Oh, right, it’s today

We first met in 3rd grade, which would have been 50 years ago. We used to sometimes walk home together from school — we lived about 4 blocks apart — in junior high, about 43, maybe 44 years ago. I worked up the nerve to ask her out on one date in high school, the homecoming dance in 1974, which was 41 years ago. We started dating regularly in 1976, so 39 years ago. We took our time with the courtship, and got married over spring break while we were in grad school, on 16 March 1980, 35 years ago.

It seems kind of silly to say that today is our anniversary. It was more of a long and ongoing process with a few arbitrary dates flagged as discrete points in the evolution of a relationship.


  1. badgersdaughter says

    I know what you mean, I really do. My husband and I celebrate the weekend we first met in person (we were an Internet couple) even more than the day we married, if for no better reason than that weekend was what really defined us as a couple… the marriage ceremony was just a further step, and just two days after my birthday anyway.

  2. chris61 says

    Congratulations! I have been known to tell people I have clothes older than their relationship but in your case I don’t think I could say that.

  3. Sastra says

    Happy anniversary to the both of you!

    I’ve been married a few more years than you have, but I didn’t meet my husband till I was 17 — so you beat me there.

    I would explain the RULE re getting cake on your anniversary, but it’s not as firm as the one for birthdays. “The food should be something you both like and it doesn’t have to be the same thing.” A useful rule, yes, but not quite as fun because there’s less guarantee of frosting.

  4. says

    When my wife look back over the 25 years we’ve known each other and try to define the moment when we became us, when we started to love each other, we end up back at the day we met, though we were only friends for the first five years of that, and surely didn’t realize it then. We weren’t married until twelve years after that day, on an arbitrary date we pay little attention to. It wasn’t the start of anything, just a party to celebrate something that was already obvious to everyone present. The dates we remember are the day we started exploring being together as a couple–the first night we touched, and shared a bed–and the day we embraced that, and never slept anywhere else again.

    Congratulations not on your anniversary, but on the consistent affection and respect you have openly expressed about Mary in the many years I gave been reading Pharyngula.

  5. magistramarla says

    PZ and Sastra,
    Exactly! My hubby and I met during the first week of college in 1974, and we always commemorate that. I was 17, he was 18. We also always celebrate our engagement day – March 3, 1975. That was truly the day that we became a couple in our view. The “official” date of October 23, 1976 is important to us, but not quite as special as March 3.
    Congratulations to PZ and Mary!

  6. says

    I don’t think the earliest date of our meeting should count towards the length of our relationship, because she was swarming with girls’ germs and cooties then, and was also doing better at math than I was then.

    Wait, she still does more math than I do. Maybe this relationship hasn’t really started yet.

  7. says

    Congratulations! My wife and I will be clocking in at 20 years in July, a month after my 40th birthday. We met in high school and got married shortly after graduation.

  8. Sean Boyd says


    Unless your wife starts asking you to solve math problems, you’re okay.

    Happy anniversary, and many happy returns!

  9. voyager says

    Happy anniversary to you both. The Mr. Voyager and I also had a long courtship. 13 years yo be exact, so we married on Friday the thirteenth. Luckiest day of my life. I hope you can find some time today for a little old fashioned romance. Maybe a nice movie (let Mary choose!) and a meal out at a place that doesn’t use paper napkins.

  10. Sastra says

    magistramarla #13 wrote:

    My hubby and I met during the first week of college in 1974, and we always commemorate that. I was 17, he was 18.

    Hmmm… That’s interesting. We also met during the first week of college in ’74 when I was 17 and he was … 19.

    So not a spooky coincidence which requires a paradigm shift in my hegemonic materialist world view. Eat it, Chopra.

  11. says

    Happy anniversary. But remember, it is not your opinion of the importance of dates like this that is crucial – it is your wife’s. When I was dating my wife I ignored Valentine’s day because I thought it was just a silly fake holiday. Big mistake.

  12. says

    Congrats. My wife and I would have met early in Grade 10, but not in any memorable way (I had just moved into the district, and *everyone* was new and scary). Eventually fell in with the same crowd, best described as the Clique For Social Misfits Who Weren’t Cool Enough To Be In A Clique, and started dating at the beginning of Grade 13 (for which had to be match-made by a mutual friend, as we were both too shy to make the first move). So that anniversary is September 10, 1975 (coming up on 40 years next fall!). Did the long-distance thing for four years of university, and got married a week after I wrote my final exam — that will be 35 years this April 26.

    Oh, and I always beat her on the weekly math quizzes ;-).

  13. says

    Congratulations – on geologic scales, your time together is but a blink, but measured in lifetimes of Drosophila melanogaster, you’re doing pretty well!

  14. Big Boppa says

    3rd grade beats my wife and me but we’ve got the edge in longevity. We met 1st day of highschool 48 years ago last September. People are always telling us how unique we are but based on the stories from other commenters here, maybe not so much.

  15. John Horstman says

    Humans like periodic cycles and the demarcation thereof. It has something to do with being stuck on a spinning ball of rock that orbits a star with near-regular frequency, I believe. A happy orbit-completion to everyone for whom this particular relative angular displacement holds meaning!

  16. rq says

    Happy anniversary to you both, and congratulations for surviving each other so many years in a row! :) Here’s to many more happy moments in your collective future.

    PS Love reading all the other long-marriage comments here..

  17. Bob Dowling says

    Never mind the arbitrariness of exactly which anniversary to pick. Just celebrate.

    And congratulations.

  18. llyris says

    So how did you escape the mythical friendzone?

    I don’t remember exactly when I met my husband, it might have been the party where he showed up in a red vinyl miniskirt. But we’d seen each other at parties and cons for a few years before we got together. We were at a roleplaying camp and I was complaining to him about another man who was giving me an uncomfortable amount of unwanted attention and how I didn’t feel safe, so he suggested I sleep in his room because I wouldn’t be alone or expected to be there. But that wasn’t really the official start. Then we went out for a coffee together, then we went back to his place, then everything else. Took 3 months to decide I wanted him forever but 6 years to get married.

    Congratulations PZ, and to everyone who has stayed happy together for many years.

  19. UnsaltedSinner . says

    Oh I see what you did there: “It seems kind of silly to say that today is our anniversary. It was more of a long and ongoing process with a few arbitrary dates flagged as discrete points in the evolution of a relationship. And that’s why I didn’t buy you anything or plan anything for tonight, honey…”

  20. Lofty says

    Happy whatnots, mister. Celebrate as many good days as you feel like, that’s what I do.

  21. says

    Congratulations,… but, you and yours wife merely repeated the event occurred 13,7 billions years ago, when happened the first date and marriage in this Universe. This is the theory we get when unifying the Physics of the great Nobel Prize Hideki Yukawa and Matrix/DNA models. You are repeating the beginnings of a new evolutionary cycle so, you need to know what is coming next. At that time there were only a unique species, ours first ancestors: quantum vortices. They were shared into two groups: one spin right and the other, spin left ( the first manifestation of this universal dichotomy of extreme opposites). So, they were beginning the evolution of opposites that today is also about the sexual division into female and male. Like you and yours wife were popping out in the space of the school, these vortices was popping out in the substance ( aether or dark matter) of this universe-bubble. One group emerged as a micro point, then was growing as a spiral and exploded by excess of energy. It was you, the male. The other group emerged as micro bubble/spiral that was decreasing till disappearing due missing energy. It was yours wife, the female. As they, both, drew a spiral and fast movement in the space, it was common happening chocks among them. These chocks and movements turned on the Universe very hot and everything was chaos. Like the boys and girls initially have the tendency to fight one to other. The Universe was condemned to stands in that state for the eternity.

    However, it seems that those non-material vortices had the principles of human emotions, because they learned that their quickly existence of merely 17 millionth of a second and bad life in the chaos making them sick was caused by themselves, because their mutual fight. Meanwhile the spatial substance was expanding, resulting into less chocks, and then, the Universe was less hot. The female and male vortices sometimes were flying in parallel, avoiding the shocks and suddenly one female that was dying due losing energy linked with a male that was going to die due increasing and excess of energy. This is mimicked today when at a mate, the male transfers its energy and substance to the female.

    Then, instead the female dying, she got the energy from the male, and instead the male dying by energy’s explosion, he passed on its energy to the female. They unified into one unique body, but, now in equilibrium and here was born the nuclear atomic glue between protons and neutrons, when the particle pion with energy goes from one to another and go back. At this moment the first quark appeared, the first manifestation of matter in this world, and the whole sky celebrated. Today this event is the marriage, and the pion became the first baby of the universe. Of course, also, at this event at 13,6 billions years ago happened the first shape of sexual intercourse in the Universe.

    That’s why you and yours wife must celebrated this anniversary with all emotions and happiness – which is my will, you deserve it. This event is also repeated at every time that occurs a new fecundation: the explosion of a spermatozoon’s membrane at the center of an ovule, the following liberation of males genome/genes in the amnion for to meet the female genes, the marriage between each pair responsible by same genetic trait, etc.

    This is beautiful, the world without magics and gods is more lovely, wonderful and divine. Without intelligent designs but throughout previous genetic designs repeated again and again in the whole universal evolutionary history – like mother giraffe does not apply intelligence but, naturally, produces the most extraordinary engineering as a new baby giraffe – and the pappy/mom PZ Myers produces a new baby Myers. Get the must fun in yours celebration, Mr. Myers, and don’t forget to lift up a glass with champagne in saludo to the Universe which must always also celebrates these same events. And another glass to the genius of Hideki Yukawa that lead us to learning such wonderful lessons.

    And don’t forget the next evolutionary step waiting for you. Those two vortices made one quark where one couple became one body. Then they look for another neighbours quarks for making a great society, a super particle like proton, neutron, electron. Then they evolved to an atom system, those to galactic systems… So, the next step for you is to search the best union with neighbors, citizens of this country and finally all citizens of this planet. Our mission must go on…

  22. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    My wishes for you and from you:

    Long life, good health, much happiness, and MOAR SNARK!!!!

  23. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    Then they look for another neighbours quarks for making a great society,

    Physics teaches us the most normal sex in the universe is threesomes. Couples are okay. Nature abhors masturbation. That it, that’s the rules …Except in vary rare and short term cases where 5 are getting it on. But if you wanna do that, you have to do that in a science lab.

    louismorelli: the only person on the planet who thinks, “It’s my anniversary!” is an invitation to spout drivel about how you just **know** the laws of physics are forcing you to have sex.

  24. Georgia Sam says

    Congratulatons & happy anniversary! A good marriage is one of the best things that can happen to anyone.

  25. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Ah, long relationships. The Redhead an I met back at a Jr. High band competition, dated on and off during high school, became exclusive in college, and married when I was in grad school. That’s fifty years, not all of them married.
    Many happy thoughts to PZ and and Mary.

  26. DLC says

    @PZ : Happy Anniversary; may you continue to repeat the experience indefinitely.

    louismorelli @38 : Can I have Roquefort dressing on that word salad ? Oh, and Deepak Chopra called. He wants his quantum woo back.

  27. Roberto Teixeira says

    I am a little late to the party but I still wan to say it: congratulations to you both, PZ and Mary!

  28. Morgan!? the Slithy Tove says

    Big congrats to Mary and PZ. A long marriage is mostly a good thing, and even when it gets a bit rough chances are it is not boring.

    My hubby and I are coming up on 25 years. The short story is this: We met in a bar, I took him home, we’ve been together ever since. The long story is a bit more amusing, but this isn’t my anniversary. Maybe I’ll tell the long story then.

  29. Ray, rude-ass yankee "Bwaahahahaha!" says

    Congratulations, PZ & Mary! Continued happiness to you both.

  30. kindcrow says

    I met my husband on a field geology class field trip when we were 19. We celebrate two anniversaries — the day we met and the day we became a couple (we were 19 and told each other that we REALLY liked each other). The day we got married (at 28) was just a convenient Friday that we both had off of work. We went to the County Clerk/Recorder because we both hate ceremonies, rituals, and being the center of attention. We are both 43 now, and after 24 years, we are still best friends.