WITH her gregarious personality, a tattoo of a rose on her right arm, shock of dyed-blond hair cut rather stylishly, and her multiple earrings, Jenny Wong is a ‘rock chick’ personified. Her husband Alan, on the other hand, is her polar opposite; he’s a man of few words and even those words are spoken softly. Yet, over three decades ago, this couple fell in love. Now, in their late 50s and having just celebrated their 37th wedding anniversary, they are still very much in love.
So, with Valentine’s Day just around the corner, the Successful Ageing Singapore team asked the senior lovebirds if they were up for a “couple challenge”. They immediately agreed, so we quizzed them on how well they know each other. How do you think they fared? Read on…
1. How did you meet each other?
J: We’ve never told anyone this, as people were more conservative in the past. In the 1970s, having pen pals was the trend. You could find a pen pal section in magazines and identify who you wanted to write to based on the individual’s description. I would often look through these magazines and search for pen pals to write to and that’s how I found my husband!
A: In the past, technology wasn’t so advanced. So, we often communicated via letters.
2. Where did you meet for the first time?
J: For me, our first meeting was at the area in front of the library at Toa Payoh Central. It was our first time meeting each other and I was wary. He was waiting for me but I peeped at him from afar before leaving! (Laughs)
I wanted to see if he was true to his word and turned up for our date. I also wanted to make sure that he looked similar to his picture and that it wasn’t a scam! The second time we met, which was the first time for him, was at the bus stop near Golden Mile Complex. This is why both our answers are correct. But I have to confess – when we first met, I thought that he was very handsome!
A: To be honest I wasn’t disappointed when she didn’t turn up for our first date as we were more conservative in the past. She could have been shy.
J: Yes, I was shy!
3. Alan, this question’s for you. What is Jenny’s favourite dish?
J: Only need to name one! Why did you list two dishes?
A: Both dishes also got noodles what!
4. What is Jenny’s pet peeve?
J: Whenever I’m talking to Alan and he is distracted, it angers me. Now that Alan knows it’s my pet peeve, he takes care to listen to what I have to say. Out of 10 times, he only gets distracted once or twice!
5. Jenny, what is Alan’s greatest achievement in life?
J: What do you mean by “accommodating my family”?
A: By accommodating everyone, it leads to a happy family… like what you’ve written!
J: (Laughs). Yes, but honestly, seeing our children enter university and graduate is the biggest achievement. We don’t have much in life and this gives us the greatest satisfaction.
6. Valentine’s Day is around the corner. What do you want to say to each other?
J: I don’t know if other couples do this and I’ve also never told this to anyone before! Every morning, before Alan heads to work, we will give each other a goodbye kiss. Once, our neighbour’s son saw us and we were so embarrassed! But I feel that this helps strengthen our relationship.
It has been 37 years of marriage. It has not been easy because it requires a lot of compromise and patience. I used to be very hot-tempered but Alan has been extremely accommodating. Now, the tables have turned… I’m more even-tempered but his temper is getting worse! (Laughs) But I understand how he feels, so I do accommodate him as well.
A: Jenny is very dedicated to the family. She ensures the house is tidy every single day.
J: Any more?
A: (Turns to Jenny) This Valentine’s Day I will take you out for a nice meal!
J: All this while, I have never received a single stalk of flower from Alan before because he’s not a romantic guy. But he’s extremely loving and understanding.
A: (Nods and smiles)
And there you have it… six questions answered by a couple that still believes in romance. Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!