A “getting to know us” relationship meme, that is. I saw this one last here, here, and here.
What are your middle names?
Michael and Lynn. Pretty boring names, but seeing them there like that and realizing they refer to Hobgoblin and me feels very strange. I’m not a “Lynn.” Okay, now I’m having one of those moments when a familiar word all the sudden looks foreign and I’m not sure I spelled it right. It’s especially weird since it’s my own name I’m talking about here …
How long have you been together?
Since August, 1996, married since August, 1998. It’s almost one third of my life at this point.
How long did you know each other before you started dating?
We started dating pretty much right away. It took maybe a couple weeks or so to figure it out 100% for sure, but that’s all.
Who asked whom out?
Neither one did any asking — it just sort of happened. We met when I moved to the Bronx to go to graduate school and Hobgoblin happened to be one of a group of students I hung out with during my first few weeks there. We had a class together — literature of the American Renaissance. We spent some time getting to know each other with the group but soon enough dumped everyone else and started spending time on our own. We had a “first date,” a first formal date in NYC that we dressed up for, but we were already dating, basically, so it didn’t mean quite the thing it usually does.
How old are you?
I just turned 35; he’s 41 and will turn 42 in May.
Whose siblings do you see the most?
Mine. We see all or most of my siblings each year at Christmas and sometimes again in the summer, which isn’t all that often, but they are scattered all over the place: Virginia, North Carolina, Colorado, and, for the moment at least, South Africa. He has one sister in California whom I’ve only seen a couple of times.
Which situation is hardest on you as a couple?
We’ve always had some uncertainty about where we were going to work and live. We met and married as grad students, both in English, which is a difficult field for one person to get a job in, let alone two, let alone two in the same location. So along the way there was always the question about who would get a job first, whether we could get jobs in the same place, who would follow the other if we couldn’t, where we would be willing to live for the sake of a job or two, etc. We got very lucky and found two jobs in the same area, for which I’m very grateful. But we’re still dealing with uncertainty, as neither of us is tenured. It’s looking likely, though, that we will be able to stay where we are. Then perhaps the question will be whether we want to stay here, but we can deal with that one later.
Did you go to the same school?
We went to the same grad school, but very different high schools and colleges. Our undergrad experiences couldn’t have been any more different — he went to a very large public university where you got ignored and I went to a small liberal arts college where you got babied. Both of us survived.
Are you from the same home town?
Nope — we’re from opposite coasts. I’m from western New York state; he’s from California.
Who is smarter?
Hobgoblin has a much better memory than I do and is a better writer. I think I have more intelligence of the emotional and social sort. He’s smart with facts; I’m smart with relationships. Is that annoyingly stereotypical or what?
Who is the most sensitive?
It very much depends on the situation. I probably am, generally speaking, but there are times Hobgoblin will worry about something I’m able to brush off. I think, though, that I spend more time worrying and obsessively repeating conversations in my head to try to figure them out, so I guess that would make me more sensitive.
Where do you eat out most as a couple?
We eat out at lots of places — it’s one of our favorite things to do. There are maybe half a dozen restaurants we can walk to in our little town, dozens more we can easily drive to, and thousands of them just a train ride away in Manhattan. We do our best to support them all.
Where is the furthest you have travelled together as a couple?
California and Cancun. We went to Cancun for an academic conference. Really.
Who has the craziest exes?
Probably Hobgoblin, but we never shared a whole lot of details, which is just fine.
Who has the worst temper?
Hobgoblin will lose his temper only rarely, but when he does, he really loses it. I don’t have much of a temper if you mean yelling and throwing things, but I’m plenty prone to fits of irritation and pouting, which is probably worse.
Who does the most cooking?
Hobgoblin. He does all the cooking, in fact. I was all set to learn how to cook when I met Hobgoblin, and it just never happened.
Who is the most stubborn?
I’m not sure. Maybe me, but just by a little bit. And of course, it depends on what we’re being stubborn about. Okay, probably me. Hobgoblin has enough of the laid-back California attitude that I generally get my way. I just don’t like to admit it.
Who hogs the bed most?
Me, but I’m not a horrible bed-hog. Sometimes I’ll wake up with more covers than I should have though.
Who does the laundry?
That would be me.
Who’s better with the computer?
Hobgoblin is, but we’re both pretty good with them. I’d say we’re equally good at figuring out new programs and software, but Hobgoblin knows more of the technical stuff than I do.
Who drives when you are together?
It’s about equal. On long drives we’ll take turns. On short trips Hobgoblin is more likely to drive, unless it’s at night, in which case I take over. The glare of headlights bothers him more than it bothers me. I’m more comfortable driving in the snow too, having had tons of experience in my Rochester youth.
15 responses to “Everybody’s doing it …”
An academic conference in Cancun? Riiight 😉
This meme is so fun. I enjoyed reading your answers.
You are SO not a Lynn! I like your dedication in supporting the restaurant business, both local and further afield.
I am so enjoying this meme! It was very interesting to learn more about you and Hobgoblin. Didn’t you just hit it off, straight away! I’m doing this myself later today, so oo-err, we’ll see how that goes.
Supporting every restaurant in Manhattan seems like a tall order; I hope you’re up to it.
Don’t worry, annoyingly stereotypical is just fine. Sometimes things work out that way. Well, pretty often actually… after all that’s how stereotypes come about. 🙂
Thanks for sharing so much detail about yourselves.
I’m with Iliana on that academic conference in Cancun 😉
My sister’s middle name is Lynn. I never use my middle name for anything not even the initial because it’s not like my name surname is so common that I would be required to use a middle initial for identification. So when my middle name appears on something I always have to stop and make sure that it is actually my name.
I am a Lynn too, and kept it as my middle name, rather than replace it with my maiden name when I got married. That may sound odd, but it works for me. 🙂
It was fun reading your answers to the meme and getting to know you and Hobgoblin better. Mr. Suitcase and I met in college too, though we had very different experiences growing up. I can’t believe I have known him nearly half my life now, but it’s definitely the better half.
I’m glad that you and Hobgoblin are likely to stay where you are. We’d hate for you to move now that we’re just getting to know you!
Iliana — it’s true, I swear! I’ll admit that we didn’t attend that many panels, though … 🙂
Charlotte — I do my best. Hobgoblin and I take the task of supporting the local community seriously. 🙂
Litlove — I loved reading your answers! It sounds like you and your husband hit it off in a similar manner …
Bikkuri — well, the fact that we exercise a lot helps … and yes, annoyingly enough, stereotypes often turn out to be true. How bothersome.
Stefanie — middle names are funny, aren’t they? Especially if they aren’t significant for some family reason. Why have them, after all??
Debby — How nice that we have middle names in common! I’m glad we’ll probably be staying here too. We’ve had a great time getting to know you two and other local friends over the last couple years.
What an interesting meme-blog.
I love nicknames. And aliases.
So… would it be too forward of me to add a 22nd and a 23rd question for you?
22) Where did the nickname of Hobgoblin come from?
23) What is his nickname for you?
I love reading of these terrific relationships, like of you and the “Hobgoblin” and [for instance] Stefanie and her “Bookman”.
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I love reading these memes–they’re always so interesting! Don’t feel bad, my middle name is Mary–how ordinary (and Catholic) is that! It’s curious as several of the librarians in my work have spouses that are also librarians at different colleges in town, and several moved here from other places. It must be somewhat common that academics marry other academics, but it would be worrisome about getting jobs in the same town! Of course nice when you both get to go to conferences in Cancun! 🙂
You most definitely are not a “Lynn.” (I’m as bad as you, because I’m not sure how I can look at a familiar word that should have nothing associated with it and say that so adamantly, but there you go.) I have an idea of where you two can end up if you decide you DON’T want to stay where you are…
Well I guess I’m a bit jealous about the hitting it off immediately part. But I liked your answers (Cancun was a nice touch). This is a good way to get to know you two, and now I’m wondering whether you’re both drawn to the same characters in English fiction. Maybe there’s a meme there 😉
I like Pete’s question – are you both drawn to the same literary characters? to the same fiction in general?
This was fun to read – and my sister’s middle name is Lynn and she feels just as disassociated from it 🙂
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Cipriano — I don’t mind the additional questions at all! As for Hobgoblin’s name, that comes from Emerson’s line: “a foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.” He’s a 19C American scholar, and so Emerson is a fitting reference. And he actually doesn’t have a nickname for me — we’re not big on nicknames except in the blog world, I suppose.
Danielle — yes, I think academics marrying each other is common — it only makes sense, after all — but still very difficult. Academia does not make it easy to have a personal life, unfortunately!
Emily — I know. What’s wrong with “Lynn,” after all? It’s really not a bad name. It’s just not me, for whatever reason.
Couchtrip — there IS a meme there (and I see that Verbivore has done it!). We actually AREN’T drawn to the same authors and characters — we read very different books. I love Woolf and the Russians, and he doesn’t; I prefer George Eliot, and he prefers Charles Dickens; he studies Americans, and I study the British; he loves Cormac McCarthy, and I don’t, and I could go on!
Verbivore — I’m sure that if Lynn were my first name, I’d feel just fine about it; it’s just that middle names are so rarely used, I haven’t gotten used to it. And I really like the version of this meme you posted!