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Washington Voices

Experience counts in this game for couples

Thu., Feb. 21, 2013, midnight

The crowd in the lobby at Touchmark on South Hill buzzed with anticipation on Valentine’s Day as the contestants filed in for the fifth annual Not So Newlywed Game.

Modeled after the TV show “The Newlywed Game,” Touchmark’s variation featured four couples competing to show just how well they know each other.

Betty Doerschlag, life enrichment director, introduced the couples – most of whom were a bit more “wed” than “newly.”

In fact, Bob and Nadine Finley were celebrating their 60th anniversary on the 14th. They met at Washington State University where they were both cheerleaders. The pair set the fashion bar high in their matching red sweaters.

Joe and Jan Kaley met on a blind date and have been married 54 years. After dinner and a movie on that first date, Joe took Jan on a tour of the dental lab where he worked. She agreed to a second date anyway.

Buzz and Bernie Rodseth were set up by their children and recently celebrated their 23rd anniversary.

However, Bill and Lenore Gold are the real deal. The couple met playing bridge and married four months ago on Oct. 12.

As Doerschlag explained the rules she said sometimes the couples struggle with the questions. A member of the audience piped up, “That’s because when you’ve been married so long you try to forget!”

During round one, the women were escorted out of the lobby while their husbands answered questions. Doerschlag started with what seemed like a relatively easy one: What color is your wife’s toothbrush? Alas, when the wives returned only one of the husband’s had answered correctly.

When asked, “What will your wife say is her favorite loving nickname for you?” Joe Kaley answered, “Hey!” He later amended his answer to “Joe,” but neither answer matched his wife’s.

Newlywed Lenore Gold attempted to match her husband’s response to this question: If you were to compare your wife’s personality to a flower, is she a passion flower, a bleeding heart, a sweet pea or an impatiens? Gold said, “I’m going to go with passion flower – why not?”

Alas, Bill said she was a sweet pea.

However, when asked who controls the TV remote, all four couples answered correctly. In half of the households the remote rests in the wife’s hands.

Round two began after the husbands were ushered out of the room, and their wives were asked, “If you were to write an article for Reader’s Digest, would it be about how to live with someone who snores, how to cook for a picky eater, or how to encourage your husband to bring you breakfast in bed?”

Three of four wives said they’d write about how to live with someone who snores.

The most controversial question proved to be: If your husband was lost while driving in a foreign city, would he pretend he was not lost, ask for directions, find a way to blame you for being lost or check the GPS.

Jan Kaley stated with absolute confidence. “He always pretends he knows everything, and then he’d check the GPS.”

Her jaw dropped when Joe responded, “I’d asked for directions.”

Turning to him she said, “You’ve never asked anyone for directions!”

Direction drama aside, the game ultimately came down to ice cream. Only Nadine Finley correctly answered the question “What’s your husband’s favorite flavor of ice cream?”

“Coffee,” she said.

Participating couples received heart-shaped boxes of chocolates and warm applause, but the Finley’s earned the grand prize – a night at Hotel Lusso, a fitting gift on their 60th anniversary.

They also proved when it comes to winning the Not So Newlywed Game, experience counts.

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