I got this meme from Dooce, but it looked like fun. In that way that answering questions can be fun. Like, the Bar Exam, talking to a state trooper who's just pulled you over, etc.
What are your middle names?
My middle name is Stuart, his is Ross. (You can imagine the teasing I got when I was confirmed in the Episcopal church. All the other girls could not contain their mirth that I had a BOY'S name as a middle name. It's a family name; I got it from my great-grandmother. In fact, there have been four or five women named Magdalen.)
How long have you been together?
Two and a half years.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
Hub 1.0 introduced us in London in 1998, when Hub and I were first engaged. I was in awe to meet this famous guy who'd been all-correct for so long that they made him the editor of the world's hardest crossword puzzle. Starman had funny hair back then -- longer and kind of poufy in the front. Not unattractive, just unrecognizable from today. He didn't say much. We met again in 2000 when we sat at the same table at a crossword dinner in Paris. He stared at Hub 1.0 and me throughout the meal, which seemed very un-British. Still wasn't saying much. I saw him twice more before 2006; after the second time, I was genuinely worried that he was ill, which is why I allowed myself to be the Overly Familiar American and email him in late 2005 when we learned he'd quit the editorship. The emails turned to phone calls, and then to visits, but we were Just Friends for over six months before it became romantic.
Who asked whom out?
N/A. There were no dates. I have been on precisely one date in my entire life, and it was with someone I was not romantically interested in, at a restaurant where someone had a heart attack, and the whole experience was excruciatingly awkward. How I've married not one but two Englishmen without dating is just part of my awesome unusualness.
How old are each of you?
I have just turned 53, he's 49. But of course we're both really 6 years old...
Whose siblings do you see the most?
His, despite the fact that they all live in the U.K.
Which situation is the hardest on you as a couple?
He's much better at dealing with my emotional roller coaster maneuvers than I have a right to expect. He's less volatile, but when he is having a bad day, I'm pretty good about it. Thus we avoid most of the pitfalls that I can imagine. It's been a while, but I have in the past had a problem when we're trying to fix something and all of a sudden my Oxford University-educated genius husband loses 50 IQ points and adopts the Blank Stare as a defense.
Did you go to the same school?
Hardly. He went to public (i.e., private) schools followed by University College [doncha just love the contradictions in English education?] at Oxford University. I went to two small liberal arts colleges in the Northeast, then got a master's from a PAC-10 university, and years later got a law degree from an Ivy League law school.
Are you from the same home town?
Again, not even remotely close. I grew up in Schenectady, NY; he grew up in Oxford, England.
Who is smarter?
Hard to say. He's book smart, better read, quicker (except when trying to fix things; see above), and more analytical. I'm more intuitive, better at understanding people, and can make certain deductions more easily. But here's an absolute fact: Hub 1.0 can think rings around us both, and that's saying a LOT.
Who is the most sensitive?
Depends what you mean by sensitive. He bruises easier, but I cry at cotton commercials...
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We're in a bit of a backwater here in Northeast Pennsylvania, but there's a Mexican restaurant ten minutes away that's run by an actual Mexican guy. His is a great story: a local couple traveled to Mexico, met this kid who had just been orphaned, brought him back to our county and sent him to the local school. After he graduated, the restaurant is what he wanted to do. The menu hasn't changed since I first went there 5 years ago, but it's all good food.
Where is the furthest you two have traveled together as a couple?
Alaska, with Hub 1.0 as our wedding present. Worked out well, and we'd love to travel with him again.
Who has the craziest exes?
N/A. I just have Hub 1.0, and Starman has no exes that I know about, so I'd win except that Hub 1.0 isn't crazy, and we're all good friends. Maybe that makes us all crazy...
Who has the worst temper?
I do. Hands down.
Who does the cooking?
Me. When he was dating, he taught himself to cook, and his chocolate mousse is damn fine, but he doesn't enjoy it, and I do.
Who is the neat-freak?
I expected him to be; his house in Twyford was immaculate. But no, we're pretty evenly matched as mildly untidy. My office gets untidier and then tidier, as does my side of the bed, but I'm not sure that's not just a difference in periodicity.
Who is more stubborn?
It's not a character flaw either of us has in great amounts, but I'll own it.
Who hogs the bed?
Hmmm. I suspect I do, but Starman is too nice to tell me.
Who wakes up earlier?
I do unless he's not been sleeping well. The real answer is the cats, who've been working hard on their devices and schemes to wake us up. They've taken to throwing their furry bodies at the bedroom doors in the hopes that the door might open and allow them access to the bed. A cat purring loudly and walking over us is a very effective alarm clock.
Where was your first date?
N/A; see above.
Who is more jealous?
Look, this is a guy who understood that my nearly 40-year connection to Hub 1.0 was important to me, so all props to Starman for being wise and gracious and open-minded.
How long did it take to get serious?
Six months? Seven? There was the more pressing issue of resolving the status of my first marriage first, but it all worked out pretty efficiently.
Who eats more?
In terms of volume, he does. In terms of surplus to requirements, I do.
Who does the laundry?
I do. If you'd asked who puts the clothes away, we could cue the crickets...
Who's better with the computer?
::cough cough:: Let's put it this way -- one of us is a software programmer, and one us is a lawyer.
Who drives when you are together?
I do. I like it. He doesn't seem to mind. However, if we're in the UK and the hire car has a stick shift, he does. I can manage the roundabouts, but not then also shift with the wrong hand while driving on the wrong side of the road.