Don’t Sweat the Small Stuff


Nanette Gruch and Patricia Shannon crack each other up.

Nanette Gruch and Patricia Shannon have had many adventures in their year-and-a-half-old relationship. The laughter they share is contagious. From meeting at the gym to prioritizing time with family in New Orleans, this sweet and funny couple—a State Trooper from Dallas and a Partner Relations Manager for JP Morgan Chase from Louisiana—is a great example of the difficult but necessary balance of real life and love life.

Love and Challenges 

What do you love most about your partner?
Tricia: I’m not sure if I can put into words as perfectly as the way I feel. I love her. What do I love most? Everything. I even love the things that sometimes irk me, because that is what makes her Nan. I truly love her strength, the fact that she’s a leader, her smarts, her sense of direction and planning. I love when she isn’t afraid to open her heart, and when she truly shows herself to me. I love her desire to try new things. But most of all, I love that after all this time, I still get butterflies. P.S. After I read that to Nan, I handed the laptop over to her and said, “Your turn. No pressure.”
Nan: I love how she takes care of me. She’s smart, sexy, driven and funny. But, after all this time, I still can’t put my finger on the one thing that I love the most.

What challenges you most about your partner?
I would have to say communication has been challenging, but it is something that is most definitely improving, and I have learned to understand we communicate differently.
Nan: Her lack of direction and her feisty temperament. Although the Cajun does come out when she begins to raise her voice—I do find that very sexy.

The Importance of Quality Time

What is the best date you’ve been on?
Not to sound cheesy, but it is difficult for me to choose a “best date”. I truly enjoy every moment we spend together and since our schedules can be challenging, every date is the best! Right, Nan? (Nan agrees.) Our cruise this summer was amazing. Our trip to vegas last year too was a very favorite time of mine. Along with all of our trips to New Orleans!

Do the two of you have any traditions?
Tricia: Running the Crescent City Classic in New Orleans on Easter weekend followed by a crawfish boil at my sister and her husband’s home. Nan loves when I peel her crawfish.
Nan: Pedicures/manicures on the weekends when we are both off work. Popcorn on the sofa watching TV after long day.

The Couple that Laughs Together

When playing board games, sports or any kind of competitive event, do you complement each other or are you better off being on other teams?
Tricia: With adventure or distance races, we push each other through. With board games or card games, we are very competitive!
Nan: You cheated on Monopoly!
Tricia: How do you cheat on Monopoly?
Nan: You bought everything before I could!

How do you divide household chores?
Tricia: Nan does everything that I don’t like to do, and I do chores she prefers not to do. There seems to be more that I don’t like to do. It’s working really well for us (me).
Nan: I like my yard cut a certain way. I find it therapeutic.
Tricia: Nan also finds it therapeutic to videotape me using (or attempting to use) the weed-whacker, all the while laughing at me. I am allowed to mow the lawn in emergency situations only.
Nan: I wash dishes and I know how to load the dishwasher.