Nostalgic Love (Mike and Mary)

We were young … Mike was a week from being 19 and I was a week into being 21 when we married August 23, 1975. We had each lived at home until we married and it didn’t take long to realize that being with each other nearly 24/7 was a bit of an awakening {for me} of some sort. I am now a believer of adult children getting their own [separate] apartments before getting married — to learn how to live with a roommate, to know how to manage their finances, to learn to cook and clean, stuff like that. But, here we are, almost 36 years later and while there are parts I might wish to go back and do differently, I would never pick a different man. He’s the one.

Mike and I met in youth group of the church where we were married (and still attend today) and it’s that common bond of Christ that is still with us. My mom made my wedding dress and veil, a total cost of $65 made from polyester crepe with the front yoke made of lace and I still have it crammed in some box somewhere in the garage. My shoes were seriously the ugliest pair of shoes on the planet at that time so why then did I buy them? They were on the clearance rack at Carroll’s so if they were from Carroll’s  … well then, they had to be cute because, after all, Carroll’s was the store at the time. The material for the two attendants dresses cost $51.60 and were made out of lime green eyelet worn with sun hats (those poor girls). Mike and his groomsmen and ushers wore polyester lime green tuxes with black velvet lapels. Woo hoo! were we stylin’! (I was never into fashion back then — but I probably didn’t have to tell you that.) Our invitations cost $67.60, our napkins $17.73, our thank you notes $14.65, our wedding book and quill pen $18.50, our plane ticket to our Honeymoon destination of Disneyland $289.48 RT for both of us, and our rent-a-car $100 for the 7 days we were there. Of course I didn’t add the cost of flowers and the cake (which my dad picked out and ordered without any help from me), and the nuts, mints, and punch so add-on another $75 tops. I rather miss those more simple days, don’t you? Now in case you’re wondering how I remembered all these details, I didn’t, but I did have it all written down with receipts that I’ve kept all these years.

In the old Narthex of our church.

Annette Mary and Susan Carter

Mr. and Mrs. Mike Mouser

Love you.

Our swan cake.

Mike sold his '65 Chevy Super Sport to pay for our honeymoon and we bought this '65 Chevy Impala off his folks. The "Just Married" was burned into the paint for the life of the car.

We lived in Boise State College apartments our first 6 months of marriage and rent was reasonable at $90 a month. We got tokens for our laundry and I remember walking in the laundry room one day and finding a man going through my underwear in the dryer. Pervert. The apartment had brick walls, few lights, tiny spaces, and I really didn’t care for it much. We decorated “early marriage style” where everyone gave us the junk they didn’t want but we appreciated it. We moved to a bigger apartment then to our first home November of ’77 and it was my first big mistake as a wife not heeding the advice of her husband. We looked at the house … I loved it, Mike not so much. I convinced him it was the right house, he finally relented, but then once the house was empty and we were ready to move in, I was sick for three days worrying about the choice “we’d” made. He never said “I told you so” and we made that initially dirty little three bedroom, 1 bath, 1200 sf Ranch house our home for 8 years and look back on it now with only the fondest of memories. We paid $37,200 for it and probably much more in sweat equity. Good memories. Good times.

Our first Boise State College apartment.

Our first house purchased Nov/77 for $37,200 and sold Jan/84 for $49,000.

From there, life took us to two more houses, a tent, a camper, a beat up trailer, a newer trailer, a new trailer, 8 cars, 9 pick-ups, 5 cats, 4 dogs, two great children, and now our greatest reward — two beautiful grandbabies. We’re at that point in our lives where we think we have it all … what more could possibly maker it any better than this? I’m sure there is much to come — good, bad, or indifferent and I know we’ll ride them out together because we’re committed. I’ve been asking my friends what advice they would give newlyweds today and there have been some great answers. We’ve learned so much at our age looking back. Before long we’ll be the grandparents telling our grandkids the stories our grandparents told us of how we “had to walk back and forth to school barefooted in snow uphill both ways.” I suppose my advice would be more to the parents of newlyweds than to the newlyweds themselves. It would be to just leave them alone that first while of marriage. Don’t overly bug them to come over, don’t call them constantly, don’t ask about their finances, don’t buy too many things for them. Let them have their space and time with one another to figure it out because they can, they do, and they will. If for no other reason than to allow them to have their own stories of those early years when they realize [tragically] that one wants to use Comet and the other Soft Scrub, or that one likes the corners of the sheets folded in and the other out. If they need us they’ll call, come over, or invite us to dinner and it will mean so much more that way. Of course giving the advice doesn’t necessarily mean we always applied our own advice but it’s offered up nonetheless.

MJ - shown here in December at 14 months.

Sydney - shown here in December at 11-1/2 months.

While in part our tips for a lasting healthy relationship is to try to be God-centered and selfless, the one that has worked for us is two big screen TV’s in two different rooms, with two different easy chairs, and two different remotes. You’d be amazed how much that improves a marriage — really. We love spontaneity, BSU football, movie night, rented movie night, babysitting nights, and lots of time with our friends and family. Mike is so very generous, soft-hearted, tough, a teaser, and a man’s man who can fix anything and hunt and fish. I’m more of the doer, the project person, the-lets-get-things-done kinda gal and he supports me in that and helps me accomplish them. This Valentine’s Day weekend we’ll be doing what we do every year — for the past 15 years at least — and that is take a little weekend get-a-way to Jackpot where we’ll just hang out playing some games, eating buffet, and enjoying the change of scenery. Mike will win $, I won’t. With Valentine’s Day only a week away, what is it that you’ll do to show the one you love what they mean to you?

I love you  Babe.  Be my Valentine?

Kathy - February 4, 2011 - 9:25 AM

Wow! Fun stuff to read – how do you remember all those details? I guess getting married in Vegas does have its advantages! But – every once in awhile I do dream nostalgic about what it would have been like to have a real wedding…

fairlycandid - February 4, 2011 - 9:30 AM

Ha! I don’t remember details … I had them written down. Obviously, I’ve always been anal about my photo albums.

Megan - February 4, 2011 - 10:20 AM

Favorite yet. That was my FAVORITE post you’ve done- it was so fun to read about your love…not that I didn’t know it all already, but it’s always nice to read about how much your Mom loves your Dad and the way she views her life…know what I mean? Thanks for being an open book and always being so real about your love and the importance you place on it.

And Mom, you rocked that wedding dress.

Love you!!!

Linda Johnston - February 4, 2011 - 11:25 AM

Wow, Mary, really you have not changed very much in 36 years. Mikey, a little more but still very recognizable. I’m pretty sure that noone who knew me 36 years ago and then saw me on the street today would have a clue unless I recognized them and told them who I was (and what is the chance I would recognize someone I knew 36 years ago?). I’m with Megan, you rocked that wedding dress!

fairlycandid - February 4, 2011 - 11:34 AM

You and Meg are funny … I did love my dress though … probably the last piece of clothing my mom ever made me. Sweet thing was that when Meg was in the 5th grade and interested in porcelain dolls, my mom bought one, made a replica of my wedding dress with the material she had saved, and almost the same pattern. When Megan opened her gift that Christmas, I was stunned as I had no idea about it. And I thought my mom wasn’t sentimental. I was “thinner” back then (I hated the word skinny) but then weren’t we all. Mike had some nice sideburns going on, didn’t he. R-a-r-r-r. 🙂

Your Man - February 4, 2011 - 4:40 PM

What a surprise. You asked me all those ?’s But didn’t know what fer. Still lovin ya but u still need your own $50 next weekend.

fairlycandid - February 4, 2011 - 5:27 PM

Darn … I was hoping saying all those nice things about you would mean you’d give me play money … I did call you “generous” after all. 😉

Aubrey Archuleta - February 8, 2011 - 7:46 AM

AWESOME. This was so incredible to read! You looked stunning & you have a picture of my mom bowing at your feet! 😉

fairlycandid - February 8, 2011 - 8:16 AM

Aubrey, you’re so fun. Thanks for all the sweet comments. I need to tell your mom I blogged about our wedding so she can see her picture unless you can forward her the link as I don’t have an e-mail address for her. Btw, I loved the picture of her and Leslie on your blog. That was a great one of them both.

Today is a good day. Smile. Mary

Christine Ellis - February 15, 2011 - 1:45 PM

I loved this post!! What a sweet tribute to an amazing relationship!

fairlycandid - February 15, 2011 - 1:57 PM

Christine! Thank you! One day you’ll look back on your own early beginning with the same amazement that you’ve come so far. Where does time go? Hope all is well in Holland … I’ll check our your blog soon.

Today is a good day. Smile. Mary

botut - February 16, 2011 - 9:42 PM

I loved this! The photos and figures were great! I really liked the look at the past and then present. And the shoes….well, they looked like something I had to wear with my nursing uniform at graduation. ‘Nuff said! - February 16, 2011 - 9:44 PM

Oh, that was just cruel {but so so true}.

Spontaneous Sunday « Fairly Candid - February 2, 2012 - 6:42 PM

[…] home. I met Mike there, we married there, and had children attend there. (For more on our story see this post.) We have attended the same church the better part of 50+ years not because we think it is the one […]

Matt - February 6, 2012 - 9:38 AM

I never got a chance to read this post till now. A year later. I love this story and never get tired of seeing dad in that green suit. Wow am I glad times change, ha ha no offense dad, looked good on you though. Love you two and have fun and Jackpot this year.

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