71-Year-Old Grandmother Marries a 17-Year-Old She Met at Her Son’s Funeral

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(Via Giphy)

If a 71-year-old man married a 18-year-old woman, they’d probably get a reality TV show. When a 71-year-old woman marries a 18-year-old man, everyone makes comical “fake gagging” faces, because older men are sexy and powerful, and older women are just gross old monsters.

That’s not how 18-year-old Gary Hardwick feels, though. He just married 71-year-old Almeda Errell from Tennessee, who has grandchildren older than Hardwick. The couple describes it as love at first sight, which is admittedly a little odd, because they met at a funeral for Errell’s son, Robert.

According to The Daily Mail, Gary’s aunt was married to Almeda’s son, who died of a seizure at 47. Gary went to the funeral, and says he was instantly attracted to Almeda’s “sparkling blue eyes.” He didn’t say anything at the service, though, because that would have been weird.

Almeda had had a very difficult time in recent years. She was widowed in 2013, and then her son died this year. She says she was looking for a soul mate–not necessarily a younger one–and was very attracted to Gary when she saw him at the funeral, thinking, “He’s the one.” She didn’t say anything either, though.

For his part, Gary just says he is attracted to older women. When he met Almeda Errell, he was 17 and in a long-term relationship with a 77-year-old woman. He said that relationship was not going well, and he and his partner were “always fighting.”

When he and that woman broke up, though, Gary went running over to Almeda Errell’s house to confess his feelings. She reciprocated them. (There do not seem to be any mercenary motives, either. Errell is 71 and works at a Walmart, and she has three surviving children and several grandchildren. She doesn’t sound like a good target for a gold-digger.)

(Via Giphy)

After bonding over a shared love of “country music and Italian food,” they had a whirlwhind 3-week romance and decided to get married. Gary’s mother even said she approved of their union. So did his grandmother, who is the same age as Errell.

“The one thing I’ve learnt is that when you truly love somebody, it really doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks,” Errell said.

They sound sweet, even though this is pretty odd. It’s odd the same way a 71-year-old man with an 18-year-old woman is. But they are both consenting adults and life would be boring if everyone liked the same things and did things the same way. If this is what makes you happy, you do you.