Grandparents Offer Tips for a Long and Happy Marriage – Via Webcam!
90-somethings Kenny and Selma have been married for almost 72 years. Would you take marriage advice for them—and via webcam at that? We would!
-Lylah M. Alphonse, Yahoo! Shine
Kenny and Selma have figured out the secret to a long and happy marriage (they’ll celebrate their 72nd anniversary this year!). So, when they couldn’t make the cross-country trip to attend their grandson’s California wedding in March, they agreed to share their wisdom via webcam instead.
“Hello, everybody!” the bespectacled 90-somethings say together as they lean into the webcam. “We are so happy that you all are together and witnessing my Michael’s and Sue’s wedding.”
And then, the advice: A five-point plan for making marriage work.
I wanted them to be part of the wedding in some way,” the groom, Michael Bender, told Yahoo! Shine.
His regular video chat sessions with them provided the inspiration. If they couldn’t make it to Santa Barbara for the ceremony, “Why not do a wedding toast over iChat?”
Bender helped edit the video, but he was the only one who saw it before the wedding. “At the wedding, it was definitely the moment that people were talking about,” Bender says. “People were laughing a lot.”
He filmed his guests’ reactions and, later, showed those clips to his grandparents. He also posted their original video on his website, Awkward Family Photos. “My grandparents are an inspiration to me,” he wrote in a post accompanying the video. “While they are the two funniest people I know, they are also incredible role models.”
Selma and Kenny, who live in Tamarac, Florida, had no idea that their good wishes would be so popular — or so public. “They’ve done a few things for Awkward Family Photos in the past, but never anything on this level,” he told Yahoo! Shine. “This is definitely taking it to another level.”
Their advice for their beloved Mike and Sue quickly went viral. The Today Show brought in a couple of experts to evaluate their advice, but both Selma, 90, and Kenny, 94, missed the segment. Selma, who still works as a manicurist, had gone into the salon that morning, Bender says, and Kenny, who still works in a deli, had the TV tuned to a different channel.
“They still work,” Bender said. “Now, people are coming in to the deli to shake his hand. At the nail salon, people are still talking about it. In their world, this is probably the talk of the town.”
The sudden fame hasn’t changed them one bit. “What you see is what you get,” says Bender. For example, in the video, when Selma advises the newlyweds never to argue, Kenny is a bit more candid.
“We went to bed happy — after our fights,” he says.
“That’s because we were tired of fighting,” Selma retorts.
They end their video message with a toast to the happy couple — and seal it with a kiss that takes them both a little by surprise.
“I haven’t kissed him like that in 25 years!” crows Selma as Kenny chuckles in the background.
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