Trent and Pam Davis met in 1985 and have been married for more than 33 years.

Who talked to who first? I have to qualify my answer. Pam will say she tried to “talk” to me when I taught her class in her freshman year in medical school and that I brushed her off or ignored her.

Where do you go the most as a couple? Trent: Martinelli’s Italian Restaurant in Salina, Washington, DC to see my mom and family, visit our boys, BUT, most of all, we head to the couch to watch Hallmark Movies (plural, not singular. Pam: Movies, restaurants, traveling.

Who is more social? Trent: Without a doubt, Pam. Her smile is infectious, her laugh can be heard a hundred feet away, there’s a certain buzz wherever she is.

Who is the neat-freak? Trent: I have the potential to be……….. basically, I believe most things have places that they should go. I just have difficulty delivering them there. But my intentions were good! (What’s the old saying – we judge ourselves by our intentions; others judge us by our accomplishments!)

Who is the most stubborn? Trent: I would like to say that either of us can be, but relatively infrequently. I give in quietly, without fanfare or drawing attention to my selflessness. Who am I kidding? I just got a text from Pinocchio telling me to stop with the lying……. I’ll just go sit in the corner.

Who wakes up earlier? Trent: On work days, Pam. On her off days, it ain’t even close. Not that I get up all that much earlier, but if she’s off, she and the doggie are O-F-F. They are in bed til 10AM.

Where was your first date? Trent: The American Café, Massachusetts Ave., Washington, DC., Thursday, Dec 5, 1985!

Who has the craziest exes? Trent: Next question. This one ain’t even close. Let me do damage control, take credit for winning this dubious award, and move on!

What is your secret to making marriage work?

Trent: There is a plaque in our front hall that says, “A perfect marriage is just two imperfect people who refuse to give up on each other.” It probably took me longer than Pam to realize that we are each other’s soulmates. Oh, yeah, secret to making marriage work? Learn when to shut up! (Like now…….) Pam: Communication, Respect, Love, !Sex!

How did you figure out the household chores? Trent: We each have things we like doing. I like moving furniture out away from the wall so I can vacuum behind and under the sofa and stuff. In a fine spirit of camaraderie she does not get in my way when I do it! Yeah, trash and recycling are mine! After 35 years, America, I am proud to say that my baby will now separate more than 50% of her trash! Mother Earth, Lord knows I’ve been trying to save your resources….. please be patient with her!

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What have you learned to appreciate about your spouse that you did not know when you were first married? Trent: As a team, we’re “kick ass”. When we collaborate we accomplish what needs to be done. This is where differences (“Diversity” in the larger societal sense) is an asset, not a disturbance.

When I see how she has invested herself in resurrecting the lives of people around her that she didn’t have to do such for, I realize that she is really a Saint! She has “adopted” nieces, nephews, friends, and strangers. She has a heart of gold……… and to think, I thought she was just a real smart gorgeous girl from Southern California!

Don’t get her mad……..early on, I didn’t know she can hold her own in a cussin’ contest …..maybe my ears were muffled by love in those days.

When she sets her mind on something, she aims to get it done.

What aspect of marriage were you most pleasantly surprised by? Trent: It gets better the longer it matures. Pam: He is very devoted.

What do you think is the most challenging part of being married? Trent: Trusting that disagreements don’t mean that you don’t love your mate, but that even the most compatible folks in the world are products of different life experiences and are bound to view certain issues somewhat differently. A big challenge for me is having to go out on the dance floor with Pam…… she can dance her butt off! Me? I’m the guy who makes the good dancers look “great”! It’s a lonely job but someone has to do it! Pam: Learning how to compromise.

What has been the greatest obstacle you have faced over the years? Trent: Making a blended family work. It is hard to accept another woman’s children and the fact that that person will necessarily be involved with your own family life to some degree, even if infrequently. Pam has accepted my daughters as her own, and treats them the same as her own natural children – even contributed handsomely to one of their weddings. For Pam, it’s all in or all out!

I’ve managed to push the envelope at times, but she is a loving, forgiving, accepting person. Gosh, am I glad my mom got admitted to the hospital on the day Pam’s team was accepting patients! Pam: Forgiveness.

What’s one thing that wife/husband does that makes you feel glad you married years ago? Trent: I not only have a warm, sexy, supporting, caring, wife/mother/working spouse/church going Christian woman in my life, but I know there is not another person on this planet who could have traveled with me during my particular life experiences and come up with this storybook ending! Pam: The sex is still great!

If you could have been given a key piece of advice before marrying, what would it have been? Trent: Discuss just about everything with her. She’s got your best interests at heart. And let’s face it, men haven’t figured this out yet after 10,000,000 years on this planet, but she’s gonna find out somehow, anyway! Save yourself some time, a lot of aggravation, and keep some of those black hairs from turning gray so fast!

If you gotta think about it, the answer is “no”!

If you think about her, call her!

The best advice I got before my wedding, though, was when I was at the florist picking up some of the flowers for the ceremony. This guy, probably 35-40 years old, comes in and painstakingly picks out an assortment of cut flowers, one by one, with such an expression of accomplishment and contentment on his face. I asked him what special occasion he was shopping for, and he said something to the effect of, “Oh, they are for my wife………she makes every day special for me and I don’t want to ever forget that.”

I think I now know how my Godmother felt when her husband of 50 years passed away, when I was about 12 or 13 years old. She said, quite sadly, “I didn’t just lose my husband, I lost my best buddy.” Six weeks later God called her to join him. I can feel the type love they had together. As I think about it, they had separate jobs, separate bills, separate house chores but they shared all the spiritual things in life right down the middle. Pam: Be great friends

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