Love and marriage: 30 years, 30 reasons

When Jim and I got married, we were oh-so young, with nearly all odds against us.

That was 30 years ago today.

In honor of our thirtieth wedding anniversary, here are 30 reasons why I think our marriage has lasted—despite the odds, statistics, and predictions:

1. We still celebrate our first-kiss anniversary.

2. When one of us says, "Isn't that the one guy from not that one show but the other one, you know, with that woman we don't like who was in that scary movie, but he's put on a lot of weight since the movie where he was a jerk?", the other one totally gets it...and answers with the actor's name.

3-5. Brianna, Megan, Andrea.

6. We love each other's moms as much as we love our own.

7. I'm willing to go to a Randy Travis concert with him; he's willing to go see Chris Cornell with me.

8. We agree that Flight of the Conchords is funny as <cuss>.

9. And that Saturday Night Live isn't anymore.

10-11. Bubby and Mac.

12. We don't share a bathroom. Or use the bathroom at the same time when we have no choice but to share (like when vacationing).

13. We don't share bank accounts or credit cards either.

14. We do, though, share a mortgage—and the agreement that despite our mortgage doubling when we bought our current house, soon followed by both of us losing our jobs and economic <cuss> reigning ever since, we love our home and it's totally worth it.

15. We agree that if stranded on a desert island with only one album, we'd want it to be Pearl Jam's Ten.

16. We have a spare room available for when insomnia, snoring or restless legs get to be too much for the sleepy non-snorer.

17. In the heat of rage-filled moments, we don't call each other nasty names that can't be taken back. (At least not out loud.)

18. We agree that if when we win the lottery, our moms come first when doling out the dough and that gifts of even amounts will be given to all our siblings, despite a couple of them deserving nothing.

19. I cook, he cleans up after. (Okay...I usually help, just to keep him company).

20. We both clean up after entertaining—and agree that it must be done immediately upon guests leaving, not in the morning, no matter how late the entertaining may have ended or how tired we may be.

21. When one of us screws up our finances—because, despite separate accounts, we are indeed joint—neither one lays blame. (At least not out loud.)

22. We agree a house is not a home without pets. And that those pets shall never again be birds or fish or more than two dogs and two cats at one time.

23. He patiently waits until I compose myself when I get verklempt and can't talk, whether it's when discussing a terminal family member or an unexpectedly delightful package delivery.

24. A few hours into the stonewalling after a disagreement, one of us will apologize—even if we know <cuss> well we're not at fault—just so we'll be friends again.

25. That third strand in our marriage cord stayed strong and kept us together when the other two strands, at various times, frayed, gave up or broke completely.

26. We agree that it's sometimes okay to hit the sack before the news. Or to stay up late on a weeknight because we must see what happens next on a series we're streaming through Netflix.

27. We agree that the majority of Christmas gifts should be opened on Christmas morning, not Christmas Eve.

28. We have similar stranger-than-fiction-and-Jerry-Springer families and histories few others would understand...or believe.

29. We take pride in owning—and aren't willing to pass to others—the title of Longest Married Couple In Our Families (even longer than our older siblings and our parents).

30. We grew up together. Like two intertwined saplings that grow together into big, strong—though entangled—trees, if you try to separate them, one or both will surely die. Or so I've convinced him.

Happy anniversary, Jim. Here's to 30 more years and 30 more reasons!

Today's fill-in-the-blank:

The key to a successful relationship is _________.