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Barbie Banks & Beth Shepard

How did you meet?

Barbie: We met at a bar and Beth used a very cheesy pick up line on me.

Beth: I walked up to Barbie at a bar and smoothly asked her if her name was Summer because she was hot.

What was your first date?

Barbie: We went to Murry’s on our first date. It was my first time at Murry’s, and I’m not sure what impressed me more — the pesto or Beth.

What keeps you busy during the week?

Barbie: We are kept busy with work and entertaining our friends. We love our house and love to have our friends over for dinner, games, and TV watching.

Beth: I like to ride my bike, and Barbie is involved in the local theater scene. Those activities keep us busy most of the time during the week, along with work. We try to get together with our friends regularly as well.

What do you like to do in your free time?

Beth: I love riding my bike. I usually ride a few times a week and I take full advantage of Columbia’s extensive trail system. We love to entertain our friends. Barbie keeps her finger on the pulse of all the cool happenings in town, so she always has fun suggestions for activities for us.

What is your favorite art/culture activity in Columbia?

Barbie: There are so many! Ragtag, T/F, Columbia Entertainment Company, but my favorite is Cranktivus. Beth created this amazing event and I love it. It is a food drive on bikes! It’s a blast.

Beth: Barbie is very involved in the theater in Columbia, and with that, she has introduced me to several theater companies in town, including GreenHouse Theatre Project, Columbia Entertainment Company, and Talking Horse Productions, where I have seen productions that I know I wouldn’t have sought out without her involvement.

What is the key to a lasting and healthy relationship?

Barbie: Laughter and clear expectations.

Beth: Having clear expectations, but also being able to be flexible when things may not go as planned.

What is the best quality of your partner?

Barbie: How could I possibly narrow it down? Beth is a helper to everyone she meets. I benefit a lot from it, but I am equally in love with how many other people, even strangers, benefit from it.

Beth: Her laugh. It feels like you win the lottery when you say something and she gets so tickled and can’t stop laughing.

What is unique about your relationship?

Barbie: Unlike the lesbian stereotype, we didn’t live together for the first five years of our relationship.

What does the future hold for the two of you?

Beth: It’s my dream to be first lady of Columbia.

What has been your favorite project to work on together?

Barbie: This past winter, we helped with the laundry at Room at the Inn. It was a great experience. We got to hang out together and support an essential service to our unhoused community.

Beth: Cranktivus. It really is a team effort to put the event on, and I couldn’t do it without Barbie’s help. She manages the home base for the event while I am out riding my bike with the participants. Not only do we work well as a team, but we also get to take part in a fun event that helps provide food to our local community. 

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