OLD SCHOOL LOVERS
•Mr.and Mrs. Roberts
For Mr. & Mrs. Roberts and Gladys Grimes, experiencing true love began at old age, as the duo had divorced before they met, fell in love and got married. They had had grown up children from their first marriages. Although, they have been married for 12 years without a child, they still love each other like a just-wed young couple.
Gladys Olufunke Grimes, the wife, is a Nigerian from Ogun State while her husband, Roberts Grimes, is a Briton. Gladys was forty while Roberts was almost 50 when they met.
Recalling how her husband proposed to her, Grimes served a pleasing smile saying that he had knelt down to say it. Hear her: ' It was on a cold evening in England.
We were returning from a Chinese restaurant where we had gone for some light refreshment. We had dated for about nine months. As we approached a lamppost by the roadside, he suddenly held my hand, came in front of me, knelt down gently and in an emotion-laden tone, proposed to me. His eyes were assuring me of his genuine feeling. I had held on to him too, I was equally emotional, I knew I had grown to love him so much and with tears of joy trickling down my cheeks, I drew him up and embraced him to establish my acceptance.
That was about 12 years ago and I have never regretted it.'
Saturday Sun sought to know what attracted Gladys to Grimes, especially that she is a black woman from Nigeria. His handsome face radiated pleasure as he revealed that it was love at first sight. Said he: 'I saw her on a beautiful afternoon at a department in an office I was sent to work and I wondered at this beautiful black lady who just joined the company? Then, I made up my mind to be her friend.
We later had to work together and I discovered that she is not only pretty but also brilliant, humble, sociable and very hard working. I was really impressed and in no time we were bosom friends. Later, I realised that I would lose a valuable thing if I failed to propose to her. And that was it.'
Asked how despite being a black woman he still was undeterred. He replied: 'I never had problem with that. First of all, she is a creature of God as I am, and you know what, she is got what a white woman cannot give me.'
Saturday Sun directed the same question to his wife, and spreading a delightful smile across her beautiful face, she replied: 'He is very caring, so caring and supportive that most times I am goaded to call him Baba, (daddy) I sometimes kneel down for him in appreciation. He couldn't understand that initially, but on explaining to him that it is a traditional way of appreciating elders' kindness, he really appreciated it. He is really an understanding man, and he appreciates my culture, especially with regards to marriage'
Mrs. Grimes' confession made Saturday Sun ask Grimes, what he appreciates in Nigerian culture with regards to marriage? He was amused at the question and sounding quite frank, he said: 'I so much appreciate the way the institution of marriage is handled here.
The society here is communal you have a dynamic kinship that binds you together. That is not so in England. That is why your marriages survive. My wife made me understand that here you get married to the family of your spouse not exactly him or her, because marriage is a communal affair. In our case in the West such great values are fast eroding.'
About the challenges their 12-year-old marriage without children, he said; 'No problems at all. It is only that she wants things done so perfectly that it is really hard to please her, and I am enjoying that. My wife looks fragile and delicate but she is firm and tough.'