Growth and Diversity in 17 Years Together

Posted: July 1, 2012 in General
Tags: , , , , ,

My wife and I celebrated our 17th wedding anniversary today.  There have been ups and downs through the years, just like in any marriage.  Unlike many marriages today, however, we have managed to make it this far and I see no reason why we cannot double that time together.  Through all these years we have made it through our obstacles both because of who we are, and, in spite of who we are.

As much as my wife and I complement each other, literally and verbally, we have some diametrically opposed opinions as well.  There have been a few occasions where those opinions have caused us just a wee bit of heartburn, but we always manage to make it through.  Despite ourselves, we can manage to work through things, even those things we thought we would never make it through.  We have not come out unscathed from any of our largest battles, but we have come out wiser, more patient and most of the time a little more sympathetic to the other persons side.

We went out last night to get away from the house for a little while.  A couple times each month we head to downtown Fayetteville and see the Horrible Folks Comedy Troupe.  They are an improv comedy group that puts on quite an entertaining show.  As we were sitting in Pierros, waiting for the 11:30 start time, my wife and I began a discussion about how the 20 to 30 somethings that were running around town actually had it a bit lucky.  They grew up with and hang out with folks of such diversity, and this was happening in the South, before our eyes.  You see, despite the fact that we may have had friends of different color or ethnic backgrounds, there was very little likelihood that we would have been able to date one.  At least not without trying to keep it somewhat on the DL.  Today, that is not an issue so much, but growing up in the 1980’s we were the generation that actually started the switch to differing ethnicities being able to date and have a relationship.

Despite the changes that still need to come in this country, the youth of today are never going to realize that within a couple generations in the past they would not have been able to take their diverse friendships for granted the way they are today.  In spite of all the right-wing psychobabble about the immorality of the gay community and how they are not entitled to the same rights as everyone else, they are making and preserving friendships that will make all the hatred and filth spewing a thing of the past, or at least the minority voice.  Our youth have something that we did not have when we were there age, access to the diversity, simply because it is all around them.  They have also had ten plus years of examples from other cultures which do not have the same level of imperfect acceptance we do today.  War is great for providing examples of what needs to be changed in society, especially a long running war.

The downtown of Fayetteville has been instrumental in fostering this diversity as well.  When I first moved here in 94, downtown was a place for fighting and @$cking.  You could get whatever drug you wanted, hit a variety of topless bars, and find the prostitute of your flavor, whether that be ethnicity or gender; yes more that one of those ladies of the shadows had an Adam’s apple or could be found standing at a urinal next to you in one of the downtown bars.  Finally, as the mid 90’s started to give way to the new millenium, there started to be a bit of a Renaissance of sorts.  Today, this same area has an avid nightlife, numerous eateries, to include the awesome Huske Hardware House Brewery, and two museums that I am aware of.  Things have changed in good-olde Fayettenam in the last 17 years and it has added diversity in activity, commerce, and especially within the clientele that uses it.

In the grand scheme of things our 17 years together is not that big of a number, after all my parents are going to have their 43rd anniversary this year, more than twice what we have together so far.  If you take a little time to reflect through your years together with your significant other and look at the change that has taken place around you, it is quite a bit of history that you have witnessed.  Us children of the 1970’s were the first generations to start taking advantage of the benefits of the civil rights movement.  Those young’uns that still need to be carded to buy alcohol are in many cases the direct results of those benefits as they bring their blended families in to the norm, rather than as a rarity in the community.  This is a good thing, a great thing, and it needs to continue to evolve and encompass more.

As my wife and I go through our life together, I will retire in just a couple of years from a career I never knew would last as long as it has.  My wife will begin her next career in an area that is not here, and our kids will finally get to do what many of the other kids in their lives have done through the years, move.  Stability has never been a problem, since the only person in the family who has ever gone from Fort Bragg is me while on deployment.  So for our next 17 years we will have some of that secret ingredient that has made us successful so far, a little bit of separation.  We will eventually come together and not have our careers keeping us apart for any length of time.  Like everything else, we will have to adapt to that challenge, if we do not, it will get rough.

To my lovely wife, I love you much.  I have loved our life together so far, the good and the bad.  I love the changes we have been able to witness in ourselves and the environment around us.  I hope to have at least this much time more together to see what we can reminisce about as we move closer to 40 years together.  It should prove to be interesting.

Love ya,


  1. Congrats on the achievement! That is definitely award worthy. Please go to for info.


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