When I told Daily Nexus Opinion Editor Meghan Palma that I was getting married this summer, she said that maybe I could write a column on married life. After all, my bachelor status was the longest running streak in my life, and that era came to an end on Saturday, August 7, 2004, at 5:00 p.m. PST.

When my friends heard I was getting married, there were two sets of responses. The first was the “FINALLY !” category, while the other was the “Are you nuts?” response. My only answer was “yes, I’ve finally gone nuts.”

So has anything changed since becoming married? That depends on what you call change. My love for the person who is now my wife, Laurie, has grown even more. We’re still as goofy as we were before, with the only difference being that there are now legal grounds for being goofy together. If any changes have occurred, they’ve definitely been for the better of both of us.

What used to be my apartment is now our humble beach community abode. Yeah, there’s some girly touches here and there, but there’s still plenty of manly toys to choose from, including three surfboards, a skimboard, three snowboards, 10 skateboards, three BMX bikes, two mountain bikes, a weight bench and paintball gear.

I still get to dress in my usual sweatshirt, t-shirt, shorts and skate shoes ensemble, but these days, I find myself wearing Hawaiian shirts more often. It’s what I wore at our wedding.

It is nice to come home to someone who wants you to come home. But for all of the togetherness, we have our independent moments as well.

The myth that freedom is lost once you’re married is exactly that: a myth. I still go to the skate-park in the mornings, still race BMX, mountain bike and surf. The only difference is that there’s someone to cover my back and encourage me as I risk life and limb while performing stupid human tricks.

She sometimes joins me on a little trail bike ride or out in the water with her boogie board, and it is always great to be near her. Laurie does sprint triathlons and she knows that, in me, she has a pit crew, cheering section and driver all rolled into one.

To say we’re there for each other is a severe understatement. But then again, isn’t that what you sign up for when you decide to get married ?

There were many relationships in my past – most good, some horrible. But instead of dwelling on the bad, my goal became to learn something from the good and make it better. Easier said than done, but with enough practice…

So how do you know you’re finally with the right person? You don’t. Let’s just say that I have an easier time explaining Cauchy-Riemann’s theorem or Feynman partial derivatives than trying to explain what defines the “right” person. This can sometimes take a lifetime, and it nearly took me one to find Laurie.

The funniest part of this is the fact that we found each other while neither one of us was looking for anyone. Accident, coincidence or a higher power at play? Go figure.

Can we make the choice too soon? In all honesty, yes and no is the best answer I can give. You can shoot from the hip or take your time. There’s the possibility of missing the perfect opportunity to be with a person who will make you happy. Then there’s the possibility of winding up on the Jerry Springer Show, thanks to the psycho you chose as your spouse. It all comes down to uncertainty. You can apply Schroedinger’s Principle to marriage simply because of what a little uncertainty can do.

Can a marriage last forever? In the case of Laurie and I, I will try my hardest to make it last a lifetime, as nearly that time frame has slipped by without her. Whenever I see an old couple still much in love with each other, I just think that’s what Laurie and I will be like. But it will take work, and to think otherwise is simply fooling yourself and the person you claim to love.

Maybe I’m not so nuts after all. I finally got it right.

Henry Saria is a Longtime Isla Vista Resident