiful family.
    Your wife is so lovely that I imagine even the unibrow suited her. But who among us does not look back at certain pictures and wonder – What was I thinking? or Why did no one tell me!?

    Happy anniversary.

  14. Mark! Hey man! What a wonderful post! Congrats on your anniversary! I have often had had similar thoughts about me and my better half…..then I come to the realization that I am just so blessed to have him and realize that it all worked exactly the way God intended.

    Sorry I have been so lame with blogging….crazy first week of school! I am slowly coming back into the light!

    Hope you are well! AND CONGRATS TO SHANNON TOO!

  15. I appriciate your modesty, but I’m a big enough man to admit that you’re kicking our collective ass ;)


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