His and Hers XXV

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite others to do the same with their spouses as an exercise
in celebrating marriage. This week’s question is:

What was the best part of your wedding? What was the
worst part?

Mrs. Happy’s response

The best part was having so many people I loved in the same place at one time.
The worst part was not having time to spend with everyone, especially the people
I hadn’t seen in a while.

Curt’s response

My wedding was the absolute best wedding I’ve ever attended, and everything
about it was the best. (I think everyone should feel that way about their own
wedding.) I guess my favorite part occurred at the reception, when I signified
my intention to love my wife as Christ loved the church by publicly washing
her feet.

For me, there was no worst part of the wedding since I had few responsibilities
as the groom, so the worst part of the day occurred earlier that morning.
I was more nervous than I had been in my life, and my groomsmen wanted to take
me
out
for breakfast. I was afraid that if I went with them our car would break
down or we’d have a wreck and we’d be stuck somewhere unable to get back to
the wedding. They physically forced
me into the car, though, and made me put some food (two breakfast tacos)
in my stomach. It turned out to be a good thing they did, because I didn’t
have a single substantial meal for the rest of the day. Plus, we got back to
the chapel in plenty of time to get showered and dressed and hang out together
for a few hours before the wedding started.

The flu, only without a virus

I have seasonal allergies that make my life miserable every time the seasons
change. The transition from summer to fall is the worst, though, and I’m bearing
the brunt of it now. Allegra makes things bearable, but just barely. In other
words, I’m in no condition to blog. But stay tuned—this won’t last forever. Undoubtedly
there will be a His and Hers post tomorrow.

Three-minute artwork trumps blogging

Not much to blog tonight. I spent some extra quality time with Mrs. Happy
helping
her wind down after a difficult day, so RLTB. She did draw a little caricature
of me, so I’m including it in the post.

For those of you not from Texas, that little sign I’m making with my hand
is what one does to signify an affinity for The University of Texas at Austin
(of which we are both alumni). It also serves as a celebratory gesture, generally
communicating to others, "The eyes of Texas are upon you, and they approve
of what they see."

Cutting-edge Curt

My tastes have never matched up with those of the masses. I don’t say that
to be snobby. In fact, I generally do end up getting into fads that infiltrate
popular culture, but I tend to be a little behind the times. By the time I
see the attraction in a craze that sweeps the nation, everyone else has forgotten
it and moved on. I started absolutely loving The
Far Side
about a year before
Gary Larson retired. I started pegging my jeans around 1992. I was groovin’
with my Atari 2600 for just a couple of years before Nintendo started selling
its NES with Duck Hunt and Super Mario Bros. My first VCR was a betamax, simply
because I believed it to be a superior technology compared to VHS. I was a
little ahead of the curve on the swing music craze, being a clarinet player
and therefore a huge fan of Benny Goodman, but since swing’s heyday was actually
in the ’40s, I was roughly 50 years behind the times with that
one too.

On the other hand, I’ve been blogging for over a year. While that doesn’t
make me a pioneer, or even an early adopter, I find that a lot of people are
only now beginning to be conscious of Web logs. So while I’m slow for a Web
geek, I’m light years ahead of the general public for once.

I bring this up because I subscribe to a newsletter called The Generous
Husband
,
a daily e-mail from
the staff of The Marriage Bed, a
Web site dedicated to "helping couples build better marriages and better marital
sex
lives
with information that is scripturally sound and scientifically accurate." The
newsletter offers short bits of advice each day concerning different ways a man
can express love to his wife. Here’s what today’s message proposed:

Blogging
is all the rage. Blog stands for weB LOG, an on-line diary
of sorts. You can set up a blog for free (see below) and use it for
what ever you like. Why not set one up as a place to write down all
the wonderful things your wife does, and how they make you feel? Give
her the URL so she can check in regularly to see the nice things you have
said.

As far as I know, I was the first person to do this. I started blogging about
marriage on August 20, 2003. That puts me ten days ahead of Proverbial
Wife
(who began her marriage blog August 30) and nearly two months ahead
of Marriages
Restored
(Oct. 17). Those are the only other blogs I’m aware of that focus
on marriage and the issues surrounding it. (Little
House
has been around a
little longer, but it focuses more on parenting than marriage.) I started
blogging because I wanted to read a blog that celebrated marriage, but couldn’t
find
one. I’m
kind of
glad they both waited until after I had begun. Otherwise, I would have been
content to read their posts every day without writing any of my own.

So I take a small measure of pride at being the first (that I know of), but
I take a much greater comfort in keeping such good company. I know for sure
that there are at least three people in the blogosphere who love their spouses
enough to dedicate entire blogs to the contemplation of marriage. There are
even more who post often, but not exclusively, about marriage and family issues.
I can’t wait to see if The Generous Husband‘s suggestion catches on.

Marriage links for the week

A new study released by The Barna Group of Ventura, California, has found that
divorce is as common among Christians as it is among non-Christians. I don’t
know if there are any fair conclusions to be drawn from that, but inthefaith.com and
bLogicus have the facts and some thoughts.

I remember being single, and I hope I never forget. That memory is a constant
reminder of how blessed I am to have such a wonderful wife. It also reminds
me not to treat singles the way I felt treated at the time. I don’t know if
it was just my imagination, but I always felt like married people viewed me
as less of a person based solely on my singleness, that because I wasn’t married
I wasn’t quite as valuable as they. It probably wasn’t my imagination, though,
because Totem
to Temple
feels the same way. Married people, take note.

Ben of Marriages Restored talks about obedience in the face of adultery and
emotional infidelity: "What seems wise in dealing with an adulterous marriage
is to run away. For us, abandoning this worldly wisdom obediently into the
wealth of freedom given by our Father, Son, and Holy Spirit is the wisest choice
we’ve ever made."

Scott and Lori’s wedding date draws
ever closer
. Scott has probably arrived
from Scotland by now, bringing an end to their tortuous time apart. One week
from today, God willing, they’ll be husband and wife.

His and Hers XXIV

His and Hers is a weekly discussion of a question or topic relating
to marriage. On Friday, my wife and I each write our thoughts on the week’s
topic. I invite other bloggers to do the same with their spouses as an exercise
in celebrating marriage. This week’s question came up while we were playing a
game of Boggle. I’m not saying who won.

Find as many words of four letters or more from the
group of letters below.

D I F O
O M S M
L E L Y
O S A E

Mrs. Happy’s response

mole
moles
sole
solo
lease
leases
ease
eases
easel
ales
sales
lays
slay
slays
soles
isle
isles
dime
dimes
dims
dome
domes
meal
meals

Curt’s response

lose
sale
sales
loses
dome
domes
dime
dimes
leas
seal
seals

Making sweet music together

A few weeks ago Mrs. Happy and I made up lists of small
things
we could do for each other
to foster feelings of love.
One of those things was to "turn the lights off and just listen to music."
We’ve been doing that fairly regularly, and it’s more fun than either of us
imagined.

We are a Mac family, so we have two iMacs (one old and
one newer, but not
brand new), an iPod (purchased
in 2002), and iTunes, with nearly
2,000 songs, enough to listen to for more than five days straight. We have
taken to creating playlists in iTunes, loading them onto the iPod, and playing
them for each other as we lie down for bed. My wife’s goal in this is to cultivate
a more sophisticated taste for popular music in me, and she’s succeeding. My
goal is to create a playlist that will make her say, "That was really cool."
For
me, that’s like winning a trophy. I’ve succeeded only once so far, with two
honorable mentions for a pronouncement of "interesting." As a bonus, my luddite
wife is beginning to see some value in computers and related technology.

The beauty of it is that we’re doing something fun for each other and with
each other. What could be better than that?

U.S. Open

It’s strange to think that I’ve been blogging for more than a year, but I
was watching the U.S. Open on television earlier this evening and remembered
that
I got to see a couple of matches in person last year, and blogged
about it
.
Our budget is just as tight now as it was then, but this year we didn’t luck
into any free tickets, so we have to watch from within the confines of our
living room. We were just now watching a match between Andre Agassi and Roger
Federer
(who
we saw defeat James Blake last year) when a cloud dumped all its contents over
the uncovered Arthur Ashe Stadium, so we’re waiting through a delay right now.

Going to the tournament was a lot of fun, but not for the tennis. We have
a better view of the action from our couch. The fun was the experience of doing
something together. We may not tell our grandkids about the year we watched
the U.S. Open on TV, but we’re still spending time together, and it’s still
delightful.


Last week I wrote about the movie The Usual Suspects and stated
that no one in the world shares my opinion. I was wrong. Check out Roger Ebert
(his full review is here):

The story builds up to a blinding revelation, which shifts the nature of
all that has gone before, and the surprise filled me not with delight but
with the feeling that the writer, Christopher McQuarrie, and the director,
Bryan Singer, would have been better off unraveling their carefully knit
sleeve of fiction and just telling us a story about their characters – those
that are real, in any event. I prefer to be amazed by motivation, not manipulation.

I’ve always respected Ebert’s reviews even when I disagreed with them, but
I never realized he was such a genius. Heh.

Whose SQL?

I’ve been falling a little behind at the office, so I brought some work
home
this weekend to try to catch up. At one point, I was trying to write a synopsis
of a thousand-page book explaining how PHP and MySQL can work together to build
dynamic Web sites driven by databases built for user interaction. I don’t really
understand what that means, but I pretend to since that’s what I get paid for.
Anyway, earlier today Mrs.
Happy took a short break from her endeavors to give me a hug and a kiss as
I sat at the computer. I asked her if she would finish the synopsis for me
while
I took a break myself. She, of course,
knows next to nothing about computers and related technologies,
so when I returned to my desk, this is what I found:

New material in this edition includes really boring crap regarding MySQL
coverage, whatever the heck that means. The PEAR code repository sounds rather
exciting,
but very
likely
it’s
so totally not. There’s a whole freakin’ chapter highlighting PHP
and Java, but I’d save that for a night of severe insomnia or a hypermanic
state that needs to be curbed. Finally, there are actually SEPARATE chapters
that focus on handling errors and bugs, for those of you who don’t
know your rear end from a caterpillar.

My job would be a lot more interesting if I were allowed to write stuff like
that.

Marriage links for the week

Albert Mohler recently opened up and spread around a huge can of writhing
metaphorical worms
by suggesting at a conference that prolonged singleness can be sinful. Jollyblogger discusses
the context, the controversy, and his own thoughts on the matter.

IreneQ writes about how visiting a married couple makes her feel "completely,
utterly, indisputably SINGLE."
I remember the feeling well.

Ben and Ann are celebrating the 10th anniversary of the best
and worst day of their marriage
—the day the extramarital affair was brought
into the open. He says they’re doing this to "dance on the place of my worst
pain."

I treasure every word of encouragement directed my way, especially when I’m
feeling down about life, so I’d like to publicly thank Lori and Miss
O’Hara
for their kind words this week. Small things like that can make a huge difference
in someone’s life (mine, for example). Thank you.

Speaking of Lori, she and Scott are getting married in two weeks. Lori
is already more mature than I was at this point in that she
really treasures celibacy
. Suffice it to say I had a lot of nervous
energy two weeks before my wedding. (UPDATE: Lori deleted her post (see her comment below), but my remarks are still accurate.)

Joe Missionary composed his own Where I’m From poem and published
it on
his blog
. If you haven’t yet, check out the Where We’re From page on this
site (linked in the right sidebar).

Julie Anne Fidler is writing an article for The Relevant Leader newsletter
about 20-something attitudes toward marriage. She explains
the concept
on her
site and is asking 20-somethings to fill out a
questionnaire
to provide her
with a little data.