The Lord has been good to me, in many ways.
But, I have perhaps been most blessed in that I, somehow, was able to convince an unbelievable woman to marry me.
My wife, Christina, and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary Friday, marking the occasion with a nice weekend getaway to St. Augustine, Fla. By the time most of you read this, we'll be on the way home.
For those keeping score: Yes, I missed Abbeville High School's Class AA state championship football game Friday. Yes, I missed Greenwood's Class AAAA state championship football game Saturday. Yes, I gave up my tickets to today's South Carolina-Clemson basketball game.
See, I really do love her.
While we have been married for a decade, Christina and I have been "together" for either 16 or 18 years, depending on what you count as our first date.
Our "unofficial" first date was in March 1994. We were in high school and on a church youth group rafting trip. Our group spent the night at Clemson University on a Friday night in advance of rafting down the Chattooga River on Saturday morning.
We had recreational free time that Friday night, so I asked Christina if she wanted to walk down the street with me to the Astro Triple movie theater. They showed movies for 99 cents. I was a high roller.
"Above the Rim," starring the late Tupac Shakur, opened at the Astro that weekend. Set in Harlem, "Above the Rim" is the story of a standout basketball player who is forced to choose between being loyal to his family and his gruff, but well-meaning high school coach, or joining a streetball team led by the neighborhood drug lord, played by Shakur.
What a romantic movie for a first date, right?
Unfortunately (for me, but fortunately for Christina), "Above the Rim" was sold out. So, we went to see "8 Seconds" instead.
"8 Seconds" starred "Beverly Hills 90210" alum Luke Perry. It was about rodeos and bull riding. It was the story of bull riding champion Lane Frost. So, basically the complete opposite of "Above the Rim," but just as romantic.
Since that wasn't "officially" our first date - more like friends going to the movies together - I wasn't worried about seeing a romantic picture.
However, when we "officially" started dating two years later, in June 1996, I cleaned up my act and took her on a date that would make any woman swoon: We had dinner at Wendy's, then went to see Eddie Murphy's "The Nutty Professor" at the Apollo.
For some, reason, she agreed to continue dating me.
BEING MARRIED FOR 10 YEARS is no big accomplishment, at least not on my end, as my wife makes it easy on me. She's responsible, beautiful, funny, kind, thoughtful, accountable and considerate. Life with her is, honestly, a pleasure.
On the flip side, I'm sure the last 10 years have been a little more difficult for her, being married to me and all. It's not easy being married to a newspaperman.
We work a lot of nights. Unpredictable hours. Stressful assignments.
I spend an inordinate amount of time with unsavory characters, scoundrels and criminals. And that's just counting the newsroom staff and my political sources.
She's put up with my weekend excursions with buddies to ballgames across the country. She allows me to hang framed "Sleepaway Camp," "The Fog" and "Death Proof" posters on our living room wall and a picture of rap group Eric B. and Rakim on our refrigerator.
She hasn't protested as I, at various points, have grown a mustache that would make Geraldo Rivera jealous. She allows me to keep my old 1991 Ford F-150, a garish monstrosity with a camper top which she has hated since the day I bought it.
She hates when I put a dish in the sink instead of the dishwasher (which is sometimes), when I stuff too many clothes in the dryer (which is often) and when I forget to put a trash bag back in the can after taking out the garbage (which is always).
Yet, she still hasn't divorced me.
I know I'm blessed. I married my best friend 10 years ago. These have been the best 10 years of my life, without question. It brings me great comfort to know I have someone to support me, to comfort me, to provide love and laughter and advice and friendship. To be there for me, no matter what.
Here's to the next 10 years, and many more after that.
Trainor is the senior staff writer at the Index-Journal. Contact him at 943-5650; email email@example.com. You can follow him on Twitter @IJCHRISTRAINOR. Views expressed in this column are those of the writer only and do not represent the newspaper's opinion.