It seems like fate was in favor of Bobby and Hanna Benjamin. The two who share their life together in Louisville – and the same birthday (March 18) – met each other in Nashville, Tenn., where they both grew up.
But it wasn’t until a week before Bobby was to leave Nashville for a job in Louisville that they finally came face to face.
We sat down with Bobby and Hanna to find out about their relationship and how they have stuck together even while they were living almost 200 miles apart.
How did you meet?
Hanna’s mom spotted Bobby long before Hanna was introduced to him in Nashville.
“My mom wanted us to meet,” Hanna said. “At the time I was in a relationship, so it didn’t happen for a while. It was Easter Sunday, and I had gone to where he worked with my family and we met, and immediately we knew we were meant to be together. We had one week to get to know each other and decide to do the long distance thing until we were married.”
“I drove back every Saturday down (I-65),” Bobby said. “It was good though. I’m glad I made it through that.”
How did he propose?
“Well, I knew it was coming because you can’t keep a surprise from me,” Hanna said. “For one, I went with him to pick out the ring because I said, ‘If you ever think about proposing to me, I have to pick it out because I’m so picky.’ ”
What Hanna didn’t know was when the proposal would happen. On a visit to Louisville, she stopped by The Seelbach while Bobby was at work, where he had a surprise awaiting her that even Hanna didn’t see coming.
“He met me in the parking lot out (at The Seelbach) and he was still in his chef coat,” Hanna said. “He was like, ‘Honey, I’m going to take you over to my house and then get back to work.’ So I thought he was just dropping me off, but when I walked into his place he had flowers everywhere and candles and everything was so beautiful.”
Despite the extravagant arrangement inside Bobby’s house, Hanna still didn’t foresee what Bobby had in store for her.
“He said, ‘I just wanted you to relax while I was working,’” Hanna explained. “So he was still playing it off that he had to get back to work. And this is so unromantic, but I had been on a three-hour drive, so I was like, ‘I have got to pee!’ So I was running to the bathroom and as I open the door there were rose petals everywhere in the bedroom and a big sign, where he had written out his vows. And it said, ‘Will you marry me?’ ”
When Hanna turned around to find Bobby, he was down on one knee.
“The writing of the vows took a while because it was a big board and I had to write everything and color everything in like I was in second grade all over again,” Bobby said. “I was up ‘til 3 in the morning coloring.”
“I have it hanging in my closet now,” Hanna said. “And sometimes if he’s acting up I’ll show him, ‘That’s that vow that you put up there. Remember this one? You wrote that!’ ”
How do you make it work on a day-to-day basis?
“I know whenever we start to get into a disagreement, one of us always does something funny or silly and we both start laughing,” Hanna said. “We just try not to take life too seriously. We are always goofing off. We never stay mad at each other for more than 10 minutes. We think that’s really important. Get the issue resolved. Don’t stay mad at each other.”
How do you divide up household chores?
“We don’t,” Hanna said with a laugh. “I’m not domestic.”
“I do it all,” Bobby said. “I do the laundry, I cook, I take out the trash, I keep the kitchen clean, I mop, I dust.”
“We’re not saying he’s happy about this,” Hanna joked. “I keep telling him one day when we start a family, my motherly instincts will kick in and then I will be more domestic. But I do all the errands; I get the groceries and do the shopping and I’m in charge of the bills.”
Where do you like to go when you’re out ‘n’ about?
“Our favorite thing to do is to go out to eat,” Hanna said. “Seviche is our top favorite, I think, and Doc Crows. And we always love Wild Eggs for breakfast. We like to do local. We don’t go to chains, unless it’s Buffalo Wild Wings.”
“It’s kind of a guilty pleasure,” Bobby said. “I go there and watch football and eat hot wings.”
What is one thing you always do as a couple?
“Eat,” Hanna laughed. “That’s our favorite thing to do. And we like to go home and watch a movie and cuddle up with our dog.”
“Sometimes I like to go to two or three different places,” Bobby said. “We’ll go have an appetizer and drink and then go somewhere else and have an appetizer and drink.”
“The other thing we love to do is church,” Hanna added. “We watch our home church (in Nashville) online.”
What is some advice you would offer couples – new or old – who desire to walk through life In Tandem?
“Try to stay young at heart,” Hanna advised. “Don’t ever get too serious. That’s when we argue is when we’re taking everything too seriously. I would say just try to have fun with each other.”
“It’s fun you know,” Bobby said. “We like to give each other a hard time in a playful way.”
“Pray for your husband and support him,” Hanna said. “Their career and their life is so important. And keep them as the head of the household – even though really it’s me (she laughed.) – I think that’s huge. I’m his No. 1 cheerleader.”
“As a man, don’t ever argue with your wife,” Bobby said. “To me, the best way to handle things is just by talking. Definitely communicating because if you argue you’re never going to win.”
“I like that answer. We go by the slogan: happy wife, happy life.” Hanna said with a smile.
July 17, 2010
The couple has a “fur baby,” Bella Boo Benjamin who is a 4-year-old bulldog.
Bobby is a chef at the Oak Room inside The Seelbach Hotel. Hanna is office manager at Merkley Kendrick and a volunteer with the Younger Women’s Club, the Kentucky Humane Society’s Tuxes & Tails, IdeaFestival and other charitable organizations.
Cats or Cards?
Bobby is a true Cards fan, but Hanna was raised to bleed blue. “I’m not one of those hardcore fans,” Hanna said. “I can cheer for both, but I grew up going to UK games, and I had the little cheerleading outfit.”
Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Ashley spends half her time writing stories at The Voice-Tribune office and half her time out on the town conducting interviews, while occasionally dressing in wild outfits to fully immerse herself in the experience (aka Princess Leia at Comic Con). Ashley is a huge UofL fan and loves the Yankees and the Boston Celtics (she is fully aware of the irony). She hopes to one day outshine Erin Andrews on ESPN and enjoys running, Bardstown Road/Fourth Street, Breaking Bad and reality TV (she’s not ashamed to admit that).