Anniversary Times Two

What are the odds that two of the Banditas would share an anniversary? Not outside the realm of possibility but it would be notable. But what if two of us shared an anniversary not only on the day but the same year? Even slimmer. Well, odds aside, Caren and I both got married to our husbands on the same exact day. We both celebrated our 22nd wedding anniversaries yesterday. So we thought it would be fun to share our journeys to and since that day.

Caren’s wedding day

Where and when did you meet your husband?

Caren: Ron and I met fall semester, 1987, at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. We were both in the Electrical Engineering program.

Trish: Shane and I met at the home of the professor who was the head of the honors program at Murray State University very early in the fall semester of our freshman year in 1989.

Trish’s wedding day

How long did you date before he popped the question?

Caren: We began dating during the first summer session, 1988, and dated for 4 1/2 years before we married.

Trish: We dated all through college, and he proposed on Valentine’s Day 1992.

How did he pop the question?

Caren: Well, he didn’t, actually. We had known for a couple of months we were expecting a baby and one weekend while I was visiting him in Charlotte (I worked in Raleigh and he was finishing graduate school in Charlotte) I looked at him and said, “So, are we getting married or what?” He said, “Of course we are!” I said, “Well, then, we need to set a date.”

Trish: Funny story. We’d talked about getting married, so when he came over to my dorm on Valentine’s Day with roses, he casually asked, “So, for future reference, what size ring do you wear again?” When I told him, he said, “Dang, I got the wrong size.” 🙂 I didn’t care. I told him rings can be resized.

How long were you engaged before you got married?

Caren: We were engaged exactly 3 weeks before the wedding.

Trish: We were engaged exactly 9 months.
How did you settle on Nov. 14, when so many people tend to love getting married in June?

Caren: Ron picked the date. I agreed, because it was before Thanksgiving and I wanted to get it done as soon as possible. I found out ON OUR WEDDING DAY that Nov. 14 was also his mother’s birthday. He chose it so that he would never forget either his mother’s birthday or our anniversary. Cunning, yet devious, huh?

Trish: We wanted to get married and move into married housing, but we had to work around his brother’s basketball schedule since he was playing at Vanderbilt University and was the best man. His brother still had to get special permission to miss a practice, I think. And another funny story, after spending our wedding night at a hotel, we each went back to our separate dorm rooms since we couldn’t move into married housing until the Thanksgiving break. So we still  had to sign each other in and out of our dorms and adhere to the visiting hours even though we were married. But we were busy studying for finals, so it worked out.

Caren and Ron now

What was your wedding like?

Caren: Our wedding was as small as I could force it to be. We called and e-mailed immediate family and best friends ONLY, hoping to keep the wedding under 30 people. It was held in my mother’s living room, so there were serious space constraints! As it was, I ended up with my uncle, an unexpected cousin, an ex-brother-in-law, a friend of my mother-in-law’s and all sorts of unexpected guests at both the wedding and reception. Best laid plans going spectacularly awry!

Trish: We got married at the local Women’s Club building, which had pretty wood floors and a big fireplace at the front where we exchanged vows. The ceremony itself was short, blink-and-you-miss-it short, but the reception afterward was fun. We were poor college kids, so Shane and I had gone over there the night before and made cheese and cracker trays and other snacks, and one of my good friend’s mom made our cake. One of my college roommates took the photos.

Did you go on a honeymoon? Where?

Caren: We did not have a honeymoon, since we married on Saturday and each of us had to be at work on Monday. We spent our wedding night at the Wheeling Town mobile home park (where Ron lived during college) and went to the Waffle House the next morning, full of still-drunk patrons and early-rising truck drivers, all smoking like chimneys inside the restaurant. It was…memorable.

Trish: We didn’t go on an actual honeymoon until six months after we got married, after we graduated from undergrad. I had a week or two before I started my first newspaper job, and Shane was headed into grad school, so we borrowed his parents’ car (better than the one we had) and went to Myrtle Beach, South Carolina. It was the first time I’d ever seen the ocean, and I fell in love with it so much that I hope to get to move to a beachside home soon.

What are the main things you and your husband have on common?

Trish and Shane at Disney World last fall

Caren: We both enjoy reading, studying and learning about everything. We also love classic rock music, going to concerts, watching movies, playing board games and spending quiet evenings at home. We also both love to laugh and we delight in cracking each other up. And we seriously burned up the sheets when we were young people. One of our classmates in engineering school wanted to charge admission to people to watch us make out between classes. Jamie and Claire Fraser had nothing on us. I’m just saying…

Trish: We have a similar outlook on many things, enjoy quiet vacations like sitting together watching the waves on the beach, think a lot of the same things are funny, and we work well together. He does a lot of work for me now (designing covers, formatting books, uploading to retailers, taxes, booking ads, etc.) so that I have more time to write. We’ve both always been very supportive of each other, he when I wanted to quit my job to write full-time and me with him when he needed to quit his job because he was suffering horrible burnout.
When did you know he was The One?

Caren: Um…I didn’t? Not really. I have a deep-seated love of freedom and never, ever wanted to be tied down. Not at all, by anyone, in any way. Somehow, though, Ron never made me feel tied down. He loves whatever part of me I can give him and doesn’t expect more. He provides a lot of structure to my life, which I need, and makes me want to come home at night. I think I could have ended up rootless and wandering the globe for the rest of my life if we hadn’t met. It’s strange to think about now! But when we (sort of) decided we were (maybe) ready to have a baby and then – bam! – instantly got pregnant, it was a sign to me that we were meant to stay together. I still had super-serious wedding-day jitters, with my best friend and at least one sister forcing me downstairs to the ceremony, but I did it. And I haven’t regretted it…much. Or for very long. 😀

Trish: Honestly, I had a feeling almost from the beginning. He was just so nice and kind and really, really smart, all things that really appealed to me. He’s still really good for me, calming me down when I’m upset about something. I can’t imagine my life without him.
What have been the highlights of your life together for the past 22 years?

Caren: Having daughter #1 in 1993. Buying our current home in 1993. Having daughter #2 in 1994. Weathering many family funerals together (his father, his brother, my father, my grandfather, his mother, his sister, my grandmother). Seeing our Only Son graduate in 2004. Taking the girls to Switzerland in 2006. Seeing daughter #1 graduate in 2010. Then daughter #2 in 2011. Seeing Only Son become super-successful – despite never finishing college – and landing the Most Awesome Job Ever as a Twitter programmer in Manhattan. Because they wanted him so much they let him work long-distance (the rest of the Twitter programmers are in San Francisco!) so he could be with his girlfriend who is an Assistant Shoe Designer (!) for Michael Kors (!!). Waiting to be equally dazzled by the daughters. Also waiting for grandchildren. It’s just a matter of time.

Trish: We don’t have kids, so I think of the vacations we’ve taken together, where we were able to leave work and worry behind and just have fun. He was with me the first time I saw the ocean and the first time I walked into Disney World and felt like a kid. He supported me for so long in my pursuit to get published, so the day that I sold my first book was special for both of us. And I was happy when he left his job, retiring so much earlier than most people are able to. We’ve had a rough few years with family deaths. We lost his mom 10 years ago, but both of my parents and his grandmother all in the past three years. When that kind of thing happens, you really appreciate having your other half to lean on, to comfort you. We’re currently culling a lot of things from our house in preparation to sell the house and make another dream come true, living on or very near the beach.
Now it’s your turn. Do you share a special day with a friend — a birthday, anniversary, etc.?



  • Amy Conley says:

    Am I going to have company on my trip home tomorrow?

  • Deanna says:

    Happy anniversary, Trish and Caren. Wishing you many more to come.

  • Amy Conley says:

    We got married on my grandmother’s birthday, which was funny because I could never remember her birthday! I always remembered my grandfather’s but not my grandmother’s. The priest set our wedding date basically. We were already living together and I had 3 kids, so figured the sooner the better, so we didn’t have to wait the 6 months, instead it was closer to 6 weeks! Granted my hubby had asked me to marry him, three times, and I kept refusing. I had just been in an awful relationship, and did NOT want to go down the same road again. And I didn’t believe him when he said he loved me and wanted to marry me. After my third “NO!” he told me I had to ask him when I was ready, and I did, I even got down on one knee.
    We’ve been married 30 1/2 years now, so I guess he really was telling me the truth when he said he loved me and wanted to spend his life with me.

    • I’m so glad you found true love, Amy.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Amy, that is such a great story! And so funny that the priest chose your grandmother’s birthday. I’ll bet you remembered it after the wedding! 😀 Congratulations on your 30-1/2 years. He wasn’t kidding about the love & devotion, for sure!

  • Helen says:

    Happy anniversary to all four of you your lives sound wonderful and fullfilling 🙂

    I met my hubby when I was 15 and we started going out very soon after that he wa 17 we got engaged when I was 18 and we married on my 20th birthday (he never forgets LOL we have been married 37 years now have four great kids 7 wonderful grandchildren and even though he has had cancer he is still very involved with the kids and grandkids and as everyone would have seen I am retiring from the dredded day job on Tuesday so we will have more time together and lots more reading time for me 🙂

    Have Fun

    • Helen, congrats on such a wonderfully long marriage. And HUGE congrats on your retirement. Hope you really enjoy all that free time.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Helen, it boggles my mind that you met your husband when you were 15. Man, he must have been quite a special young man! And 37 years, plus all the kids and grandkids is a phenomenal testament to how you two were and are for each other.

      HUGE congratulations on your retirement! I will be envious every day from now on. Enjoy your cruise, too. Ron and I leave for ours tomorrow. We are in Port Canaveral, Florida right now!

  • Anita H. says:

    Happy Anniversary, Caren and Trish, and to your spouses as well 🙂 Thanks for sharing your lovely stories with us!

  • Shannon says:

    I met my ex on a work (classified) internet in a chat room. We finally met when I had a conference in Suffolk, not far from where he lived in Hampton Roads. I was working in Colonial Beach every two weeks, so on my way there and my way back I would come to Hampton Roads. He later left the Air Force and moved to Fayetteville with me. He proposed on Christmas Eve before my annual big gathering. After my family started being unreasonable (final straw was when one SIL drunk dialed and gave us three dates we could have the wedding), we decide more or less to elope on 1 Jan 2000, so he wouldn’t forget the date. His parents, my best friend, her partner, and one other friend were at the wedding chapel. We got the party room at the best barbeque place in town. They wrapped me in a huge big so I didn’t get sauce on my white gown. We had two honeymoons–trips to Pennsylvania where his grandparents hosted a huge reception and my parents in Idaho. I got to show him Coeur d’Alene, Bayview, Sandpoint, and Priest Lake, all on lakes situated in the mountains.

    • Sometimes I think eloping is the smart choice. It’s probably way less stressful. 🙂

      Couer d’Alene is so pretty. I haven’t actually visited the city, but the view of the lake from the interstate is breathtaking. My sister used to live in Washington, so I saw that lovely view on my way to visit her.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Shannon, I LOVE the story about the drunk-dialing SIL trying to dictate the wedding dates. Eloping was the perfect solution!

      I’ve always wanted to visit Idaho. It has all those exotic French names and is always so gorgeous in pictures. So glad you were able to go and see all of your family to help you celebrate.

  • Dianna aka Hrdwrkdmom says:

    I don’t share any special life events that I can think of but many congratulations on the one you two share.

  • Happy Anniversary, banditas! What an amazing coincidence. I mean what’re the odds?

    This was a fun post. The photos took me back. I had big glasses like those!

    I don’t share a day with anyone, alas. I always wanted to be a Bobbsey Twin, but that never worked out.

    My birthday is the day after my mom’s (which she shared with her twin brother), and one of my nephews’ is a week after mine. While my mom was alive, we did big joint celebrations, complete with three appropriately themed cakes.

    The dh shares a birthdate with his younger sister. For years, their mom baked two cakes for the big day.

    • Thank goodness those big glasses are a thing of the past.

      That’s so nice that your MIL baked two cakes on the joint birthday.

      I and my dad were both born in May, and my sister and mom were both born in August. Now, my youngest niece’s birthday is four days before mine. And my oldest niece’s birthday is three days after my husband’s. November is a busy month for us — hubby’s birthday, niece’s birthday, anniversary, FIL’s birthday, and it was my MIL’s birthday month as well.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Nancy, that is so cool that you and your mom had back-to-back birthdays. I would love that! The closest we get in my family is that my brother and I have birthdays 5 days apart. None of the other sibs are even close! And, funny enough, his son and my younger daughter have birthdays 1 day apart!

      So glad your MIL made the birthday special for both your DH and SIL. My mother always made the effort for me and my brother and we really appreciated it!

  • Congrats to both you and Caren, Trish! Your romances and weddings sounded fun!

    When I went to nursing school I met Beth, who had the same birthday as me, but one year earlier. We became good friends and sent each other cards for a number of years after we graduated.

    • It’s fun to share a birthday with someone, isn’t it? The only person I know who has my birthday is a good friend’s husband.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Lucky you, Suz! I’ve never had a friend with my birthday at all. The only person I know now who shares my birthday is a co-worker’s son. I couldn’t believe it was he same as mine. We seem to be rare birds!

  • Caren and Trish, what a lovely post. I’ve been admiring your lovely wedding photos on Facebook. Happy anniversary to you all and congratulations on so many happy years together. Caren, how interesting about you being so footloose and fancy free – we would have made a great travelling duo back in the day!

    • Thanks, Anna. I don’t know what the odds are that two Banditas would have gotten married on the exact same day, but it’s pretty cool that Caren and I did. I have a friend from high school who got married the same year, two days before me.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Fo, we met decades too late! I was the original “don’t tie me down” girl. I knew I would only ever marry once, but deciding to chain myself to that one relationship was hard to do!

      You and I could have had tons of fun on several continents, IMO. I did tell you that an Australian rancher asked my mother to marry him back in the 1970s, didn’t I? My sibs and I BEGGED her to move us to AUS! She didn’t want to do that, though, so we stayed in Middle-Frakking-Tennessee. Gah!

      Little did my mother know that there was a girl on an avocado farm in Australia just waiting for me to have adventures with her…

  • catslady says:

    Happy Anniversary to all of you!!! No shared days but our anniversary is on the summer soltice (longest day, shortest night lol). We pick June because he just gradutated from college the week before and that way his mother could attend both events since she lived out of state.

    • Thanks. And nice to be married on the summer solstice. I like that day. All that lovely sunshine. 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Catslady, what a great time of year to be married! I recall Lady Julia Grey and her husband were married on the summer solstice in Deanna Raybourn’s series. A great wedding, too. With a mystery…and gypsies!

  • Pissenlit says:

    Happy belated wedding anniversaries! 😀

    I share a birthday (two years apart) with one of my first cousins once removed.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Pissenlit, that is awesome. I would have loved that! I am forming a special club in my head for me and my future friend who shares my birthday. Maybe by the time we have covenants and bylaws, I will have met her. 😀

  • Cassondra says:

    What a lovely post today!

    Happy Anniversary ladies!

    I share my birthday with my mom. I was born on her 37th birthday. I’ve always felt like that was special somehow, and I try hard to be with her on “our” birthday. I don’t always make that happen, but it means a lot when I can.

    • Caren Crane says:

      Cassondra, that is wonderful and so very special. You know, I had somehow managed to forget that I was born on my Great Aunt Elizabeth’s birthday. Which is why my middle name is Elizabeth! Doh. She was my father’s aunt, so we lost touch with that side of the family many years ago and I missed her end of life. I regret that!

      I hope you and your mother get to celebrate many more birthdays together!

  • flchen1 says:

    Happy anniversary, you four 🙂 Thanks for sharing your stories with us!

    Let’s see… I do share an anniversary with a co-worker–I don’t think we realized until our wedding day that she had the time slot immediately after ours 🙂 (We opted to get married at the campus church of the university we’d graduated from–it’s quite the popular location, apparently, and they have 2-hour slots on Saturdays.) And my oldest shares a birthday with one of our pastor’s daughters–she was born down the hall in the same hospital an hour or so before DS1 🙂

    • Caren Crane says:

      Fedora, those are great happenstances! I love that you and your co-worker had back-to-back weddings. And delivering the same day as your pastor’s wife and right down the hall? That is amazing!

  • Kaelee says:

    Happy Anniversary Trish and Caren.

    I was born on my sister’s 7th birthday.

    I was married on my husband’s sister’s anniversary.

    My mother and father in law’s birthdays were the same day(not year though).
    My sister’s husband and my father’s birthday were the same day.
    My brother had a daughter born on his birthday and my sister in law’s son was born on his dad’s birthday.
    A great niece and a cousin were born on April 13th.
    Finally a nephew, nephew in law and a great nephew all were born on the 3rd of July.

  • Caren Crane says:

    Wow, Kaelee, I think you get the prize for the sheer volume of incidental dates! I am stunned. Even with my very large family, we don’t have that going on. Must be lots of “popular” birth times or something! 😀