Brenda and Bryan, both 52, have been a couple since they met at 18. Brenda’s family moved into the same apartment building that Bryan lived in and the two began dating shortly after. Within eight months, they moved in together and were married Feb. 28, 1980 in Fort Mill, S.C. The couple live in Charlotte, and they both tell their story.
The new girl: It was a Saturday morning in 1979 and Bryan was installing a new set of speakers in his Chevelle Malibu. He was cramped up in the trunk when his brother said, “Look at the hot new neighbor.” As Bryan scrambled to get out of the trunk when Brenda was walking by, he banged his head, fell back in and lay there, hoping she hadn’t seen.
Second impressions: The next day Brenda was playing softball with her brothers and sisters. Knowing his first impression wasn’t the greatest, Bryan asked if she’d like to go out sometime. Brenda said Bryan was not only nice looking, but intelligent and driven, a combination that’s still true nearly 35 years later. The couple decided one morning they’d get married and were told there was a 24-hour waiting period for justice-of-the-peace marriages. “We got off work the following day, got married and then he went back to work,” Brenda said with a laugh. “We knew what we wanted, and we’re still doing it.”
Perfect partnership: Bryan said after 33 years of marriage and having two daughters together, he’s still falling for Brenda. “I’ve spent the past three years working overseas in Baghdad, and thank goodness for the Internet. We may be thousands of miles apart, but our love knows no bounds. We Skype everyday at noon and can at least look into each others’ eyes when we say ‘I love you.’ ” Hilary Trenda
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