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The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The Carters: built on commitment, doughnuts

With the beginning of February, piles of snow were everywhere  and there were low temperatures for most of the day, people are reminded of their significant others.

Although every Guilfordian might not have a Valentine to send flowers and chocolate to, a beloved Guilford couple has been celebrating the date for 41 years.

Max Carter, former director of the Friends Center and adjunct professor of religious studies, and his wife Jane Carter have seen it all. Sitting close together and looking at each other constantly, the couple laughed when asked about how they met.

“We love that question because we disagree,” said Jane. “My memory is we were at Earlham College, and I had planned a birthday party for one of my friends, and I had reserved what was called the ‘faculty bowl.’”

The faculty bowl was a geological formation left from a glacier in the form of a deep circular dug out area, which had trees all around the rim where people would build campfires.

“I went down early to build the fire and set up the cake, and here’s this bearded guy messing with the fire,” said Jane. “So I went up to him and said, ‘Excuse me, I reserved this. I’m sorry,’ and he said, ‘I know. I’m coming to the birthday party.’”

The way Max remembered it is completely different.

“Before that incident, I was in graduate school, the Quaker seminary at Earlham, and one of the things I was studying was campus ministry,” he said. “I was assigned to help one of my professors … and part of my job was to find students who could help with the worship.”

They needed a student to play the piano, and someone suggested Jane. Max promptly volunteered to invite her to be part of the worship.

“I remember going to her dorm, knocking on her door, and asking her if she would play the piano,” said Max. “She just kind of blew me off.”

From that moment on (whichever moment it was), Max and Jane would be seeing each other constantly. However, it took them until their engagement to finally go out on a date.

“We never really dated,” said Jane. “We went bowling, and we went to movies with other people, but that was very normal for anybody that was seeing somebody at the school.”

When they finally tied the knot, they learned that not everything is a bed of roses.

“When you first marry, nobody tells you how hard it is to start a marriage,” said Jane. “Our culture is all passion, and everything is ‘happily ever after,’ but they don’t talk about the hardest moments.”

This was something the couple agreed on.

“There are certain periods in a marriage that are difficult,” said Max. “And once you have children, all bets are off.”

Still, the Carters had a beautiful family together.

“Communication and a real commitment to the relationship are essential,” said Jane. “If you know that you’re really committed to it and to each other, you know this is going to pass.

“It actually gets better after you get through those bad moments. Once you get to the other side, the relationship will grow.”

To Max, there were two great solutions.

“We are used to throwing away things,” he said. “So if this isn’t working or is worn out, toss it and find a new one. We never bought into that. If it’s broken, you can fix it.

“(And it) helps if your wife makes good doughnuts.”

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About the Contributor
Beatriz Caldas
Beatriz Caldas, Editor-in-Chief
Senior Beatriz's goal is to make sure that every person on campus has a voice, that every group is being represented, and that The Guilfordian becomes #1 in reporting Social Justice stories not only from Guilford, but from all around the globe. Beatriz comes from Brazil and is able to speak four languages.

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