The Truth About a Long Marriage: Couple Married for Over 50 Years Tells all

The past month has been one heck of a ride for most kids in the Valley, myself included. There is no shortage of worries, stress, and anxiety surrounding these unprecedented and scary times. Therefore, I thought the Valley might be a bit sick of hearing about COVID-19, so I drew from John Krasinski’s Some Good News YouTube channel videos and here we are! 

This is an interview with my maternal grandparents, who I call Nana and Pop Pop. They have been married for over 50 years, so I decided to interview them about the perils of marriage, love, and a long life together. Take all of their answers lightheartedly.  They like to poke fun at one another and their relationship! Hope you enjoy, stay safe and strong PV!

Q: So, what do you believe is the most important thing to keep a happy marriage?

Nana: Honestly, I think it’s working through the tough times and remembering the good times. Every marriage has tough times and good times, so you stay put and you get through ’em.

Pop Pop: Respect for each other.

Q: When did you meet and how?

Nana: We met in 1963 and I was in the Woolworth’s store having a Coke with a good friend, when a guy she knew came in to say hello and he was with her. He will tell you I didn’t let him sit down, but I was never really good at the gentlemanly things, so he stood and I sat for a hot minute.

Pop Pop: We met, oddly enough, at a Woolworth’s in Germantown. I was walking home to the bus stop with one of my best friends and Nana and a friend of hers were in Woolworth’s having a soda. The friend I was with knew the girl Nana was sitting with and she waved us in through the window. We went in and her friend scooted over to let my friend sit down. Well, Nana never moved! My friend was pointing and said sit down and I said I can’t! She eventually said “Oh, I’m sorry!” and scooted over to let me in the booth.

Q: How long have you been together?

Nana and Pop Pop: We’ve been married for 52 years, plus 5 years for dating and engaged.

Q: Did your parents approve of your partners? Did that play a factor in your relationship?

Nana: I don’t know if my parents approved, they never said anything to me and they never told me what expectations they had for me, so yeah, they were supportive. They planned the marriage and they did all the things you would do for a marriage. When Pop Pop asked my father for his blessing, he said yes, so I guess they approved!

Pop Pop: There wasn’t really any discussion, I was more concerned about being approved by Nana’s parents. My parents were fine with her, they thought she was terrific!

Q: Did you feel like it was love at first sight? Do you believe in that?

Nana: No, I don’t think it was love at first sight. Our first date was pretty bad, I was sick and had a cold and so I brought all my medicine with me. I smelled like Vicks Vaporub. He kindly went out to get me hot chocolate to make me feel better and I spilled it down the front of me. I didn’t really start to have important feelings for him until three or four months into the relationship. I was kind of overwhelmed by boys at that point. The relationship obviously grew!

Pop Pop: I don’t know about that, I mean she did have these big, blue, beautiful eyes and I called her “big eyes” and I don’t know, just something about her, just did it. 

Q: What’s your favorite activity to do together?

Nana: Watching movies.

Pop Pop: Vacation and water-skiing. She grew up on Lake Sunapee and she taught me how to water-ski and in less than a year, I was getting up on one ski!

Q: What has your silliest fight been about?

Nana: What day of the week it was, we just had it. 

Pop Pop: Everything. Normally, it’s dumb stuff. It’s always little stuff, never big stuff.

Q: What advice do you have for the younger generations in general?

Nana: Be yourself. Reach for the stars. The worst that can happen is that you fall flat on your face and then people will laugh at you. No! Reach for the stars because you never know where things are going to take you and how they’re going to work out.

Pop Pop: Spend time with the person you think you’re going to marry…longer than 6 months or a year – a minimum of two to three years together. Get to know them and it’s got to be mutual – they have to like you as much as you like them.

Thank you to my Nana and Pop Pop for allowing me to interview them and thank you Amelia Harris for the inspiration behind the article!