Marjie and Steve Andrews may be like chalk and cheese, but their relationship has matured like fine wine, it just gets better with age. Profile chats with the colourful Rosemount couple who have been married almost 35 years to discover how they keep the magic alive.
Marjie Andrews is someone who leaves a lasting impression on everyone she meets. At 75 years young, the diminutive and glamorous health and fitness fanatic is full of life and infectious enthusiasm. A former school teacher and a talented artist, Marjie is well-known for the walking groups she runs for elderly Sunny Coasters with the aim of keeping the over 50s away from doctors and hospitals for as long as possible and she has been awarded for her efforts three times as Senior Citizen of the Year at the Sunshine Coast Council Australia Day Awards. But Marjie is the first to tell you her biggest achievement was meeting the love of her life, her husband Steve. A true gentleman, Steve captured Marjie’s heart with his old-fashioned chivalry and charm, and although his mild-mannered personality may be polar opposite to Marjie’s cheeky nature, the couple is a match made in heaven. Living life to the fullest, the gorgeous duo shares how they met as well as their secrets to a long and happy marriage.
profile: how did you meet?
steve: We were neighbours but we didn’t realise at first. One fateful day in May, 35 years ago, I happened to be pottering in the back garden of my recently acquired home in Buderim and this lassie arrived bearing a purse, attempting to pay me for lemons she had pinched off my tree while I was away endeavouring to earn a quid seafaring. The dear lady in question said, ‘I’ve been stealing your lemons’. I noticed she had great legs but I declined the offer of cash for my lemons. Then I went back to my garden.
marjie: He didn’t tell me the great legs part until now! The elderly couple who owned the house prior to Steve told me about this lovely chap who had bought it so I was very curious. He was away a lot and I will admit to stealing the lemons off his tree so I thought a good excuse to meet him would be to offer to pay him for them. He invited me to dinner and I knew straight away he was different to other men I had met. He pulled out my chair for me, held the door open, he was so courteous. I thought to myself I better not let this one go! I came out the next morning and he had mowed a little track from his home to mine so my puppy Louis and I wouldn’t get our feet wet.
profile: how long after you met did you marry?
steve: We met in May and married in July!
marjie: Struth he was a fast mover wasn’t he!
steve: You were the fast mover! She said, ‘I think we’re well suited, how about it?’.
He was different to other men I had met. He pulled out my chair for me, held the door open, he was so courteous.”
profile: Where were you married?
steve: We were married at the Buderim Uniting Church.
marjie: We had our honeymoon at Alex Headland when it used to be the Boolarong. It was the only resort in Alex at the time. It’s incredible how much the Coast has changed since then.
profile: what attracted you to each other?
steve: Apart from her legs you mean? Marjie was kind and gentle and loving and we loved the same things, the outdoors, the beach.
marjie: He was so different to any of the other men I had previously dated. He did all the right things and he was so caring.
A big bowl of shared ice cream always helps to mend things.”
profile: what have you learnt from each other?
steve: She has taught me there is merit in enjoying life and not worrying about what others may think of a somewhat extroverted nature and what I have taught Marjie is probably very little.
marjie: He’s taught me so much. How to be more tolerant for one. Steve is always calm, whereas I tend to be reactive. Steve always reminds me to relax and not let things worry me. We are like chalk and cheese! I try and take the mickey out of him and he tries to calm me down.
profile: you have been married almost 35 years, what advice would you give to young couples starting their journey together?
marjie: It’s all about open communication. Sometimes he annoys me and I annoy him but we have learned to walk away, give each other time and think about it. A big bowl of shared ice cream always helps to mend things.
steve: More important than anything else is respecting the right of the other person to have an opinion and trying to find a peaceful solution without the need to raise the voice. As long as the young man knows the two most important words for any husband “yes dear”, they will be fine!