A meme from the Queen.
What are your middle names?
Mine is Elizabeth, his is Charles. I think mine may come from my great grandmother, whereas Charles was Mike’s father’s name. Elizabeth and Charles are a much more upper class couple than we are, if not a minor branch of the peerage. I think they might live in North London, only buy organic and very possibly own a Landrover, a labrador and some green wellies which they make use of when they nip down to their little place in the country at weekends (despite enormous death duties they have managed to hang on to it; during the week it is open to the public for a really nominal fee; Capability Brown did the grounds).
How long have you been together?
Since 2003. We met at a military history conference in Knoxville, TN but only really got chatting at the airport. After that we emailed until I was back over in the US on another business trip.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
In retrospect, 4 months. I say in retrospect because at the time, since I lived in England and Mike lived in the US, both of us thought that cross-Atlantic dating was a ridiculous idea. We were just hooking up when I was in the country, with no strings. Our first date only became ‘our first date’ when it became obvious that, in fact, there were most definitely strings.
Who asked whom out?
Technically, neither of us. I had a spare ticket to a Springsteen gig in Buffalo, NY, with absolutely no concept of how far Buffalo was from New York City. Mike offered to drive and take up the spare ticket. He took it very well when we arrived to find I had no tickets at all. (The gig had changed venues, so the ticket company had apparently refunded the original tickets and told everyone to rebook. Except they didn’t tell people to rebook. We managed to get some tickets there though.)
How old are you?
I am 37; Mike is 45 next Saturday.
Whose siblings do you see the most?
His, not only because they are in this country but because he is closer to his family than I am with mine. We see one of his sisters most often, in part because she is the only of his siblings who actually comes to visit us.
Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?
My commuting into New York. I am gone from 6.15am until 7.30pm. I’m in bed by 9.30pm or maybe 10pm because I need my sleep. During the first few months of this job, I firmly believe we got on the path to divorce. Mike hated that I wasn’t around, and took the view that not being around enough meant I wasn’t around at all. Also, he hated feeling like a housewife, cooking all the meals, doing all the chores etc. So he went out all the time, thereby guaranteeing that we never saw each other. We actually had a big row about it, and then we set some ground rules and now I think we have reached equilibrium. It made me realise that a job is not worth a marriage.
Did you go to the same school?
Not at all. I went to a private girls’ school, and then the University of Manchester, and then my favourite university of all, the Open University. Mike went to Norwalk High, UConn, some school in Minneapolis, and then The New School. There may be another college in there somewhere, I’ve never managed to get his educational history straight.
Are you from the same home town?
Not even the same country!
Who is smarter?
I often think I am smarter but that is not actually true. I am quicker, which does not amount to the same thing. So I think we are actually about as smart as each other, with separate but sometimes overlapping areas of knowledge. One of the things I have always appreciated about Mike is that he is not remotely threatened by my intelligence. Since I won’t pretend to be more stupid than I am to salve some idiot’s ego, we wouldn’t be married otherwise.
Who is the most sensitive?
Tricky one. Probably me in the end, although both of us bounce along without worrying too much. We have to be fairly insensitive to withstand each other, since a standard exchange goes along the lines of ‘Why do you hate me?’ ‘It’s just a job’
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
At diners. I love diners! Our local diner closed which is good for our waistlines but bad for our Saturday morning routine. But when we are driving somewhere, we will make a point of stopping for a diner breakfast along the way.
Where is the furthest you have travelled together as a couple?
Probably back to England. Unless it’s further from here to Idaho.
Who has the craziest exes?
That would be me.I had one in particular who lost the plot entirely when we broke up. Or arguably lost it long before and I was extremely slow on the uptake. But I don’t really know about Mike’s exes, I’ve never asked. It’s none of my business.
Who has the worst temper?
Me. I very rarely lose it, and Mike has so far never seen me being really, really angry.
Who does the most cooking?
Mike. He always has, even before I commuted. I get home too late and I don’t care enough about food to start cooking in the hour and a half before I go to bed. Fortunately, he likes cooking, is good at it and I am an appreciative audience.
Who is the most stubborn?
We are both equally stubborn, but at least we know it.
Who hogs the bed most?
Me. I start in the middle and I sleep diagonally across the rest of it.
Who does the laundry?
Mike used to do most of it, but now I separate out my stuff because I don’t want it bleached within an inch of its life with Oxyclean. Mike generates more laundry so does more, but other than that it would be pretty even. He is a better folder than I am.
Who’s better with the computer?
I am. Which is really quite terrifying because I’m rubbish. However, I’m more willing to play around with it, read help files, search for tips etc and read instructions.
Who drives when you are together?
Mike does. When we are on very long trips we will share the driving, and when we’re coming back from a night out I will usually drive too.
Tagging anyone who feels like it!