Going for Gold – Celebrating 25 Years of Marriage

Watching the Olympic Games from the comfort of your own home, you might imagine yourself in the shoes of an Olympic athlete; you daydream about standing on that podium and receiving a medal for becoming one of the top three athletes –worldwide– in your particular sport or event. The bronze would be great, the silver even better, and of course it would be incredible to get the gold!

At least that’s how I imagined it, but I recently came across an article that proves that theory wrong. As it turns out, bronze medalists are actually happier after receiving their 3rd place medal than silver medalists are when awarded with 2nd place. The bronze medalists just feel ecstatic to have made it into the top three, while silver medalists think about just how close they came to winning the gold.

Silver is on my mind lately because my wife, Amy, and I just came up on our Silver Anniversary — the 25th. The Olympics didn’t bring us together, but we did meet through our respective Ultimate Frisbee teams at UNC-Wilmington. (I should mention that Amy’s team went on to win the national championship!) While the silver medalists may not feel as happy as the bronze or gold medalists in the Olympics, I couldn’t be happier or more grateful to have spent the last 25 years with my wife. Time has flown by, but when I look back on all that’s happened over the last 25 years, it reminds me just how long a quarter of a century really is!


Some changes have been huge and abrupt, but others have made their way more gradually into our lives. Recently I wrote about how life has changed in big ways, most of them for the better, over the last century. Now I want to zoom in on a few of the smaller, almost imperceptible, shifts that have taken place in the time since my wife and I got married:

    1. 25 years ago, you couldn’t use the phone and the internet at the same time. Now we’re multitasking with multiple screens, emails, calls, and texts almost constantly!
    2. Life has moved to the cloud, which is a concept that didn’t exist when my marriage started.
    3. Rather than using cable, now most people use streaming sites like Netflix, Hulu, or HBO. On that note, now we can binge-watch instead of having to wait each week for our shows to come out.
    4. 25 years ago, when you wanted to go somewhere you might have called or hailed a cab. Now requesting an Uber or a Lyft is only a few clicks away on your phone.
    5. Nowadays, most restaurants don’t have smoking sections (not to mention that many people have traded smoking for vaping or quitting altogether).
    6. Around the time that I got married, you still had to use books to look up information. Now you can google (which is now officially a verb!) anything you want.
    7. With ECommerce, shopping no longer requires going into the store. Practically anything you want can be delivered directly to your door.
    8. Around 20% of today’s relationships began on online dating sites, which is a percentage we couldn’t have imagined 25 years ago.
    9. Spellcheck is something that we don’t even think about anymore, but it seemed like a stroke of genius when first introduced.
    10. Many cars these days are keyless and self-driving, which was certainly not the case 25 years ago.
    11. When voicemail came out, it was a revelation! Now it’s more of an annoyance for many of us.
    12. 25 years ago, there were a few recognizable Hollywood stars. These days, everyone is a producer, director, or star.


A lot has changed since I proposed to Amy with a gold box under the Christmas tree, but I’m lucky that our love has been steadfast and constant. These cartoons depicting the differences between then and now brought a smile to my face. But after a Facebook post sharing this photo of Amy and I celebrating on our 25th anniversary, I had quite the laugh when a friend reached out to share a story from his own 25th – a story that speaks to the comfort, humility, humor and changes that come with long-term partnerships. He wrote:

“The week before our 25th wedding anniversary, I surprised my wife by sending 25 long-stemmed yellow roses to her at her office. Wanting to surprise me, she plucked all the petals and dried them. On the night of our anniversary, she spread the petals over the bed and lay on top of them, wearing only a negligee. When I walked into the bedroom and saw her, I gave quite the reaction. I excitedly shouted, ‘Are those potato chips?!?’”

I look forward to the next 25 years as we go for the gold – even if it is Yukon gold!


Fuel for thought,