They met in college at East Tennessee State University in 1978. They both were in an evening business class since they worked during the day. Dad was a radio disc jockey and my mother worked for in the accounting office at a local department store in Johnson City.
They had seen each other over the semester and then one day my dad decided to bring a margarita to class in which he offered a drink to my mom. One thing led to another and they had their first date at the fall homecoming football game. They dated rest of their senior year until graduation, a whole seven months, until my dad moved away to Kentucky for his first post-graduate job.
Dad realized after a few days that mom was the official woman for him and so he traveled back to Tennessee to propose. She said “yes” and they were married in five weeks!
It all came together. Her bridesmaids wore the same dress in different pale colors of pink, mint, lavender, blue and yellow and the guys were in white tuxes (hello – it was the 70s) with matching ruffles. She was able to find a dress and veil, which I plan to wear on my big day, a photographer and someone to make her cake. I even have a copy of one of their favors saved in my jewelry box. No detail was missed.
Then my dad moved my mom to Kentucky the next day and they later on honeymooned in Las Vegas. I came along three years later followed by Jessica in 1984, Samantha in 1986 and Charlea (pronounced Charlie) in 1988. All four girls, all two years apart and we shared one bathroom growing up.
The sweetest thing about my parents is that they celebrate “I Love You” day every 28th of each month. It’s a competition of who says those three words to each other first. Sometimes my mother would wait until 12:01 a.m. to wake my dad up to say it. And other times my dad would get lucky and win. They always celebrated the day – all 348 of them so far. My sisters and I would ask each month for a full report of who won and how. To be truthful, I think my mother’s winning by a landslide.
While it may appear to be a trivial thing, I have and will always view it as a true characteristic of my parent’s love for one another. There is nothing artificial or showy in their affection as a couple but just simple, sweet romance which I love about them both.
Here is to another 348 more “I Love You” days Mom and Dad!