Pip and Susan Pullen-Swope never intended to marry. In fact, neither imagined their initial meet-up in February 2008 at Jack Fry’s would be anything but a friendly meal.
The two met on Match.com, an online dating website that asks participants to fill out an online questionnaire highlighting the traits they each wanted in an ideal mate. At first glance, Pip and Susan were anything but to each other.
He was a short-statured, European-born, fashion-loving, urban-dweller in search of a petite, exotic-looking gal.
She was a tall, red-headed Kentucky native who lived on a farm and was, Pip recalled, “very American, very beautiful.”
He was Cherokee Road; she was Oldham County.
She was stately, “mansion-type things”; he was not.
He was social and extroverted; she was not.
Yet, despite their numerous differences, they each wound up in the other’s inbox.
After agreeing to meet for that inaugural “non-date,” they began to talk and soon realized “at the core, we’re fundamentally the same,” Pip said, during a recent lunch where the couple sat at a center table inside Proof on Main. “We’re both the same people,” he continued, placing a hand on top of his wife’s as they shared a sweet, fleeting look with one another.
He was funny; she laughed.
She was a “complete and utter stud” on her motorcycle; he thought she was crazy for riding.
He dressed – dresses – like colors (as in every one) were made to mingle; she wore – wears – elegant clothing that complements her sleek physique and classic looks in every way.
“A lot of people would think of us as opposites, but we complement each other,” Susan said.
“You don’t judge people for their hearts or who they are.”
Instead, they both agreed, you preserve that, the differences included.
“Who she is,” Pip said, looking directly at his wife, “it’s my job to protect that.”
What’s your wedding story?
“I think we knew we were a match,” Pip explained, “but I was not going to get married. I was single. I loved my single life. I loved living in a tiny carriage house.”
And then somehow that all changed.
“We didn’t start looking for houses together, but it just made sense,” Susan said.
“We loved each other,” Pip added. “My dog likes your dog. I want to live in a church, you want to live in a church.”
One night, he popped the question – sans ring – and soon the pair married in Barbados.
“We just wanted to run away. It was great,” Susan laughed. “The maid-cook was our maid of honor. The photographer was the best man.”
How do you make it work on a day-to-day basis?
Pip is “a very alluring person to be around,” Susan said. “He’s incredibly loving and supportive. … You can’t not love Pip.”
“The only thing I want to do is make her happy,” Pip said. “Do everything you can do to ensure they are happy.”
“It’s a lot of give because we are from different backgrounds,” Susan said.
“I have learned the true meaning of fear,” deadpanned Pip, as his wife giggled beside him. “She laughs a lot but she has someone to laugh at.”
How do you divide up household chores?
“I do what I’m told,” Pip quipped.
In actuality, Pip does all the cleaning and cares for the animals. “Susan takes care of everything else,” he said.
“He won’t let me hire anyone, so he does all the cleaning. I’m not a very good cook,” she admitted, “but he’s not very demanding. We go out a lot.”
Where do you like to go when you’re out ‘n’ about?
Count Kashmir, sushi at Sapporo or Maido, Mozz, Harvest, Toast and Ghyslain as the favorite hotspots frequented by the Pullen-Swopes.
How do you ensure you continue to walk through life in tandem?
“We set time aside every single day just to look each other in the eye and talk. We really do make a concerted effort,” Pip said.
“You have to be partners,” Susan added, smiling at her husband as he rubbed her arm and smiled back. “We are.”
Nov. 24, 2009
Pip and Susan have a blended family that includes 21-year-old twins Travis Winkler and Julia Winkler and son Petie Pullen, 33. Susan’s son, Gavin Winkler, passed away in December 2010. Pip and Susan also have two German Shepherds: Brain, 8, (“as in the gray matter”), and Goo, 7 (“as in a lack of the gray matter”); four cats: Izzy, 1.5, Charleton, 1.5, Chauncey, 1.5, and Harry, 20; and “12 or 13” koi fish, some of whom are named, including Moby, Holey Cow, Holy Ghost, Matthew, Walter, Andrew and Bartholomew.
The Pullen-Swopes reside in The Church in the National Historic District of Butchertown in Nulu. “It’s been a lot of fun and we’re very proud of it,” Susan said. Find out more about the phenomenal structure at www.801emain.com. They also have a farm in Oldham County.
Pip is the director of account planning for Red7e. Susan “does the books” for their company, Anglo-American Development LLC, though “Pip likes to say I’m a farmer,” she laughed.
Do find some sort of hobby you can do together. For the Pullen-Swopes, it’s motorcycle riding. Susan, the expert, rides fast and furious; Pip is committed to honing his skills.
You’ve heard it before but it’s true: Don’t sweat the small stuff. It’s a complete waste of time.
$@#! Pip Wears
Pip Pullen-Swope’s sense of style is unique to say the least.
“I like bright colors,” he explained.
“And they clash,” his wife, Susan, said. “Yesterday, I looked over and he had on my watch.”
Does she ever borrow his threads? “Heavens no!” Susan said.
The charming London-born fella favors pants cut far shorter than the average American man wears, though plenty of rockers do seem to like to rock the, uh, high-water trousers. He also has a penchant for picking garishly colored sweaters and socks, neither of which usually match.
Pip’s fashion forte has clearly struck a chord with his Red7e colleague, Brett Jeffreys, who created a blog titled “$@#! Pip Wears” (though the first word isn’t actually made of symbols but is a euphemism that starts with an S).
Even though Pip calls Brett “the king of the haters,” the blog is actually quite endearing and always hysterical. While we can’t print the actual website address here, we think you can figure it out. When you do, check it out. Just do so with a pair of sunglasses on.
Category: In Tandem
About the Author (Author Profile)
Angie Fenton is Managing Editor of The Voice-Tribune, a Blue Equity company. She is also an entertainment correspondent for WHAS11′s new morning show, “Great Day Live!”, which debuted August 22 on Louisville’s ABC affiliate. Additionally, Angie is an entertainment correspondent for the Saturday Morning Show with Ron ‘n’ Mel Fisher on 84WHAS (840 AM) and has served in the same capacity for Churchill Downs, the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks; Breeders’ Cup; and Circuit of the Americas during the Formula 1 U.S. Grand Prix in November 2012. Angie also serves as an emcee, host, voiceover professional and on-camera commercial talent.
Angie has a bachelor’s and master’s in English from Central Michigan University and began her career as an adjunct professor at her alma mater. She is the youngest of five — four of whom were adopted, including Angie, and none of whom are biologically related. She is also a Michigan native who moved to Kentucky in June 2002. Angie is owned by two dogs — Herbie and Yoda — and feels lucky to have loved and been loved by many more, including Pooch, Jessie, Onyx, Jack and Big Bud, who took his last breath on Christmas Day 2012.