BY NICOLAS FERNANDES
A housekeeper who is more than four decades younger than her retired 68-year-old fiancé is defying haters who said their love ‘wasn’t real’ by having her first child with him and planning their wedding for next month.
Stefani Anderson, 23, of Vernon, British Columbia, Canada, says she has noticed less criticism since the couple started showing-off their five-month-old son Lachlan and an engagement ring.
She met Don Walper nearly four-years-ago when he was a regular customer at the bar she worked at and immediately felt attracted to him.
Stefani, who says she always gets along better with people from an older generation, quickly started dating the retired contractor and enjoying activities with him such as playing poker, golfing and trying a variety of wines.
Soon after, her parents – aged 54 and 65 at the time – were concerned about the age of her boyfriend, and her brother, 28, accused him of just wanting to use her for sex.
In addition, strangers insulted her in public, by giving her judgmental looks, saying that he looked like her “grandpa,” that she had “daddy issues” and that she was “only after him for his money.”
Now that they have a baby and an engagement ring to show off, Stefani’s family no longer criticizes her and the pair is easily able to ignore stares in public.
She said: “Ever since we’ve had the baby, we’ve been hearing nothing but nice things from friends and family. I haven’t heard one negative comment from them in five months.
“We know what we have together. We’re getting married and we have a child we love. That’s why we don’t even pay attention to what people say anymore.
“I don’t think it makes a difference that Don might not be around for much of Lachlan’s life. No matter what happens, he will always know that his dad loves him.
“At first, my brother wasn’t very impressed and my mom and dad were not fans of the idea, but luckily everyone eventually came around.
“He used to come into the bar all the time and flirt with me. I had a crush on him right away. I just thought he was so handsome.
“It works out really well because I don’t get along with people my own age. I like talking to people with a higher maturity level. My closest friend at work is 58-years-old.”
Don, a divorcee, says one of his favorite things about this relationship is the fact that they’ve only had one argument since day one.
While a child wasn’t something he was expecting in old age, he adores his new baby son.
He said: “I was on the dating scene for quite a few years and the drama with some of those women was terrible. Stefani just makes things so simple.
“When I learned that she wanted to have a baby with me, I was accepting of it and I’m glad I was because he’s such a gorgeous little guy.”
Just a few years after getting such bad reactions from family members, Don has become good friends with his fiancé’s mother Janet, and Stefani has a similar relationship with his 67-year-old sister Anita.
As a former handy man, he is always helping the widow by repairing things around her house.
Stefani said: “I have become so close with Don’s sister that I now consider her one of my closest friends.
“It’s amazing how my mom wasn’t in favor of the relationship at first, but now they are getting along great.”