Column: Swipe right on this: Our parents’ take on relationships

Sophia Maltese , Campus Editor

The most underutilized and, perhaps, taboo resource available to young people is their parents. The parents who embarrassed us by asking who we danced with after a night of overplayed pop music and Airhead sour strips. The parents who were the only ones in the whole auditorium to give a standing ovation after a lousy rendition of “America the Beautiful.” The parents who vaguely understand Fortnite dances but nevertheless attempt to be “cool” and “relevant” by butchering the floss, much to the dismay of our pop culture-literate minds.

Despite all this, the wisdom incurred from dozens of years of experience cannot be ignored – a tough consideration for a teen to arrive at, especially where romance is concerned.

To help our community overcome the hurdle of generational differences and tap into the wealth of knowledge, the gift of age, our parents and relatives can provide, I tasked my fellow students with asking their parents or other adult couples to sum up their marriage. Here are the responses I got:

Dan and Jen Maltese

Married 24 years

Dan: “Marriage is a lot of hard work but ultimately, it’s the absolute best thing to share your life with someone you love so much… [A funny way to sum it up would be that] I don’t have a sense of smell, but much to my dismay, my wife has a finely tuned olfactory system.”

Jen: “There are many things that make it worthwhile, but it’s difficult to get through some things from time to time. I wouldn’t have my life without it. [One funny memory] is when [my husband] drove me to the hospital when I was in labor. I asked him to be calm and collected. He drove right up to the ER door and started screaming for help.”

Mary Ann and Dave Weber

Married 41 years

Mary Ann: “[My marriage can be summed in in the moment] when [my husband] told me NOT TO SHOVEL THE DRIVEWAY because it was icy. As soon as he got in the shower, I went out to shovel. I proceeded to do so with lots of ambition and sure enough – – – boom. I was down and broke my hip. When he found me lying on the ground in great pain and covered in snow, he got down to my level, pointed his big ol’ finger in my face and screamed, ‘I told you not to do that!’ He then threw my shovel up the driveway. I understood [him in that moment] because I knew, without a doubt, that he [was afraid because] he needs me and he cares.”

Jill and Brian Hamlin 

Married 26 years

Jill: “We can only control so much, then it’s in God’s hands. This is my marriage summed up. We do our best to plan and control what we can, but sometimes, there’s a wrench in the plan and we have to adapt.”

Ashton and Rick Staniszewski

Married less than a year

Ashton: “The best memory for us was honestly just getting married and realizing that our relationship, other than receiving a ton of grace, was still the same amazing relationship and that we are good just as we are and didn’t need some big change to be able to be married. We vowed to be married as we were before marriage and just work on loving each other better and better to bring out the best in the person we love, which is amazing because I am so so lucky and excited to continue the rest of my life with my sidekick, and a man who is probably the most self-sacrificing person I have ever met. He makes me better.”

Pete and Nancy Maltese

Married 28 years

Pete: “I was walking on the sidewalk with [my wife] and I tripped over a fire hydrant because I wasn’t looking ahead. You will have many obstacles in marriage, but you need to get back up and keep going.”

Nancy: “I would say one time when we got our new shed, [my husband jokingly] told me I better behave or I’d be sleeping in the shed. There was nothing in the shed so I decided to see how comfortable it was if I had to sleep in there. At the end of the night, they couldn’t find me. They called my phone and traced it to the shed. I had fallen asleep in the shed.”

Debra and Micheal Sergi

Married 25 years

Michael: “To describe marriage in one brief memory is quite difficult, especially being married for 25 years. There have been a lot of memories, more good than bad! So, with that said, here goes one of many: One night [I was out to dinner with my wife]. At the end of the meal I opened a fortune cookie and it said, ‘you’re going to be a dad!’ … She managed to stun me.”