by Keydra Manns
Happily Ever After
Is it that you don’t argue, disagree, or go to bed angry? Or is it that you never burn the toast? The pot roast is always cooked tender to the core? Or maybe it is the children who are perfectly behaved, and get good grades, and never fight?
When you come home your dog greets you on your perfectly manicured lawn with the white picket fence. Your wife opens the doors and the kids run into your arms, and you giggle with joy, and you smell the dinner that is awaiting you at the perfectly set table.
You have your regular small conversations with your wife, with her asking you how was your day in “the office,” you exchange sentiments about her day at home as she tells you how she made sure all your shirts were perfectly ironed and starched.
Ahhhh, that is your happily ever if you’re watching an episode of Leave It To Beaver on TVLand. Which after each episode everyone’s problems are solved and life is perfect again. Those images were not REALITY!
Now I’m not saying we are more like a season of Love & Hip Hop! Because that isn’t REALITY either (at least for the majority of us). Or maybe you were looking more for an episode of Scandal? Truth be told, if one has to check one’s mistress, babies’ momma, and or one’s side chick, there is no WE or US. Now that is REALITY for you at its finest.
So our goal in highlighting Happily Ever After in WBM is to show you real couples who genuinely respect themselves, a higher being-God, family and the union of marriage and the security it was designed to provide to raise children.
The couples we look to highlight will share with us their journey down the road of developing a meaningful relationship that lead to marriage. They will tell us how they met; when they knew that this was it; and how they respectfully stay together.
Guy and Sharene Wood have been holding down two businesses, their children and a marriage all while making it look so easy. “To this day I think what sustains the relationship is that we have a good friendship.” Sharene Wood, President and CEO of Harlem Haberdashery and 5001 FLAVORS, emphasizes that friendship is the foundation to their relationship. Their seven-year marriage came after years of being best friends. It was amazing to witness them reflect on the days of pagers (Sharene recalled his pager number, too cute). Guy remembers having to put on his best speaking voice when requesting to speak to Sharene, because her father would answer the home phone. While confessing they don’t argue frequently, but when a disagreement does come up, they focus on a solution and not on faulting on another. On their tough days Guys says, “I’ll talk to you later.” Guys’ method of avoiding confrontation is simply and politely hanging up the phone and calling back later.
Having stepped into the boutique on 122nd and Lenox, you will agree that the space and décor tell the amazing story of Harlem and Fashion. The cozy boutique is furnished with vintage furniture and variations of dark hue paint on the walls. The space is lively and warm, a reflection of the spirit of Guy and Sharene’s marriage–considering we couldn’t stop laughing at Guys’ jokes during this interview. They are not perfect they confess, but we think this is a perfect Harlem Love story.
When did you get married?
May 6, 2007
Where did you get married?
Miami Beach, FL
What is your heritage?
Guy – African American & Puerto Rican
Shay Wood – African American, South American & Caribbean
How did he propose?
Guy proposed in 2006, after being friends and business partners for 15 years, in front of Shay’s family at her birthday dinner. They married 9 months later in 2007 and their daughter Sydney was born May 1, 2008–days shy of their one year anniversary.
When did you know that this was right?
Guy and I lived together for many years in the early nineties then we decided to live apart but still remain friends and business partners. We knew it was right and that our future was forever tied when we got back together; we moved in together then decided to get married.
How long have you been married?
We will celebrate our 8th wedding anniversary in 2015!
Do you still have date nights?
We absolutely still have date nights and day dates! We work together as business partners along with our family in two separate businesses, 5001 FLAVORS and Harlem Haberdashery. But that doesn’t mean that we spend those times together as a couple, so we make a special effort to carve out time for us. Intimate lunches, dinner or even shopping excursions with just the two of us is important and we try to have those as much as our schedule permits. Sydney, our smart and beautiful six year old, usually wants to tag along for some mommy and daddy time but we also make sure we get our alone time as well.
How do you resolve your differences?
Along with our family, we work together on two separate businesses. So, we spend a lot of time together for both work and play. We resolve differences very well by first respecting each other and each other’s opinions. When a difference arises, it’s just about first solving any problem or correcting an error so that our customer is happy or satisfied, then by addressing what went wrong and how we can prevent it from happening again. We both recognize that we are all humans and sometimes mistakes happen, but how we approach those mistakes are always in the spirit of moving forward as friends, family members, team members and a couple. Personally, we don’t really have many differences–just challenges to overcome together and decisions to make to better our family and businesses which are so inter-twined.
What are some advises that you would give to new couples planning their wedding and their marriage?
Those are very different things to plan. A wedding is a wonderful celebration of your love, commitment, your family and each other and should be planned accordingly. Great photos with an excellent photographer are the one splurge that I recommend (those images will be looked at, admired and seen for years and should be memorable). All the other details of the wedding can be as small or big yet personalized as you and your spouse to be wants or can afford. The day will go by so quickly and then the real important part of the wedding begins.
The marriage should be more planned and overly discussed than the actual wedding day. Marriage is the joining of two lives each with their own ideas of marriage, responsibilities and roles. As a couple, you have to define how your marriage will exist or even redefine how your marriage will be after living with your pre-conceived ideas and ideals growing up. You should enter into marriage knowing that flexibility, compromise, negotiation, love, commitment, service and friendship are essential!