I was trying to consider some things to post about this week in honor of good ol’ Saint Valentine’s Day but I didn’t want to do that same routine where I offer an engagement session or talk about who I love.
Instead, I decided I would write about long-term love. You know, those sweet old couples who have been together for twice as long as you have been alive. My mind immediately went to Paula + Guy. They’re 82 and 83 years old, respectively, and still relishing life. I thought, what better way to celebrate a day that celebrates love than to interview some people who know a thing or two about it…?
They were more than enthusiastic to help me out with this… so much so that when I asked them if I could interview them about their relationship, Paula began telling me about their beginning before I even got my notebook out…
We visited on Sunday morning while Paula sat in her recliner and Guy sat in his chair by the window, both facing the TV that wasn’t on at the moment. Their only son sat on the couch while their first (and currently _only_) grandson ran around the house driving toy cars around and we began….
S: How long have you been married?
Paula: We have been married for 59 years. But we have been together for 65 years!!! The reason we didn’t marry sooner is because at a bad car accident and we had to put it off for a long time.
S: How did you two meet?
Paula: We met through my cousin – She used to live across the street. She was older than me. She went out with Guy and when I knew he was there I would go over and she would tell me to “GO!” and send me home… and eventually they broke up. Between when I met him and when we started dating he probably dated five of my cousins! He picked the right one! He liked me best of all. hahahaha! Awe, shit.
S: What attracted you to each other?
Guy: [Paula chimes in:] Because I was a nice girl. [Guy nods and smiles.]
Paula: I think I was doing it [going out with Guy] out of spite to make my cousin mad. [laughs] We went out with other people and we would go on double dates and he told me later on “Boy, I should have gone out with you!” He liked me at one time – now I just boss him around.
On our first double date I had on a red courduroy suit and he loved it [Guy nods and smiles]. Can you imagine that? Red coururoy, Guy. And he would say “Boy do you look nice!” and we went to the movies.
Guy: At Central Theater, where the police station is now, downtown.
S: If you could describe your secret to a long, successful relationship in just ONE WORD what would that word be?
Guy: Yes. [we all crack up laughing.]
Paula: Does it have to be ONE word? Hmmm… Patience. [Points to Guy] He has to say two words! “The best” [and Guy laughs].
S: What has it been like, being together for 65 years?
Guy: Boring! [laughs]
Paula: Not easy.
Guy: I’ll buy that…
S: What has been your biggest challenge as a couple?
Paula: Having a child at 39 years old (almost 40 years old). First and only child at 39 years old. We did everything together in the beginning – We did it all. So when our son came along we were ready. Sarah, listen. It took us 16 years to have David. All the people that we used to go out with – we used to have so many parties, dances – we would go out and a woman next to me would always turn and ask how many kids I had and I would say “None” and she would turn away and start talking to the next woman. It would hurt that I had nothing in common with other women.
Guy: [nods in agreement].
S: What has been your greatest / favorite memory together?
Paula: [without hesitation] Our honeymoon in Florida. That was easy! And having a child – because I was not supposed to have any so that was a nice surprise.
Guy: [He thought about it for a bit and Paula chimed in and he agreed:] Having a son together.
Paula: We were both cat lovers. He was a golfer and we were both big shoppers – and we still are! I guess I went shopping when he went golfing. And David would tattle on the babysitter! “Hey mom, the babysitter sat on the stereo.” haha Now we shop and go out to lunch each day and sit around this house.
Happy 65th Valentine’s Day to Paula + Guy!