Interview with Lauren and Michael Landis
I: Michelle, interviewer
I: Can you guys tell me about how you met and the whole circumstances?
M: We did Conference Services together when we were students at William and Mary and it was the summer of 2009. We met when we were working here and we liked each other; I told her I had feelings for her and she said ‘why didn’t you tell me sooner?’ and it’s been uphill since then.
L: Uphill in a good way! Michael had actually worked for Conference Services the previous year so we met during his second summer; there was a group of seven people and we all worked together over the summer. He asked me out on the porch swing at the Lodge that I was living in—I don’t remember which lodge, six or eight—but we have the porch swing (we paid for it, we didn’t just steal it). Then he actually proposed to me on the porch swing three years later, so it’s an important porch swing in our story. It was really funny at the end of the summer: our boss at the time, she came up to Michael and said, “So you had a pretty good summer--made some money, got a girlfriend!” and she eventually came to our wedding so that was nice.
I: How has it been working together at William & Mary?
M: It’s fine, we don’t interact too much. We had like one or two emails back and forth for work and business.
L: We’re both in Auxiliary Services, but we don’t have meetings together or anything like that. I think the only time that’s been helpful has been stuff like when I couldn’t get into the gym and they told me to call TribeCard Services and I’m like ‘Okay, or I can talk to TribeCard Services when I get home from the gym.’ So little things like that, has been helpful, but we don’t see each for work during the day.
M: Our son goes to Williamsburg Campus Child Care, and it’s nice for all of us to be in the same area.
L: Yeah, it’s right down the hill from our offices so we’re all in a block, the three of us.
I: That’s so convenient!
M: And we also live about five minutes away. We love the convenience of living near our work and working near each other.
L: Which is nice because past jobs we’ve had were 45 minutes apart—so we really appreciate everything being close together.
I: Do you have any advice for couples who work so close to each other?
M: Try not to annoy each other. Just a general rule.
L: We know a couple where the husband and wife worked practically the same job so they didn’t have that much to talk about at the end of the day. But for us, we work in the same environment, the same university and campus, but we do very different things. And it’s always helpful for me to say things like, ‘you remember how we did this in Conference Services or you know so and so in Athletics’—we know enough about each other’s environment to understand the context but still have things to talk about. I would also agree with the advice to not annoy each other. Be patient with each other, don’t assume that just because you spend all day with each other that you don’t have anything to talk about—you can talk about what articles you read that day or something you saw on the news. You don’t have to just talk about what you did all day at work.
I: So, did everyone at work know that you two were married?
M: Yeah, I knew some of the people in Auxiliary Services beforehand.
L: He started a few months before me. So when I started working, they were like, ‘Oh! It’s your wife!’ We also have the same last name so it was pretty easy to figure out.
I: Are you guys going to do anything special for Valentine’s Day?
L: Yes, we are! We’re watching Thor, I’m so excited. We’re big Marvel fans. We didn’t get to see the most recent one, so we’re getting Thai take-out and we’re going to rent Thor and watch it! We made the mistake of going out on Valentine’s Day a few years ago and it was just a nightmare because everyone goes out to dinner on Valentine’s Day. We tend to either do something in or go on a different day just because it’s calmer and more peaceful, and you don’t feel like you’re going out to dinner on the same night as everyone else. We’re homebodies so it will be nice!
I: Do you guys have anything you wanted to end the interview with?
M: We’ve enjoyed William and Mary both as students and now as faculty, it’s treating us well.
L: I love William and Mary, I was a tour guide—I’m a Tribe person! I’m very happy that my life has made one big circle and I’m back home.
Updated March 19, 2018