Yep, I know that was said at my wedding, 12 years ago today. I heard everything from "You are *totally* different people with *totally* different personalities," (my pastor) to "Lori should have been the Marine," (my best man) to "Lori will be such an asset to John," (my matron of honor) to "We'll see how long this lasts," (some wedding crasher--seriously).
My pastor was right--John and I are totally different in a lot of things, but as happens in most successful marriages, as you grow up together and learn together, you find you come to the middle on more things than you thought. (He was into black, steel and marble decor while I loved all my Americana country. Our house right now is nowhere near either, but very accommodating to us both.) Where I am an immediate action necessary kind of gal, John is a mull-it-over and be sure guy. Both of these mentalities are extremely successful for each of us as individuals, and together, we can handle just about anything as it should be--one way or another. When John and I married, he was far less conservative than he is now and I was not budging from one single platform of the Republican party, if only for principle sake. John now finds himself listening to Fox news; I often have NPR on. Neither of us are fundamentally changed in our beliefs or convictions, but as we have had to listen to each other for 16 years, we have agreed that we both married smart people who have valued opinions, and though they may be different than what we may have always believed, there is room for growth in our realms of thinking.
As for me being an asset to John--I'm going to have to agree with that. But insomuch as I have been to him, he certainly has to me. I think I helped John grow up some while he helped me relax a little--I seem to have been born a grown-up. John hasn't always been the most *driven* person, if you will, yet you would never know it by how successful his career and relationships are. Maybe I've influenced that a little.
Me being a Marine? Yeah, right. They'd throw me out in two seconds. I'm far too opinionated and have too strong a sense of "FIX THIS NOW" to be a Marine. But John? He's fabulous. He is just as opinionated and just in his thinking, but he has the amazing ability to just let things roll...he's known to just about anyone as a very laid-back guy who doesn't always say much, but what he has to say is worth it. I can't think of anyone who can find any solid beef with John because he is simply an all-around good guy. He is not malicious, even though he's been in situations where it would be humanly expected. He is not vengeful or spiteful and he can shake wrongs done to him off almost as he feels more sorry for that person who wronged him than he does himself. I, well--not me. He is reliable and dependable and more than that, he is incredibly talented. He is truly the most intelligent man I know--the things he can think in his mind and then make come to life? Spectacular. If he wants a shed built, he'll draw out a plan, go buy the stuff, and voila, a day later a shed. An amazing shed. Build a chest? Bookshelf? Fence? Deck? Who needs plans? Not John--he sees it in his head and then he makes it happen. Truly, his talents have no limits I've seen (well, his spelling and grammar skills maybe, but he makes me SO proud when he hears people end sentences with prepositions and talks about how they must live between A and T at the end of preposition street!) and they are such blessings to me!
We really don't argue--though we "banter" a lot and are pretty sarcastic with each other. To some, this may seem like arguing, but it's really and truly not for us. On those few occasions we *really do* argue, just leave us alone. But, for the most part, we are the basis for the Ray and Debra characters on Everybody Loves Raymond, and we also see a lot of each of us in Jon and Kate--the best part is that we recognize those things in ourselves and are able to laugh at ourselves (in retrospect, of course) for it! We liken ourselves to little old couples married forever--some days can't live with you, but never can we live without you...
And now, with me being pregnant...I absolutely love the way John is. I asked him if he was being extra nice to me because of the baby and he said, "Yes." Well, I'll take it! (An example of our banter...) Seriously, though, he is adorable. Annoying sometimes when I am suffering heartburn or something and instead of just getting me the flipping Tums, he explains the physics behind it all, but adorable nonetheless. He won't admit it, but he was just as emotional about the ultrasound Friday as I was. I may cry outwardly, but his excitement and love for this baby is so very evident. I have ALWAYS known that John would make a wonderful daddy--boy or girl, biological or adopted...and I am very thankful to God that I am able to see the wonderful man I married in this new light.
Is he stubborn? Yep. Way more than I am (and that is A LOT). Is he somewhat passive aggressive? Oh yeah. Does he drive me NUTS when he is on some secret agenda he shares with no one? Repeatedly.
But I wouldn't trade him for the entire world. I remember walking down the half-court line in my church's gym, wearing my wedding dress (a NOT funny story then, but hilarious these days) and looking up at John in his brand new Dress Blue-Whites. He was very handsome, and he thought so too, because instead of looking at ME, his BRIDE come down the aisle, he was checking out the shiny buttons on his new uniform. Seriously, I have that on video tape. Anyway, I remember thinking, "Dear Lord...am I making the right decision? Forever is a very long time. Maybe all this wedding catastrophe is a sign?" (Really, the wedding itself was full of craziness.)
Yep. Totally the right decision. Happy Anniversary, John!