When it comes to this age-gap couple — mom’s the word.
Newlywed Michelle Dailey, 43, is regularly deemed a “pedophile,” “groomer” and is almost daily mistaken for her 24-year-old wife Breyannah Henry-Dailey’s mother due to their 19-year age divide.
“We got to lunch, and people will say, ‘Aww you took your mom to lunch,’” Henry-Dailey, a content creator from Phoenix, Ariz., told SWNS.
“The other day I was getting my car looked at, and Michelle turned up and they said, ‘Ah, your mom’s with you,’” she recalled. “We laugh every time.”
But disparaging remarks about their May-December romance are no laughing matter to the nontraditional twosome — who met in April 2018, when Michelle served as Henry-Dailey’s boss at Sprouts Farmers Market.
“They call Michelle a [pedophile] and say she’s grooming me,” said Henry-Dailey, who has an affinity for older women, including A-listers like Sarah Paulson, 48, Sandra Bullock, 58, and Cate Blanchett, 54. “They don’t know what love is,” the blond insisted. “I’m not a victim, it’s just love.”
And theirs was a love sparked at first sight — at least it was for Henry-Dailey.
“On my first day at Sprouts, [Michelle] had been the teacher for orientation and then she ended up being my boss,” she recalled. “I had a major crush on her, and she barely knew me.”
Henry-Dailey ultimately quit her job at the farmers market in July 2018, without revealing her tender feelings to Michelle — who had “no idea” her subordinate identified as gay nor that she was her secret admirer.
But that didn’t stop the star-aligned sweethearts from eventually making a love connection.
“I quit but a year later I found her on a dating app,” said Henry-Dailey, who was glad to have swiped onto her former boss’ profile in August 2019.
“I found [Michelle] on ‘Her’ first of all, but we didn’t match,” she remembered of their initial interaction on the app — dedicated for lesbian, queer, bisexual and straight women.
“But then we matched on OkCupid, and Michelle messaged me,” said Henry-Dailey. “I said, ‘I remember you, you used to be my boss.’”
In October 2019, just two months after reconnecting online, the Gen Z and Gen X moved in together.
And while their love quickly blossomed, the difference in their ages was an initial hurled the couple struggled to clear.
“We did talk about the age gap and how and if it might be an issue,” Michelle told SWNS. “But as soon as we talked and then [spent] time together, we never actually felt there was an age difference.”
Strangers, however, have been quick to point it out to the lovebirds.
Online, Henry-Dailey candidly recounts the endless trolling she and Michelle endure at the hands of age-gap naysayers.
“Story time about how a cashier thought my wife was buying alcohol for her ‘underaged daughter,’” said the vlogger in a TikTok clip with over 226,000 views. In the post, she recalls being forced to prove her age to a grocery store employee, who assumed Michelle was breaking the law with a minor.
“We’re constantly asked if we’re related,” said Henry-Dailey to her more than 82,000 followers, “all the time.”
The virtual flack they receive is similar to that of trending age-gap honeys Quran, 25, and Cheryl, 62, McClain, who are often branded as “sick” for their 37-year chasm. And it, too, echoes the backlash aimed at a 44-year-old Arizona man who married a woman that’s 16 years his junior and looks “exactly like” his 21-year-old daughter.
But social media shade won’t overcast the Dailey’s commitment to one another.
In fact, in May 2021, while vacationing on the sunny sands of Glass Beach, in Kauai, Hawaii, Michelle asked Henry-Dailey to be her wife.
“She popped the question on Glass Beach and I said ‘I knew it,” said Henry-Dailey. “It was beautiful.”
The darlings said “I Do” in February 2022, and they’re now raising two dogs together — Shay, a black Labrador, and Sunny, a Golden Retriever.
And Michelle hopes haters will begin to give her and Henry-Dailey grace rather than grief when it comes to their outré amor.
“I think people have a tendency to judge without first trying to understand or even see that there is nothing wrong with our love for each other,” she said. “We met as adults, and it would be no different than any other two adults meeting and falling in love.”
“It really doesn’t feel like there is an age difference.”