Today, April 15th, Tax Day, our parents celebrate 42 years of marriage. Slow clap for that accomplishment.
Tom and Rita. SJP and Matthew Broderick. Goldie and Kurt.
Chuck and Paula.
Let me break down some numbers for you. As I’m running through this I want you to semi sing this in your head like the John Denver classic “Grandma’s Feather Bed.”
42 years of marriage
4 daughters with varying levels of dramatics
2 houses within 50 feet of each other
7 grandchildren with varying levels of loudness
>20 dogs over the course of their marriage (We’ve counted)
5462 episodes of Survivor watched
Just look at those kids. When my mom sent me this picture she said, “That’s from our rehearsal dinner. And that’s my ‘I can’t believe he just said that face.’ He’ll say anything for a laugh.” My father and I have that in common.
I’m often asked which parent I’m like, and although my mother has been quoted as saying, “I’m not sure where you came from” (valid) I would say I’m a good mix of both. I have my dad’s love of being in front of a crowd and making people laugh, and I have my mom’s creativity and love of dramatics. This candid picture of them is one of my favorites, and I think illustrates those points perfectly.
We thought it would be fun to play a “Newlywed” type game with them. Forty-two years and a month in quarantine and you’d think you know a person. Leading up to the interview I had with each of them my mom kept saying, “Kat. This isn’t going to be good. I just don’t know. Do something else. You can think of something better.” Welp, her wish did not come true, and hopefully, this is better than the low expectations that my mother has for both herself and my writing abilities. Here we go.
- I asked them both-“What’s the best vacation you’ve ever taken with each other?”
Paula- “Well. We’ve been to so many great places.”
Kat- “Mom, you don’t even have a passport.”
Paula- “Well, Kat, we love America. What can I say?”
Paula-“I loved Boston. I loved Canada. I loved New York. But the best? Hmm. I think it would be the Disney Cruise or when we took just you and Caroline to Disney World and stayed at the Grand Floridian.” *Insert my oldest sister’s head exploding here*
I asked my dad the same question. Listening to their answers was quite funny. My mom and I are alike in the fact that we want to be thorough and make sure we are giving the best possible answers.
Kat-“So, what was the best vacation that you and Mom have ever taken?”
Chuck-“Montreal, Canada. Next.”
These next ones I asked what they thought their spouse would say then I’ll provide you with the spouse’s actual answer.
2. Kat- “Ok. What is Chuckles’ favorite meal?” Yes, we call my dad “Chuckles”.
Paula- “Steak or barbecue.”
What Chuckles actually answered- “vegetables.” I can hear my mom right now as she’s reading this saying, “CHUCKIE. CHUCKIE. Vegetables?! No.”
I agree. I was shook by that answer as well.
Kat- “Ok. What’s Mom’s favorite meal?”
Chuckles- ” Hmmmm ugh. Hmmmm. My gah. Salmon.”
What Paula actually answered- “I have so many. Oh my gosh. He’s going to blow this. He’s totally going to blow this. I’ll just say my favorite is summertime fresh vegetables. I have a lot of favorites. Actually, just say anything with shrimp.”
OK. I don’t think Chuckles was too far off. And shoutout to my parents for both loving vegetables. It’s because they are southern.
They actually have several gardens behind their house. There was a big problem with raccoons invading my dad’s corn field last year. He lured them away with Little Debbie honey buns. May Will and Kate break up if I’m lying.
3. I asked, “If your spouse could go anywhere in the world, where would he/she go?”
Paula-“Alaska. Well, we’ve already been, but I’m saying Alaska.”
What Chuckles actually said, “Las Vegas”
Kat-“Ok. If Mom could go anywhere in the world, where would she go?”
Chuckles-“She’d go spend three days with each of her three children with grandchildren. She’s not big on traveling.”
Let me just advocate for myself and say that I’m a lot more entertaining than a seven year old, and there are much better restaurants where I live.
What Paula actually said, “If I wasn’t scared to cross the ocean, I’d go to England.”
So I’ll give Chuckles some credit. She isn’t super “big” on traveling.
4. I asked, “What is your spouse’s biggest pet peeve?”
Paula-“Ummm. I don’t like that question. Hmm. He hates it when I don’t close cabinet doors or when I leave my shoes around.”
What Chuckles actually said, “Having a dog in the house”
Kat-“Ok. What would Mom say is her biggest pet peeve?”
Kat- “You? You’re her biggest pet peeve? That’s your answer?”
What Paula actually said, “Oh my Lord. Leaving his clothes on the floor.”
5. I asked, “What is your spouse’s best quality?”
Paula- “He’s funny.”
What Chuckles actually said, “I am a hard worker and provide for my family.” I can attest to both of those statements being true. Few people can tell a story quite like my dad and few people work harder.
Kat-“Ok. What’s Mom’s best quality?”
Chuckles- “She overlooks my faults.”
What Paula actually said, “I can cook.” I can attest to both of those statements being true as well. Stay tuned because THE Paula Stewart will be providing a recipe to Dramatic in the Best Way in the coming weeks.
And there you have it folks. Crawfordville’s own Kim and Kanye. As my mom and I finished the interview I said, “Ok. That’s it. Thanks.”
“Well, this is going to be so boring to read, Kat.”-Paula
Thanks, Ma. You’re the wind beneath my wings. Hopefully, it wasn’t boring to read and hopefully you got a “chuckle” out of it. See what I did there?
Let’s raise a glass of aggressively sweet tea in honor of the marriage of Chuck and Paula. Happy Anniversary, you crazy kids. Now go watch Jeopardy and eat some fresh vegetables.
We will see you back on Friday for another round of Friday Favorites.