My 30th Anniversary: What Happened?

Between the eve o’ tommorow (August 12) and sometime during the weekend of the 20th, I will not be blogging, emailing, Facebooking, Twittering, Huluing, YouTubing, Yahooing, or JohnShore.comming.

I’ll be as unplugged as a food processor in an Amish kitchen.

Why? Because I’ll be off with my wife Catherine celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary (which, for you detail-sticklers, is on August 16).

Thirty years! Why, it seems like only yesterday that I couldn’t remember a thing about the day before yesterday because I’m so old. I also now confuse easily. So I have no idea what I just wrote. And something tells me that’s a plus.

That’s the thing about getting old(er): worse memory; better instincts.


When I tell someone I’ve been married thirty years, they often respond with, “And I care why? Do I even know you? Go away.” So that’s pretty rude.

And now I would like to share with you some of the wisdom that I have gained from being married thirty years.


Wow. What a Godzilla-sized dud that was. In the last five minutes, the only nuggets of wisdom that came to my mind were, At least silverfish don’t bite, and Car tires don’t have inner tubes. Those aren’t nuggets of wisdom. Those aren’t even nuggets. They’re barely nugs.

Bummer. I was so sure that a person who’s been married thirty years would automatically be wise. But they’re not.

Word to the wise!

What can’t be denied is that thirty years is a long time to be married. I guess. I dunno. I do know that time is relative. If you’re a 24-hour flu virus, for instance, thirty years is so long that at the very least it’s time to change your name. If you’re the moon, on the other hand, thirty years is barely enough time for you to get over the weirdness of having humans drop themselves down upon you, jam a flag pole into you, play a little golf on you, and then leave.

Ah, the moon. Who would have thought its surface would be exactly what everyone always thought it would be?

My wife Catherine is ridiculously funny. And she does funny in the same way I do: by often delivering her jokes with such utter deadpannedness that half the time, instead of laughing, people just wonder if she’s a psycho, or what.

God, she’s funny. Girl’s so sharp you bleed just walking by her.

Young people! Forget looks. Good-looking people have unreasonable expectations of others. Forget money; rich people have unreasonable expectations of reality. Forget a loving, compassionate attitude: ultimately it will only make you feel inadequate and guilty.

What you want in a spouse is funny. Everything else passes. But funny, my friend, is forever.

You know what they say: laughter is the best medicine. So remember to laugh at sick people. It helps you; it helps them. Win-win.

You know (seriously, now) what’s really weird about the thirtieth wedding anniversary? That it’s the pivot anniversary. Before your thirtieth, you can get out of your marriage. You’re (usually) somewhere in your mid-fifties. Which gives you about thirty more years to live.

At your thirtieth anniversary, you know you have exactly enough time left in your life to do one more time what you just spent thirty years doing.

For a month or so now, Cat and I have found ourselves feeling this particular anniversary more than we have any of our others. And we figured out it’s because this is the pivot anniversary. If your marriage were a person, it would have its mid-life crisis at thirty.

Our marriage is not in crisis. It’s in the opposite of crisis.

Basically, nothing’s changed. The second I met Cat I fell insanely in love with her. I’ve spent thirty years feeling the exact same way about her every time I see her.

You know what that ends up creating?

An enduring feeling that exactly no time at all has gone by.

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  • DJ

    LOL! John, you’re a pretty crazy dude! Happy Anniversary!!

    My hubby and I are celebrating our 1 year anniversary on August 14th…well, at least the community wedding – us gays often end up having several anniversaries, one for each type of ceremony: the legal one in the state that allows marriage, maybe one for the civil union recognition in your home state, perhaps one for the Justice of the Peace who held the private ceremony even though it’s not technically legal, etc. Craziness!

    But either way…only one year for us compared to your 30. Seems like such a big number! There’s gotta be something said for making it that far 🙂

  • tana

    The humor/possibly psycho thing – I TOTALLY GET THAT. And let’s just say that Facebook, I have learned, is not a great medium for my kind of humor. Apparently the deadpan facial expression is pretty important, IF a person gets the joke at all.

    Oh well.

    I’m with you, John. No sense of humor? What’s the point. I’ve been married 14 years and the thing that is keeping us together? Our unified, albeit delusional belief that maybe one day we’ll get our own sitcom.

    Happy Anniversary brother.

  • Your 30 year anniversary is the same day as my 2 year anniversary this year! Small world. (or, you know… August is a popular month for weddings. But I’m going with “small world” because it has a catchy song). Congrats!

  • Lisa

    Hey John. Congrats–Happy Anniversary! Loved the post. So glad you two are going strong. Abe and I just celebrated 12 years and on our anniversary celebration weekend, we kept talking about how it didn’t feel like 12 years…maybe just 3 or 5 or something. Time flies and we’ve done so much together in life. I wish you and Cat another 30 years of joy.

  • gina francis

    congratulations on thirty years, john and catherine! in this day, that is a HUGE accomplishment…it really is. i agree with you on the time is relative thing. my husband and i will be married 33 years in feb. and some things seem just like yesterday. and…my heart still skips a beat when he drives up in the drive. 🙂 happy anniversary and many more!

  • Erin D.

    Congratulations John and Catherine! Here is to 30 more years of wedded bliss. My sources tell me the 30th anniversary is the “pearl” anniversary. Just sayin’, just in case….he he.

  • Aww. I wish you a wonderful celebration of this amazing milestone in you and your wife’s life. I agree that humor makes for a great companionship tool. I didn’t have a lot of that in my last marriage. Thankfully the man I’m dating now, makes me laugh daily. Maybe we can have a 30 year milestone one day.

    Enjoy, have fun, laugh, love, look forward to your next thirty years.

  • Lauren

    Aww, congratulations! My parents just celebrated their 30th anniversary a little over a week ago. The only sagely advice my dad had for me was this:

    “Y’know, i used to think i wanted someone like me for you. But, looking back, i was a huge pain in the ass. I can’t believe your mom has put up with me for all this time. So don’t marry somebody like me.”

  • textjunkie

    Congrats to you both!! 30 years so far, and may you have another 50 to enjoy!!! 🙂

  • Marie

    *clapping my hands!!!*

    This is the first thing I read this morning and I can’t stop smiling!!

    Happy Anniversary, Catherine & John!!! Happy LOVE! Happy LAUGHTER! Happy LIFE! ♥

    Namasté! 🙂

  • I like the part where he says to forget money. By the way, ladies, I’m unemployed

  • Very nice John. I look forward to the day we are all at a table chatting and laughing away. The stories will be flying. Have a great time. And thank you again.

  • Jason

    My wife and I just celebrated anniversary number one. It is great to see that there are people out there that make it to thirty years. Congratulations to you and your wife! I have found that your advice about marrying someone funny is so true. Laughter really is the spice of life.

  • Dirk


    We’ve been together for just over 28 years, there are enormous wonderful benefits to being married to someone so great for so long.

    Just, what’s been in it for your wife?

    Sorry, couldn’t resist. Have a great anniversary week!

  • Congrats John, I’m a couple of years behind you. A good wife is to be loved cherished indeed. I thank God almost daily for mine.

  • When you got married, I was two years old…

    My guy makes me laugh – I mean, funny is the thing with him, with us. We’re mutually weird, too, so I think we’re going to be okay.

  • JG

    Happy Anniversary, John and Cat — love reading everything you’ve written about her, John. Some of my favorite posts …

    Bob and I are celebrating our 40th this year and going to Italy! I’m very excites since I’ve never been to Europe. We can’t believe that we could possibly be old enough to have been married 40 years…but we have and are still in love. So fortunate.

    John — only you would think of the nostril hair comment on the pic of Bob and Micah — you are so funny.

    Love to you both and have a wonderful time celebrating.

  • Lui

    I wish everyone felt the way you do about their marriages. I’ve seen people married for quite some time break up as though they were newlyweds who realized the mistake they just made. It’s one thing to not be ready but to just give up? I don’t get it. My parents, for example are fixing to celebrate their 39th anniversary in less than two weeks. I’d like to look at them as what a marriage should be, but talking with my parents individually gives off a whole new perspective. My mother claims that if she had the money, she’d leave my father this very day. My father, on the other hand, still loves my mother as he did when he first married her. Not really something you want to think about as ideal.

    I only wish my relationships were as lasting and loving as yours. I wish you the best in your next 30 years; may they be as fun filled and memorable as the first 30.

  • So funny. Glad you are still laughing together. All the best.

  • Susan G.

    Funny uber alles!

    We’ve been in a terrible patch for the last couple of years (failure of business, etc.), but yesterday we went to the fair and we laughed at the same things, we made puns and jokes and, suddenly, we were “married” again. We still have the same problems today that we had yesterday, but we’re a team again.

    I wish you and Cat a wonderful getaway – and I’m so happy you are still stupidly, ridiculously, utterly and completely in love with your wife.

  • Little Fairy

    How much better could it get? Not much. (All I would change would be crises to crisis.) (Sticks tongue out.)

    Truly, though, what a tribute. May you have another 30, but even more happy and in love than the first thirty years together!

  • What a lovely piece. My parents just had their 31st wedding anniversary a couple weeks ago, so I guess they’re in about the same place as you. Have a fantastic vacation! (We’ll miss you!)

  • Congratulations!

    I admit that I’m very jealous. At age 48, after 3 failed marriages, I really hope I meet someone I can feel that way about. I refuse to die until I’m 100, so I guess that still gives me some time.

  • Don Rappe

    Congratulations to you two and may you be blessed with many more.

  • 30 years married is really something to celebrate. Congratulations to both of you!

    My guy and I are talking a wedding in the spring. When we celebrate our 30th wedding anniversary I’ll be 76. gulp.

  • Mindy

    Aw, LOVE this. Happy anniversary, you two!! I made it almost 15, but my parents will be celebrating their 55th year of marriage this winter, my sister and BIL their 28th, and my brother his 25th. I know a good one when I see it, and you two obviously have a great one!! Congratulations, and have a wonderful vacation.

  • Susan in NY

    Congratulations!! There is nothing better than a great marriage. Now that I am in a good relationship, I can relate to the wonderful togetherness of a lifelong partner who has a great sense of humor.

    I am just so happy for you both!



  • I’ve read all these comments, at least once. I’m loving them (and sharing them with Cat). Thanks so much, you guys. This really is a community we’ve got going here; and sometimes, around stuff like this (although, really, it’s always), I especially feel that. What a wonderful feeling it is. Love to each of you.

  • Caryl

    Happy Anniversary! I hope you two have a wonderful time on vacation!

  • DR

    You both are lovely and it seems like you bring the true and deep best out of one another. Have a wonderful time!

  • BS

    thats my sis! 🙂

    she’s funny as hell.

  • Don Whitt

    Good job, you two! How great to have such a long and loving marriage. Yay!

  • ohmygoodness, THAT’S IT! we’ve been making each other laugh (married) for 20 years now. he’s tough too. it’s gotta be good. and a little twisted. but making him laugh is the highest high. i’m easy. or maybe he’s just that good. when our boys were little there were times that called for seriousness. but he’d smirk at me and i’d have to leave the room. i’d hear him say “see that? see how upset mommy is about this? she had to leave the room, she’s so upset.” i hoped they would mistake my guffaws for sobs.