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There is a tiny difference in the wording of my tagline this week, which I doubt anyone would notice if I didn’t point it out. So naturally, I’m going to do just that.

Ron and I have now been married for 18 years instead of the 17 years noted in my last column’s tagline.

We have managed to stay together despite the fact that we never agree on politics, football teams or even what kind of ketchup is best.

I’m sure most couples simply agree to disagree, but that’s not our style. We prefer to tease each other mercilessly.

For example, when my Cowboys lost to his Redskins last month, Ron sang that ridiculous song, "Hail to the Redskins, hail victory…" until I wanted to tackle him on the living room floor.

I will be an equally poor sport when my Cowboys have their revenge and clobber the Redskins.

The boys have their own opinions, which leaves us with one true-blue Cowboy, a die-hard Redskin and a third who sort of likes them both.

Since politics is more serious business, we don’t bring it up unless something really big is going on, such as the presidential election.

The closer we get to the election, the more things Ron finds wrong with my chosen candidate. He knows my mind isn’t going to change, but enjoys letting me know what a bad decision I’m about to make.

I’m just hoping more people will agree with me on Election Day.

By Wednesday morning, one of us will be in a very good mood, celebrating the victory of his/her presidential candidate. The other person will be way too grouchy to be tease-worthy.

I like to think that after 18 years, I have gotten pretty good at this whole "being a military wife" thing. That was a much bigger challenge during the early years than it is now.

For some reason, I spent the first 10 years of our marriage convinced that our next duty station would be in North Carolina, where I would be close to my family and have a more "normal" life … whatever that is!

We were actually living in North Carolina when we celebrated our 10th anniversary, and guess what? By that time, I was so used to moving around that I was thrilled when we moved across the country to California.

Ron said I really fit in out there in what he calls "the land of fruits and nuts."

After two years, Uncle Sam really threw me for a loop by sending Ron to Okinawa without the boys and me.

We both appreciated each other a lot more after the year apart, and couldn’t wait to get back under the same roof again so we could pull against each other’s football teams and argue over whether to buy two percent or fat-free milk.

It’s no secret that opposites attract, but they usually don’t get married, have three kids and put up with each other for 18 years.

I think the explanation is simple, but a little weird; we enjoy driving each other nuts. That way, neither of us knows exactly what to expect from one day to the next.

A mother of three boys, Pam Zich has been married to a Marine for 18 years and currently lives in Springfield, Va. You may e-mail her at homefront@stripes.osd.mil or visit her Web site at www.lifeonthehomefront.com.

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