Ten Years and Counting


05 Oct Ten Years and Counting

Wedding rings
At my parent’s 50th anniversary party, they shared the secret to their long and happy marriage:  Never wallpaper together.

I think those were simpler times. We don’t have a strip of wallpaper in the entire house, but require an elaborate and potentially expensive system to maintain marital bliss. It’s kept us going through a kitchen reno, knee surgery, a no less than three separate, high-pressure car shopping expeditions. Today we’ve been married ten years. A decade. Not nearly long enough.

What’s our secret? Healthy boundaries. We have:

His & Hers knives. I have three  very sharp, very expensive, almost unpronounceable Wosthof knives, complete with honing steel and a whetstone. These knives sit in their own gated community of a storage block. Andrew has a range of Wiltshire StaySharp knives with never-needs-sharpening “micro serrations” glued into plastic handles. The entire set, including the block, cost half the price of my small, potentially lethal paring knife. Believe me when I say I keep my end of the bargain and never touch his knives.

His & Hers pans. Or pan, depending on how you look at it. While I have a good set of heavy-bottomed stainless steel pots that even at 2/3 off cost me more than my Ettiene Aigner wedding shoes, Andrew has exclusive use of my mother’s hand-me-down cast-iron frying pan. Despite one really heroic attempt at setting the kitchen on fire, Andrew and his gung-ho cooking style have yet to damage it. Yes, I use it on occasion, but in fairness, I never touch his baseball bats.

His & Hers home offices. Nuff said.

Other than that? I give full credit to Andrew. With the exception of when he was recovering from knee surgery, I haven’t sorted or washed a load of  laundry in a decade. He makes sure there is always a jug of milk on hand for my morning latte even when I am so obsessed with perfecting a biscotti recipe I don’t speak to him or shower for days. He made pie for my family when I put my back out, endured months of As the Barrel Turns, and came up with two tasty solutions for the six pans of failed biscotti mentioned earlier. He even puts the toilet lid down.

He’s a keeper.

Happy Anniversary, darling. The best is yet to come.

  • Connie
    Posted at 11:25h, 05 October Reply

    Yes, I agree! There are just some things that cannot be shared. You hit the nail on the head. Since we have our own separate office areas, it is a given that we do not share computer/laptop/tablet. However, my husband and I do not have separate knives or pots/pans. He has his grill and barbecue tools I do not use…every other tool in the kitchen is off limits.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:49h, 09 October Reply

      Oh, the barbecue… Andrew and I both use the grill, but neither of us feel we are proficient enough to label it our domain. I can definitely see having separate tools if you are extremely good on the Q and your partner is less so. As you say, the trick is knowing what can and cannot be shared.

      Glad to know we aren’t the only couple to have separate office areas / computers. Thanks for weighing in on this!

  • Connie
    Posted at 11:25h, 05 October Reply


    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:50h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks. Kind of you to follow up with an explicit wish, but it was implied by your detailed response earlier. :-)

  • NS Foster
    Posted at 11:51h, 05 October Reply

    So pleased for you–it’s always a pleasure to read something like this. I sometimes hear people ponder whether or not true love is just a myth. I’m attached to my own SO for better or for worse, and in fact, this is STILL heartening. :)

    Enjoy your day.

    PS – what I can see of your dress looks just regal!

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 09:59h, 09 October Reply

      Thanks so much. True love isn’t a myth, but it does take work and a lot of honest communication. Fairy dust wears off after a while. :-) It’s wonderful to hear you are attached to your mate, too. We are lucky to have had more “better” than “worse” but having survived back-to-back kitchen reno, family wedding, knee surgery, it’s safe to say we can handle the less than perfect times as well as the good.

      Wishing you and your SO many happy years together!

  • Robin Smart
    Posted at 20:26h, 05 October Reply

    Great post (as always), and so true.
    We agree that Andrew is a keeper and we aren’t even married to him!
    We have a little happy 10th Anniversary Gift waiting for you.
    Robin and John xo
    PS. It went without saying that you are a keeper too.

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:01h, 09 October Reply

      I will not point out that I am an after-thought :-)

      Andrew is a keeper. So much so that I am afraid if we ever broke up the family would keep him and send me packing. Clearly, we must stay together for the sake of our parents :-) And the cats.

  • Carolyn
    Posted at 06:25h, 06 October Reply

    Congratulations on 10 years! I love the idea of separate knives. I invested in Wusthof knives last month and have yet to use them because I’ve been afraid of my husband getting his hands on them. :-)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:07h, 09 October Reply

      Hide them :-) No, you should use them. Good knives really make a difference. You’re right to be a bit hesitant. The knives are extremely sharp. Proper hand position is critical. I know. I’ve cut myself twice because I wasn’t paying enough attention. Here’s a link to a knife skills video. It might give you some of the confidence you need to use your gorgeous Wusthof’s.


      Safe chopping!

  • Emily: RainbowDelicious.com
    Posted at 20:08h, 08 October Reply

    What a sweet and informative post… Happy Anniversary!

    I love how having separate pans and knives is one key to your marital bliss… I think I would need that as well if my husband ever became interested in cooking. For now, I have all the good stuff to myself :)

    • Charmian Christie
      Posted at 10:09h, 09 October Reply

      Nice. I hope he helps with the dishes. I love cooking but hate the clean up. A small dishwasher helps keep us happy. I forgot about that…

      Enjoy the good stuff! I love my knives and pans and am very glad I don’t have to share.

  • Kathryn
    Posted at 12:55h, 10 October Reply

    Happy Anniversary Charmian and Andrew!
    Wishing you many more years .
    What every relationship needs: rules to live by.

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