The world's oldest couple met in a college class in 1934, and they still celebrate every single Valentine's Day together.
John and Charlotte Henderson of Texas are currently the world's oldest living couple. They spoke to the "Today" show on Friday to recall how they first met and fell in love in 1934, and how they keep the romance alive today.
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The world's oldest couple still make homemade valentines and enjoy a glass of wine together most nights. John and Charlotte Henderson of Texas spoke to NBC's "Today" show on Friday about their love story, to mark their 85th Valentine's Day together. It was love at first sight when John 107, and Charlotte, 105, were seated near each other in a University of Texas zoology class in 1934. Their first date involved going out to get Cokes. "When I just saw her and got to talking to her, I don't think I ever had another date after that one day in the class,'' John said.
"Time does fly."This Valentine’s Day, @JennaBushHager sits down with John and Charlotte Henderson, the world’s oldest married couple with an incredible love story. pic.twitter.com/R9bXrAj8zF — TODAY (@TODAYshow) February 14, 2020
They were married five years later, in 1939, the same year World War II broke out. They had just two wedding guests present. According to an October article in the Four Points News, Charlotte spent the early years of their marriage as a teacher and John worked for Humble Oil, which later became Exxon (he retired from the company in 1972). "We produced more than half of the explosives used by the Allies for World War II," he said. The couple never had children, which some have attributed to their long life. They've traveled around the world, and have spent the past decade living in a retirement community in Austin. They said they still enjoy a glass of wine together most nights. When asked whether they still celebrate Valentine's Day, John said he makes a homemade card for his wife every year. "Oh yes, a little love note on it, yes,'' Charlotte said. "He's pretty romantic, when you get down to it." Charlotte also has a flair for the romantic, and shared a poem she penned for her husband on their 22nd wedding anniversary in 1961.
Read more: World's oldest living person honored by Guinness Book of Records — she's 116, lives in Japan, and has a favorite board game The man who unlocked the world's secret to living to age 100 says you can skip the gym A 107-year-old New York woman credited her long life to staying single. Here's what 6 other centenarians had to say about their secrets to a long life — and whether they're backed by science. 'Biologically younger' people who defy their real age often have 5 things in common Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: People are still debating the pink or grey sneaker, 2 years after it went viral. Here's the real color explained.
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'He was my everything': Vanessa Bryant said she and Kobe had 'hoped to grow old together' in a tearful eulogy to her late husband
Speaking at a public memorial at Staples Center on Monday, a grieving Vanessa Bryant gave thousands...Speaking at a public memorial at Staples Center on Monday, a grieving Vanessa Bryant gave thousands of people glimpses of Kobe Bryant when he wasn't on the basketball court. The longtime Los Angeles Laker died on January 26 in a helicopter crash that killed his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, along with seven other passengers. "He would do anything for me," Vanessa Bryant said of her late husband, who was also a "doting" and "hands-on" father. "May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven. Until we meet again. We love you both, and miss you. Forever and always, Mommy," she said to Kobe and Gigi at the conclusion of her speech. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. In an emotional speech that had more than a few guests crying, Vanessa Bryant said on Monday that God knew her husband and daughter "couldn't be on this earth without each other. He had to bring them home to Heaven together." Kobe and Gianna Bryant were among nine people who died in a helicopter crash in the Calabasas hills on January 26. Nearly 20,000 people were expected to attend the Celebration of Life that was held in memory of all the victims at the Staples Center, home to the Los Angeles Lakers, with whom the NBA icon spent his entire career. In her eulogy, Vanessa Bryant shared with people an intimate look into the man they know and revere as a basketball legend. "I couldn't see him as a celebrity nor just an incredible basketball player," she said. "He was my sweet husband, and the beautiful father of our children. He was mine. He was my everything." 'He would do anything for me' The pair had been together for nearly 20 years. Vanessa Bryant, now 37, was 17 when they met and Kobe Bryant, 21. "I was his first girlfriend, his first love, his wife, his best friend, his confidant, and his protector," she said. "He was the most amazing husband. Kobe loved me more than I could ever express or put into words ... He would do anything for me. I have no idea how I deserved a man that loved and wanted me more than Kobe." Vanessa Bryant also credited Kobe Bryant, her "soulmate," as the "romantic one" in their marriage, who looked forward to and made special plans for Valentine's Day and their anniversary. "He gave me the actual notebook and the blue dress Rachel McAdams wore in 'The Notebook' movie," she recalled, adding that he picked it because that's what Allie was wearing when she reunited with Noah. "We had hoped to grow old together like the movie," Vanessa Bryant said. "We really had an amazing love story. We loved each other with our whole beings. Two perfectly imperfect people making a beautiful family, and raising our sweet and amazing girls." 'MVP of girl dads' "Kobe was the MVP of girl dads — or MVD," Bryant continued. "He never left the toilet seat up. He always told the girls how beautiful and smart they are. He taught them how to be brave and how to keep pushing forward when things get tough." She also shared funny stories about their time together, all of which highlighted his love for his family and children. After retiring from the NBA in 2018, Kobe Bryant opted to pick up and drop off their children from school. "When Kobe was still playing, I used to show up an hour early to be the first in line to pick up Natalia and Gianna from school, and I told him he couldn't drop the ball once he took over. He was late — one time — and we most definitely let him know that I was never late." After that he was at his girls' school an hour and 20 minutes before school let out, Vanessa Bryant said of Kobe Bryant's "doting," "hands-on" and "present" way of being a father. Never too busy for his family He was similarly "tender" toward her as well. "Kobe somehow knew where I was at all times, specifically when I was late to his games," Vanessa Bryant remembered. "He would worry about me if I wasn't in my seat at the start of each game. He would ask security where I was at the first time out of the first quarter. And my smart a-- would tell him that he wasn't going to drop 81 points within the first 10 minutes of the game." Eventually he realized that as a parent it's not always possible to stick to a schedule, she said, but "the fact that he could play on an intense professional level and still be concerned by making sure we made it to the game safely was just another example of how family came first to him. One of the greatest joys of Kobe Bryant's life was being able to coach Gigi's basketball team. "She was thoughtful like him," Vanessa Bryant shared. "They were so easy to love. Everyone naturally gravitated towards them. They were funny, happy, silly, and they loved life. They were so full of joy and adventure." Kobe had hoped Bianca and Capri would follow in his footsteps so he could spend extra time with them, Vanessa Bryant said. But that wasn't to be. "Now they won't have their daddy and sister here to teach them, and that is truly a loss I do not understand. But I'm so thankful Kobe heard Coco say 'Dada,'" she said. 'Until we meet again' His tragic death means their family will miss out on all the memories that had yet to create together, from small moments like his youngest children starting kindergarten to being able to walk all four girls down the aisle one day. "But I want my daughters to know and remember the amazing person, husband, and father he was" and the effort he put into empowering the youth, she said. In a voice that broke, Vanessa Bryant spoke directly to her husband and asked him to enjoy his time with their daughter. "Babe, you take care of our Gigi, and I got Nani, BB, and Coco," she said, her voice breaking. "We are still the best team. We love and miss you, booboo and Gigi. May you both rest in peace and have fun in Heaven. Until we meet again. We love you both, and miss you. Forever and always, Mommy." Read more: 'She was so full of life': Vanessa Bryant laments not being able to watch her daughter grow up at the memorial for Gianna and Kobe 'God I wish they were here': Vanessa Bryant described her raw grief at losing Kobe and Gianna, alongside a video of them playing basketball Vanessa Bryant posted a heartbreaking tribute to Kobe and Gianna: 'There aren't enough words to describe our pain right now' Vanessa Bryant announced a fund to direct donations to other families of victims of the helicopter crash that killed Kobe and Gianna Join the conversation about this story » NOW WATCH: Most maps of Louisiana aren't entirely right. Here's what the state really looks like.
I'm a former professional matchmaker who found love while traveling solo — here's why it prepared me for a strong long-term relationship
Olivia Balsinger is a writer, traveler, and former professional matchmaker. She spent years solo traveling around...Olivia Balsinger is a writer, traveler, and former professional matchmaker. She spent years solo traveling around the world, and it taught her a lot about how to be in a relationship. Traveling tested Balsinger's sense of adventure, bravery, self-confidence, and, most significantly, self-love — attributes that are all extremely important to develop before jumping into a relationship. After spending half a decade counseling clients on love, she found her own at an Irish pub in Bangkok. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. Almost two years ago, I sat wearing wrinkled elephant pants and sipping Chang beer outside an Irish pub on Khao San Road in Bangkok. I had spontaneously purchased a one-way ticket to Southeast Asia in an "Eat, Pray, Love," moment of inspiration, typical of my chaotic, perpetually nomadic (and perpetually single) lifestyle. I had been strung along, spit out, and washed ashore again in the romance department and swore I was taking a sabbatical from love. My number one rule for the trip was no romance. However, like most rules, this one was subject to change. I motioned to the waitress to ask for the check for my beer. She pointed to a tall, handsome man sitting across the room from me, and said he had already paid for my drink. And that's when the fairy tale began. I was supposed to head to Bali the next night on assignment, and he had only just arrived in Thailand that afternoon on his first solo trip (his name was Jonathan, from Denmark). But from the moment he pulled his chair up to my table, we knew. Fast forward to today: I have since moved to Copenhagen with him, am in the process of acquiring a new citizenship, and we've explored 17 countries together (with dozens more on our radar.) When we met, I was working as a successful matchmaker at Tawkify, one of the most coveted firms in the country. I had spent half a decade emphasizing to clients that there is no such thing as love at first sight and that feelings take time to grow and mature. Yet at that moment in Bangkok, everything I thought I knew was squashed. Here's what solo traveling taught me about finding a soul mate.SEE ALSO: My husband and I left our full-time jobs to travel the world for 6 months — and only spent $288 from our savings. Here's how we found remote work. SEE ALSO: The top 10 reasons couples go to therapy, according to a psychotherapist who counsels them You need to love yourself before searching for love I remember dreading the holiday season when I first started solo traveling. Inevitably, after the first glass of wine, a distant relative would ask, "Olivia, it's nice that you're exploring and seeing the world, but when are you going to get married?" Although I was only in my early twenties, these questions would sometimes bother me, and often I started trying to pursue relationships for the wrong reasons. I was looking for someone to sweep me off my feet, or to tell me how wonderful I am and assure me that I'm worthy of love. But these relationships never lasted, because they lacked a solid, meaningful foundation. But without realizing it, my explorations had already been teaching me how to build a strong foundation. The bravery it takes to be a solo female traveler helped mold me into the independent woman I am today. When I worked as a professional matchmaker, half of my coaching was explaining to clients that their most important relationship has to be with the person in the mirror. If you are actively searching to be made whole by a partner, you aren't yet whole yourself. Jonathan later told me that I had seemed approachable that night in Bangkok because I looked comfortable being alone. It had taken years of mistakes, failures, and lessons learned while solo traveling to feel confident in my own skin. But once you have it, confidence like that shows. There's nothing wrong with making the first move Your Instagram is likely saturated with photos displaying your bravery and adventurous spirit when traveling. Yet for some reason, when it comes to our emotions, we tend to hide behind a protective shield. Traveling solo is the ultimate opportunity to break out of your romantic comfort zone, as there is less risk involved. If your smile at the cutie across the bar isn't returned, there's no harm done, and you don't have to worry about running into them at your local grocery store next week. Plus, if they are also traveling solo, there is a better chance they are open to new experiences and engaging with fellow wanderlusters. When I worked professionally as a matchmaker, I would remind clients not to be intimidated to ask their love interest out. It's better to find out if there is mutual interest before your brain goes down the thought spiral of "what ifs." To develop connections, you must be open to your surroundings and new opportunities, and also continue to know your worth if the relationship doesn't work out. Travel can make your romance more serious Frequent globetrotters know that travel isn't always as seamless as social media likes to portray. It can be stressful trying to manage budgets, logistics, and itinerary details for solo traveling, and traveling with a partner can be complicated in different ways. When I met Jonathan and we decided to ditch our plans and travel together, we needed to have logistical discussions that I previously presumed were saved for serious couples, not perfect strangers. Which hotel can we afford together? Should I purchase the plane tickets with my points and you pay me back? And if you think you know your partner, wait until you are traveling with them 24/7 — all of a sudden, both the good and bad are center stage. When I worked as a matchmaker, I would emphasize to clients that their dates aren't necessarily showing their authentic selves during early interactions. We all put our best foot forward in the beginning. Only time, proximity, and the way you and your partner work through issues can test your relationship compatibility. Traveling together is the ultimate test, as it is unpredictable and sometimes anxiety-provoking. Does she stay calm when you miss your red-eye flight due to traffic? Does he stay by your side when you're quarantined with a bug on a cruise? Most importantly, how does your partner treat workers in the service industry? This is an important litmus test. Traveling prepares you for a strong relationship, and creates lifelong memories As a matchmaker, I would often plan blind dates for my clients that were centered around an activity. My rationale was that you're more inclined to feel comfortable with your date when you are interacting in a playful setting, such as mini golf, instead of sitting stiffly at a five-star restaurant, nervous about spilling a drop of soup. If you can explore the world alongside your partner, it makes those memories that much more precious when you reminisce about them years later, curled up on the sofa. With a partner, the stories you make while traveling together can be valued for years to come. I gained my independence, bravery, and confidence by traveling alone for many years, and I wouldn't trade those experiences for anything. Those solo experiences allowed me to grow to love and put myself first, and prepared me to be a confident and caring partner. Today I am still that person who aspires to tell stories visiting every country I can, and now I can enjoy traveling in the company of an equally independent partner. Olivia Balsinger is a writer, traveler, PR pro, and former professional matchmaker. Connect with her on Instagram.
From excessive canoodling to screaming rows, restaurant staff see the best – and the worst –...From excessive canoodling to screaming rows, restaurant staff see the best – and the worst – of the annual night of romanceThe end is nigh. On Friday, millions of us will abandon all semblance of dignity, good manners and common sense, as the country becomes a hellscape of canoodlers, nitpickers and philanderers. That’s right: Valentine’s Day is upon us.Restaurant staff see the worst of this annual depravity. From their vantage point, 14 February is less a celebration of romance, more the night each year when one questions whether humans deserve love at all. We’re not all complete savages – it is just that heightened expectations make us act strangely. Continue reading...